Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Early Rising Plan

'yum! Morning worms are far better than late ones'
I’m inspired by the Dalai Lama, who said, ” Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’ “

Coffee Coffee Coffee
Amazing start. I start my day by jumping out of bed, late as usual, and rushing to get myself ready, never fully feeling present. I sulky walk into work, looking rumpled and barely awake, grumpy and behind everyone else. Not a great start to the day. I am sick of my broken morning routine. Its no wonder that all I feel like doing is crawling back into bed and snoozing for the day.

Quietude is the main reason I want to become an early riser. No neighbours kids yelling, no babies crying, no echoes, no cars, no television noise. The early morning hours are so peaceful, so quiet. It’s my favourite time of day. I truly enjoy that time of peace, that time to myself, when I can think, when I can read, when I can breathe.

Why do I want to subject myself to the wee hours? Simple. Sunrise. People (Me!) who wake late miss one of the greatest feats of nature, repeated in full stereovision each and every day — the rise of the sun. I love how the day slowly gets brighter, when the midnight blue turns to lighter blue, when the brilliant colours start to seep into the sky, when nature is painted in incredible colours. I want to start doing my early morning run during at this time, and I look up at the sky as I run and say to the world, “What a glorious day!”

Rise early and I actually have time for breakfast. I’m told it’s one of the most important meals of the day. Without breakfast, your body is running on fumes until you are so hungry at lunchtime that you eat whatever unhealthy thing you can find. The fattier and sugarier, the betterier. But eat breakfast, and you are sated until later. Plus, eating breakfast while reading my book and drinking my coffee in the quiet of the morning is eminently more enjoyable than scarfing something down on the way to work, or at your desk. It helps to regulate my mood, and sets me up for a more SKILFUL day.

There are other times to exercise besides the early morning, of course, but I’ve found that while exercising right after work is also very enjoyable, it’s also liable to be cancelled because of other things that come up. Morning exercise is virtually never cancelled. And plus not as many people see you all puffy and red faced in jogging tights!

Just 5 more minutes Mom!
Mornings, for me at least (when I get up!), are the most productive time of day. I like to do some writing in the morning, when there are no distractions, before I check my email or blog stats. I get so much more done by starting on my work in the morning. Then, when evening rolls around, I have no work that I need to do, and I can spend it doing other things.

No one likes rush-hour traffic, except for oil and motor companies. Commute early, and the traffic is much lighter, and you get to work faster, and thus save yourself more time. Or better yet, commute by bike. (Or even better yet, work from home. A girl can dream!)

It’s much easier to make those early appointments on time if you get up early. I like making 9am Dr. appointments, to force me to get up early. Showing up late for that appointment is a bad signal to the person you’re meeting. Showing up early will impress them. Plus, you get time to prepare.

I don’t plan to make drastic changes. I will start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual, get used to this for a few days, then cut back another 15 minutes. I must also allow myself to sleep earlier. I am used to staying up late, watching TV or surfing the Internet. But if I continue this habit, while trying to get up earlier, sooner or later one is going to give. And if it is the early rising that gives, then inevitably I will crash and sleep late and have to start over. I must go to bed earlier, even if I don’t think I’ll sleep, and read while in bed.

Getting out of the bedroom as soon as I turn off the alarm is the best plan. I mustn’t allow myself to rationalize going back to bed. Just force myself to go out of the room. My plan is to drink lots at night and therefore come morning have to stumble into the bathroom and go pee. By the time I’ve done that, and flushed the toilet and washed my hands and looked at my ugly mug in the mirror, I’m awake enough to face the day. I must not rationalize. If I allow my brain to talk me out of getting up early, I’ll never do it. Getting back in bed is not an option.

I have been trying to set something to do early in the morning that’s important. This reason will motivate me to get up. I like to write in the morning, so that’s my reason. Also, when I’m done with that, I like to read all of your comments!


  1. Really good piece, and wonderfully written! I find that getting up early sets me up for the day, but going to bed early is always a struggle, and that's where the problem starts! I've only recently started having breakfast every morning, and it's made a big improvement on my day in general, so I hope to continue that too. Good luck, we know how vital a basic structure and discipline is, but it takes work to implement it at the best of times.

    1. Hello Larico, Thanks for stopping by! You are so right about getting to bed early. I find I can settle down ok, but end up spending hours on facebook or watching silly youtube videos! Congrats on your breakfast routine. It really sets the body up for success. continue on doing what you are doing.

  2. I love this and am going to wholeheartedly agree with you. I found waking up early (due to classes... and my new job) has helped me sync up my meals with my dog's (I know that sounds odd... but eating with her is a great thing for me), enjoy a certain stillness in the morning that rushing never brings... and I find it helps to regulate my sleep.. thus helping with those Please Master Skills...

    Good luck with this and hopefully you can come up with something to sort of help it happen :)

  3. I love the photos - I think even without the words, you'd have told the story!!!!
    I've managed to catch a lot of sunrises in recent years and they are the best! But I still struggle with the empty feelings. So maybe as I learn about and cope with my issues better, I'll have the sunrise and a sprinkle of happiness to go with it!
    I wore leggings running one cold day, and I overheard a small boy ask his father, 'why is that man wearing tights?' Although it was hilarious to hear, I try to stick to night runs if at all possible!!!
    Best wishes for your early mornings, but never be too hard on yourself if you don't make them all. I certainly won't think any less of you :)