Late last week, I had a flashback to my morning routine just over a year ago. I'd wake up then lay in bed for a few more minutes. Then, I'd look at my phone, probably check my email or look at social media, opening the flood gates to everything I'd rested from. In seconds, my dialogue with the world would begin again.
Looking back, I see that I was missing out on the most critical dialogue — the one with me. The opportunity to reflect on and understand my experiences, relationships, and ambitions more deeply.
Over a year ago, I got into a good pattern of waking up, reading for 30 minutes, and writing in my journal. I also implemented what I call social fasting where I cut off social media from 9 am to 8 pm. Admittedly, my routine took a turn when we moved to PA, but I eventually got back on track.
This time in the morning has become a game-changer for me. There's something special about welcoming the day on my terms. We all wake up with thoughts on our minds, but they're ours, not triggered by the outside world. We're in control.
Some mornings, I read first. Other times, I journal first. When I wake up with a thought on a pressing issue, capturing it immediately can often lead me to a new place. Reading has a similar effect. Opening a book when my mind is most clear can spark fresh ideas or a different outlook on current life events.
With another action-packed week at work, I've been grateful that I've created this space for myself to re-energize and welcome the day. It's been a powerful way to live proactively, manage curveballs, and make progress on non-urgent initiatives when everything else is vying for my attention.