Posted on June 28, 2012
I recently read an article titled, “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” The author, Laura Vanderkam, highlights the importance of mornings and the potential they hold for starting our days on the right foot. In her article she lists 5 ways to make our mornings more meaningful (wow check out that awesome amount of alliteration!). In step number 4, “Build the Habit,” she writes, “This is the most important step. Turning a desire into a ritual requires willpower.” Following through with our goals and what we set out to do can be a tricky challenge. This is why so many of us make and break New Years Resolutions annually. So what’s the key to success? How do we make a ritual and “build the habit?”
One key to successfully securing a habit/ritual is to make sure the ritual you are building is something of personal significance to you and that you’ll enjoy making a part of your daily routine. If you feel you’ve been lacking in the spirituality aspect of your life, you can try meditating, davening (praying), writing in a gratitude journal, etc. I like that Vanderkam lists doing art projects with ones kids as a positive and meaningful way to spend any morning. She notes that patience is more full in the mornings and is a great time to show your kids that you’re eager to spend time with them. Another great way to spend the morning is to train for something like a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon. And if you’d like, you can begin thinking about fundraising for a charity you care a great deal about and would love to support with your ambitious running.
Spending time before heading out the door to work can make it feel as though the entire world is at your fingertips. I’ve been running with my friend every morning from 6:30 to 7:30 and even when we’re both tired and don’t know how we’ll make it that extra mile, we always do, and it’s always worth it. It’s an amazing feeling to know you’ve ran 4 + miles while the day is just beginning! I find that if I make for myself a productive and positive morning filled with the things that fill me with purpose and glee, such as running and davening, I have a much better day overall remembering that I have already accomplished so much and knowing that there is still so much of the day left to accomplish even more! While I would stay up until 4 or 5 in the morning at college, and dread the incoming sunrise that meant a paper was due, I truly do see the beauty of waking up early and have found the benefits of being a morning person to have enhanced my daily experience. Even if you’re a night owl, try spending just 15 extra minutes of your morning doing something for you. Something that makes you truly happy and that you can call your own for 15 minutes before heading out to work, intern, etc. We all have the ability to tap into the power that the mornings hold for each of us. May we all spend them productively and in ways that enable us to come closer to who we are, and in doing so to better serve G <3 D, our family, friends, communities, and everyone the world over. <3