Today I would like to share with your how developing a morning routine made me a better father and husband.
One of the many life lessons of parenthood that society constantly pounds in our heads is that children need some sort of routine. Children need routine because it gives them a sense of safety and helps them develop self-discipline. What about us dads? Don’t we need routine? The answer is YES! This is something that can be implemented in different stages of the day, especially mornings.
A year ago I was introduced to the teachings of Hal Elrod (Check out one of his lectures ) who is the author of the book, “The Miracle Morning.” He is a personal development teacher, whose main philosophy is that every morning you should develop a routine that gets you ready for the day before 8AM. He believes that once you complete your morning routine, “You have already won for the day!”
So for the last 12 months I have been getting up early at 5am and beginning my morning rituals. Keep in my mind, my body is use to this and I do not have to depend on an alarm clock. The snooze button is considered dead to me. This is the one part of the day that I can own and do whatever I want to do. I consider this time non-negotiable! My wife and daughter are usually sleep and do not wake up till around 8am.
During this time, I am able to escape the typical morning anxiety and go into my own world. My mornings mostly consist of exercise, meditating, yoga stretches, watching Netflix or Ted Talks, journaling and spending time making breakfast. During the first hour, I practice silence, avoid using electronic devices and checking emails. They can be a distraction and very toxic at times. I also do not turn on any lights in my home, except for when I step on a LEGO and then I am screaming all types of $%&@%%#^. I treasure sunlight which is healing, especially during morning runs.
When 8AM hits I am at peace with myself. I feel like nobody can tell me anything to ruin my day! I have patience when it comes to getting my 3 year-old dressed for preschool, laughing at her wearing mix matched clothes. I am up joking with my wife and getting ready for an eventful day. I feel like I am a better father and a better husband. I really start practicing mindfulness and living in the moment. Which also helps my 50-minute work commute into the city become less stressful. I’ve already WON!
You are probably saying, “Really Marcus, 3 hours?” Its ok, I have communicated this with my wife and she knows how important self-care is to one’s personal development. Plus research has shown that the most successful people are early risers. These individuals are some of the most influential people around the world. Now don’t worry if you can’t start a 3 hour routine immediately. Yes dads of newborns, I do remember the struggle. Just start some sort of routine, even if it is 10 to 20 minutes to stretch, meditate, and write out your goals for the day.
What is your morning routine like? Please share! Also look out for my next blog post on some tools I use in my morning routine.