Getting up an hour earlier will change your life, says Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning.

That’s been my experience. No BS. Big thank you, Hal!

Let’s look at my current morning routine and the thinking behind it.

Step 1: Make my bed (5-minutes).  Start the day with a check mark – done!  (Thank you, Admiral McRaven!)

Step 2: Push-ups and sit-ups (5-minutes). The physical benefits are great but the primary reason I choose to exercise right away is to wake up. It’s early and I’m groggy. Getting my body moving naturally gives me a jolt. No exaggeration: it’s better than a cup of coffee (and I love coffee)! One suggestion that works for me: 20-seconds on, 10-seconds off. Eight reps.  

Step 3: Mindfulness meditation (10-minutes). Simple breathing exercise. The goal here is not to calm my mind or achieve inner peace, but rather to practice being present. Mindfulness is about the ability to notice and choose. Meditation isn’t the end goal. Rather, it provides an opportunity to practice being present during real life.

Step 4: Read (25-minutes). This is my time to read the Bible and pray. Reading the One-Year Bible six years ago changed my life. Whatever it is you choose to read, you will be surprised at how many books you can read in as little as 20-minutes each day. The key is consistency.

Step 5: Journaling (15-minutes). I do two types of journaling. First, I’ve been doing a daily gratitude journal since hearing Shawn Achor speak nine years ago. Every day I write down three things I’m grateful for from the prior day and why. I’m planning to do a separate blog post on why I’m so passionate about this practice.  

Second, I journal about the upcoming day and what I plan to get done and why. I’m a big fan of the Bullet Journal methodology. For me, spending a few minutes getting clear on the day ahead is a great way to start the workday with clarity and focus.  


Reflection: If I had one hour each morning to focus on my personal development, how would I spend it?

Action:  Take your ideas from the reflection above and do that for one week.

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