December Reflections: Early

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As a rule I've always been an early riser. In fact if I have to be somewhere at a particular time then I tend to be early as I'm paranoid about arriving late. I think it's probably got something to do with the fact that I was two weeks overdue when I was born. Even being induced could not convince me to leave my cosy home and so I was forcibly evicted by c-section. I'm certain that my compulsion to be early for everything is some form of repentance for my initial tardiness.

Being up early has always been a part of my life. When my mum went back to work, my nan and grandad would look after me before and after school. I remember getting up and climbing bleary-eyed into the car still wearing my pyjamas, then getting dressed for school at their flat. Come to think of it, that might also explain my penchant for travelling in my pyjamas, but that's beside the point.

When I started secondary school I would get the bus, but after a while it became too expensive so my mum would drop me off at school before going to work. I loved it! I loved the peace and quiet and would use the time by myself to finish off any homework that I hadn't already completed. Yes, I know I should have done it at home, but my mind has always been more alert and productive in the morning. Plus being in the school environment put me in the right mindset to get it done.

Even as little as four years ago I would easily get up at 4.30am and get to work for 6am when the factory guys would open up (*shudders at the thought of doing that now*). It was the same as school. I loved the couple of hours that I had of being able to work uninterrupted. For me it wasn't about the overtime, it was simply about knowing when my brain worked at its best.
In more recent years I've not found it so easy to get up like I used to. I still tend to wake up around 6am regardless of whether my alarm is set or not. However the warmth and cosiness of my bed often stops me from jumping out from under the duvet raring to go. 

It's not so bad in the summer months when I have been known to set my alarm so I'd have enough time to walk the three miles to work instead of getting the bus or, since I changed jobs, drive to work and find a route that appealed to me on any given day. By the time I sat down at my desk, my lungs would be full of fresh air, I would feel wide awake and I would, more often than not, have a smile on my face.

The truth is I'd love to rediscover my enthusiasm for being up before the sun. I'm currently reading The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Described as 'the six habits that will change your life before 8am,' The Miracle Morning encourages the reader to start setting their alarm earlier each day in order to create enough time to practise each of Hal's Life S.A.V.E.R.S. 
When Hal began to develop The Miracle Morning, he started by setting his alarm an hour earlier each day and devoting ten minutes doing each one, but he assures the reader that spending as little as a minute on each to begin with can be beneficial. I decided to go for the whole hour! I changed the alarm on my Fitbit to go off at 5am every day. I then read two more chapters of the book before going to sleep.

I'm glad I did because if I hadn't I would have missed the 'five-step- snooze-proof wake-up strategy'. This includes setting your intentions the night before (if you tell yourself you're going to wake up tired then that's how you'll wake up, so flip it around!), keeping your alarm clock across the room so you have to get up to switch it off (mine is on my wrist so that isn't going to work), brushing your teeth as soon as you get up (I do this anyway), drinking a full glass or water to rehydrate (well, I drink whatever's left from what I've had in the night so that's a start) and getting into your workout clothes (not going to happen).

I woke up with my alarm feeling rested and surprisingly awake, but I'm not going to lie, I stayed in bed for about 20 minutes appreciating the warmth. I guess that what you get for living in a house with no central heating! I also broke Hal's rule about leaving my shower as a reward for my workout. Showers are the easiest way to wake me up and, on a day like today, thaw me out too.

Once I was dressed I went downstairs and set myself up in front of the fire to meditate. I rather cheekily combined the Silence and Affirmation activities because I usually repeat a mantra when I meditate so it made sense for me to carry on as I already do. Today I also started a 21-Day Positive Affirmation Challenge so for the next three weeks I'll be using the daily affirmation as my mantra. After that I might do the two activities separately, but for now this is working for me.

It was then that I started to falter. I didn't even attempt the Visualisation this morning. I've never really got to grips with the concept so I made the decision to wait until I've read that chapter to incorporate it into my routine. It's the next chapter so I won't have any excuses tomorrow. Exercise was delayed until after I got to work as I already had a walk penciled in so I'm not counting that as a failure. The majority of my exercise is in the form of walking and as I love the routes I have found around work I won't always be able to make it part of this power hour.

Reading did happen though. I started the next chapter of The Miracle Morning. Not much more to say on that, is there? 

And here I am Scribing. Yes, I know it's should technically to be in my journal, but these posts are my December Reflections and so I'm taking that as a win. Plus I go into free-flow when I'm typing and the words don't always come so easily when I physically write.

I'm really looking forward to incorporating The Miracle Morning into my life and using the extra time to do the stuff that matters to me and will help me to build a future for myself. Perhaps more importantly though, I am looking forward to rediscovering the peaceful feeling that comes with being up while everyone else is still asleep.

I'll be back for tomorrow for Day 2 which is Red. Don't ask me what I'll be writing about because I haven't the foggiest yet!
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