There is something special about waking up before the sun rises, going through a routine that slowly wakes you up while preparing for the day ahead. But what does it really take to be a morning person? For the most part, it takes self discipline and commitment. With those being givens, why would someone choose to wake up so early? Here are three reasons that, over the last six weeks or so have benefited me greatly.
My morning routine has evolved into epically long walks with my dog, Emmet. We traverse the city, explore new parks, take in the views, and prepare for the day. Me, to work on my company, and him, to well, sleep most of the day. Either way, we have been enjoying our walks together and it has made a big difference in my daily routine.
1. Get Inspired.
My day has been starts around 5:45am. First thing we do after getting up is walking my wife to the train station. Emmet, our dog, and I walk her about three blocks. We then part ways, as she heads to the station and we head on our epic walk. I say epic, because the more we walk the farther we go. Living downtown in Chicago, there is a lot to see! We usually head towards the parks that front Michigan Avenue, but on Thursday, we walked to Lake Michigan. A cool slight breeze, maybe 60 degrees, the sun was peaking over the water behind the sail boats.
When you get up early, you give yourself time to wake up. Take advantage of your time. Most spend the majority of their waking hours on someone else’s time.
What an inspiring view! Emmet and I headed along the water, towards the museums.
2. Get Focused and Consciously Aware.
As we walked along the water’s edge, I was able to focus on Emmet’s walk. We went where he wanted to go. I let him explore. I always try to think about our walks from his perspective, and to make them the most memorable that I can. Even if that means stopping a few extra times to sniff flowers, wrap himself around a tree, or jump up and off a couple ledges. To Emmet, the walk is his chance to explore. Being consciously aware of Emmet’s needs make both our experience on the walk much more enjoyable.
While on the epic walk, as I am feeling inspired, I begin to get focused. I go over the top three priorities for the day. I figure out my schedule and what needs to be done. The walk allows me time to really get focused and prepared for the day.
When I don’t take the time to get focused and prepare, my days can seem sporadic, out of control, and feeling as if I have accomplished very little. When my mornings are not my own, I lose control of the day.
3. Get Mentally Prepared.
Feeling inspired, jotting down notes and ideas, and getting focused for the day ahead are two great reasons to be a morning person. However, the third reason is probably the best. Getting mentally prepared means you block out everything going on around you and focus on the day’s tasks. Easier said than done. However, it is critical to higher productivity.
If you would like to accomplish something, you must first expect it of yourself.
Bonus: 4. Get Healthy.
One of the best hidden benefits of getting up early and going for a long walk is for your health. In just this week alone, my average distance per day is 4.5 miles and my average steps is well above 9,000. I plan to increase those quite a bit in the near future.
Walking is one of the best ways to see the city, take in fresh air, let your mind process, and step away from the MacBook or your new iPhone 6S Plus.
What are your reasons to become a morning person? Let me know in the comments!
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