There is deep divinity in the first moments I open my eyes in the morning. The solitude, the stillness, the calm, but most importantly, the realization that I will be drinking my cup of coffee in a few minutes.
Coffee. My friend, my foothold, my morning routine.
My admiration for coffee does not have deep roots in my life story; I only learned to love him with my first job five years ago. It came as a demonstration, a break from my gloomy desk, and an excuse to socialize with my new colleagues. Soon enough, its bitter taste and sweet aroma became an addiction; one cup turned into three, and the hours between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. were excruciatingly long.
Three jobs later and I still carry those cravings with me. But now that I am self-employed, my mornings are not so rushed and my first cup of coffee I get it with attention. In fact, it acts as a closure to my morning routine consisting of:
Lie in bed for a few minutes and appreciate the rare moments of total peace.
Brushing my teeth
Making my bed
Meditating for 20 minutes
Have a coffee while catching up on the news
With the last sip, I realize it’s time to get down to business. But I do it with joy because I know that I have taken care of my personal morning schedule, a schedule that has been designed specifically for me, by me. But why is this so important?
Famous athletes, business moguls, presidents, and all successful people have one thing in common: They have cultivated a morning routine that serves them in the best possible way.
Barack Obama starts his day at 6:45 am with a workout followed by reading various newspapers, has breakfast with his family, and finally heads to work at 9 am. Michelle Gass, president of the giant Starbucks chain, wakes up at 4:30 a.m. M. To go for a run. Steve Jobs would look in the mirror every morning and ask “If today was my last day, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And every time the answer was “No” for too many days in a row, I’d say “… I know I need to change something.”
We may not be the Obama or Gass ‘and Jobs’ of the world, but we all have a purpose that we love to fulfill every day. Roy F. Baumeister, a psychologist and author, suggests in his book “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” that our willpower is strongest in the morning, which means that if we set out to accomplish something during the next 24 hours, when we wake up, then we are more likely to succeed.
Many of us make the mistake of assuming that we are night owls and that morning is the enemy, and I was no exception. But as the number of candles on my cake increased and the days dragged on in mental and physical exhaustion, I began not only to appreciate the dream, but to daydream about the moment I got into bed. And so I convinced myself to be up at 7am and completely forget the snooze button. But my plan completely failed.
Although I managed to wake up to my first alarm, I was groggy and bitter. I skipped breakfast and shuffled into the office with a frown. I was tired and didn’t want to be spoken to until at least 9 a.m. M.
A few months after this vicious routine, I realized that I actually felt worse. After much research, I knew that my fundamentals were wrong; I sure woke up early, but I didn’t go to bed at a time that would give me enough sleep. A few weeks and self-experimentation later, my body adapted to having the lights off at 10:30 p.m. and waking up gracefully at 7 a.m. A good night’s sleep meant waking up in a good mood and wanting to eat breakfast, and I They were so surprised by the big changes that these small modifications made that I kept doing more. Now here I am, with an effective morning AND sleep routine.
The transition to becoming a morning person is difficult and excruciating for many, but it is worth it.
It doesn’t happen overnight and the key is to literally take it one step at a time. I started by setting the alarm for fifteen minutes every other day. It took me a couple of weeks to finally reach my goal, but I’ve been attached to it ever since, including on the weekends.
My mornings set the standard for the rest of my day. They are also empowering; they act as a compelling reminder that I am entitled to quality time for myself, which is something that I believe everyone deserves.
So why not take the first step? Go to bed thirty minutes earlier tonight and wake up fifteen minutes earlier tomorrow morning. Make breakfast when you get back from work today and maybe even download a playlist to help you wake up in the morning. The most important thing is that you do not forget to prepare that cup of coffee.