Rise and Shine: Have a Meaningful Morning

IMG_0358I’ve been really into Courtney Carver’s blog ‘Be More With Less’ recently.

Not only do I love the message, but the student in me loves the courses she has to offer (p.s. I get a small commission if you purchase the course from my site).

I’m not one to spend money impulsively, but I purchased her How to Build A Meaningful Morning Routine course within a week of discovering her blog, and it has changed my mornings in the most wonderful way!

(Plus, I think I rationalized the purchase well: I like learning, being a student, it doesn’t take up space, and I think it’s important to support other peoples’ work, so it’s a win all around.)

I waited until after the 21-day mark to share my changes- since 3 weeks is technically the point at which a habit has officially become a habit.

I’ll go ahead and give you the basic rundown of my journey so far, plus some ways you can make easy, positive changes to your morning:

First, I started this course because I wanted to get back into my morning yoga routine. I missed the daily stretching and calm immediately after rolling out of bed, so I hoped this would motivate me to get back to it.

How to Build a Meaningful Morning Routine did that, and much more.

During the first few days, I started with 5 minutes of yoga in the morning. Luckily, I’ve committed to memory the basic moves from my occasional Sunday morning outdoor yoga class, so I enjoyed those easy stretches for 5 minutes while listening to some nature sounds I found on YouTube (It took me about an hour the night before to find the perfect 5-minute-long ‘yoga’ track. But it’s perfect! Here’s the link if you’re interested: Relaxation Meditation Nature Sounds.).

Midway through the week, I tacked 5 minutes of reading onto my 5 minutes of yoga.

It was only 10 minutes of ‘me’ time at 6:45 am each day before work, but it felt much longer. The combination of quiet, distraction-free, slow activities made the short minutes feel like much-needed hours of relaxation.

As an added benefit, those 10 minutes seemed to set the tone for a very positive and well-balanced day.

Of course, there were still days that I didn’t want to wake up early, and some mornings I was in a bad mood for no reason at all, and thought to myself: I can’t believe I have to do stupid yoga for 5 minutes.

But I persisted. I happen to be a fan of life-improving habits, so I stuck with it.

My morning routine- 21 days later- is now at around 20 minutes, and includes equal parts yoga, reading, and journaling my aspirations + positive notes.

Twenty minutes is nothing. But used purposefully, it can change the next 10 hours for the better.

I look forward to carrying this habit with me during the next few years (and hopefully longer).

Last year I made a promise to myself to simplify (fewer ‘things’), slow down (more online, fewer face-to-face classes), be healthy (not super healthy, but healthy), and do yoga daily- all by my 30th birthday.

So far so good.

Thank you, Courtney Carver, for being a kindred spirit and for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us :).

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