I’m a morning person. Over the last 5+ years, I’ve been getting up at 6 am. My wife and kid usually get up after 7 am, giving me an hour to do what I need before the house wakes up.
Note: I use the words “what I need” vs. “what I want.” If 2020 has taught me anything, self-care is essential. If I’m going to bring 100% of me, serve my family, teammates, etc., I need to be 100%.
Why My Kids Stay in Bed Till after 7
My kids stay in bed, thanks to the Green Light Clock. You set a time, and the clock turns green when it’s okay for your kids to get out of bed. Early on, they’d stray from waiting. We’d create incentives for them to stay in till it turned green (like donuts for breakfast), and that’d buy a few weeks of waiting for the clock. Now that they’re four and six, they’re great about staying. Many thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for getting me hooked on the green light clock. I evangelize it to every exhausted parent, I know.
Using My Apple Watch as an Alarm
To get up at 6 am, I use the alarm on the Apple Watch, with the ringer off. (Yes, I wear my Apple Watch to bed.) So it buzzes on my wrist when it’s time to get up. The watch wakes me up and not my wife. I then slink out of the bedroom as quietly as possible. Sometimes this isn’t possible because my dog and cat come down the stairs with me, and they’re a little bit harder to control.
Apple Watch allows me to track my sleep with AutoSleep. I’ve found understanding my sleep and what affects it has allowed me to have a better sleep. Good sleep changes the game for the rest of the day. Sleep is how your body rejuvenates itself. When you don’t get adequate sleep, your body is starting the next day in a deficit.
I like coffee. I’m a coffee enthusiast. Yes, I have 8 or 9 ways to make coffee at my house: drip, pour-over, Chemex, Moka pot, AeroPress, French Press, siphon, cold brew pot. I may be missing one or two. My absolute favorite is the Chemex. Between getting the water hot, grinding the beans, and the actual brewing process, making coffee takes some time. So I start that first.
Read the Bible
Next on my morning routine is reading the Bible. One of the ways God speaks is through His Word. I find that I’m so much more equipped to handle what the day dishes out when I first get my head and heart straight with what God’s trying to tell me.
Implanted in my brain is memories of my dad when I’d get up in the morning, and he’d be at the kitchen table reading his Bible. It shaped every part of who he was.
I’ve struggled with being consistent around daily Bible reading. Having a reading plan helps me. A few years ago, my mom and dad got me hooked onto the organization She Reads Truth. They have Bible reading programs for men and women, He Reads Truth, and She Reads Truth. They work well for me. My dad loved Our Daily Bread. A friend of mine uses The Book of Common Prayer. The Bible app has some great reading plans.
After listening to what God has to say to me, I take some time to tell God what’s on my heart through prayer. I use the prayer list functionality in the Bible app. I pray for my day, my wife, my kids, my family, and my friends. I find the list helpful as it helps me be intentional about praying over a situation repeatedly. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I’ll pray for you,” and not do. it.
New York Times and The Daily
Once I’ve spent some time with God through Bible reading and prayer, I read or listen more about what’s happening in the world. Usually, that’s through reading the New York Times on my iPad. If we’re going to be a functioning democratic society, we need to have a commonly held truth that we all believe in. Even if you don’t like what the fact has to say, it’s essential to read it and digest what’s happening. We need great journalism that’ll help us pursue that truth.
Once I’ve read for a while, I’ll pop on the podcast The Daily from the New York Times. It’s a 20-30 minute look at one of the day’s lead stories by veteran reporter Michael Barbaro. It’s one of the best podcasts on the market right now.
I miss days
While this is what I do for a morning routine most days, I’m not perfect. I do miss days. I think it’s crucial when we push for habits that we pursue progress over perfection.
With my mornings, I find this helps me be the best me to serve those around me to the greatest extent possible. If I miss a day, keep moving forward.
What’s your routine?
Do you have a morning routine? What do you do?