What do you do before breakfast?

Last week, I was looking for something to read.  I had just finished The God Box and was reading some of our governor's book, Can't Is Not an Option, but I wanted something else to read before Size 12 and Ready to Rock (Meg Cabot) and Where We Belong (Emily Giffin) come out.  Enter: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.

I downloaded the book on my iPad and started reading.  Whether you're into self-help books or not, this book is great!  There are so many good examples of what many people are doing in the early morning hours.  I think the concepts that are discussed can be applied throughout the day, too.

The book focuses on willpower, forming habits, and the three things most successful people are doing in their mornings.  These things are:

  1. Nurturing their careers - strategizing and focused work.
  2. Nurturing their relationships - giving their families and friends their best.
  3. Nurturing themselves - exercise and spiritual and creative practices.  
Until recently, I wouldn't have classified myself as a morning person at all, so the prospect of getting anything accomplished other than the necessary things was non-existent to me.  A few months ago, though, I started trying to use my mornings to do "me" things that I didn't want to waste time doing at night when I would rather be spending time with my precious family, but are important nonetheless.  

You all know I love to run and exercise, but sometimes, my schedule doesn't allow me to run to the gym during lunch (yes, I shower before coming back to work) and I can't always run at night.   I don't feel as good, have as much energy, or get as much accomplished during the day if I don't exercise at least some, so realizing this, I decided I'd try to exercise in the mornings.  I don't do this everyday, but it makes a huge difference when I do.  

I try to do weight training on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and run every day but Sunday and Thursday.  On days that I use weights, I give myself 45 minutes from the time I walk out of the door to go to the gym to the time I get in the car to go to work.  I know what you're thinking.  How can you possibly work out, shower, and get ready in 45 minutes?  And what about breakfast?

It goes like this:
I get up and shower, do my makeup, and dry my hair like I do every morning, but instead of putting on my work clothes and fixing my hair, I slip into my gym clothes, put my hair in a loose pony tail and throw my curling iron in my bag.  I go to the gym and workout.  After my workout, I take a quick shower, put on my work clothes, and curl my hair.  For breakfast, I usually have one of my beloved Nature Valley granola bars and fruit at my desk.

The other thing I am trying to transition to do in the mornings is my quiet time.  I am reading a chapter a day in the Bible (I'm currently in Ephesians) and writing what hits me in my journal.  I also like to have time to pray.  Sometimes, I feel rushed and I don't like feeling that way when I'm saying my prayers.  I am usually ready for work by 7:30 and have to leave by 8:15, so that gives me thirty minutes or so to do this.  

As you can tell, I spend my mornings mostly nurturing myself.  It feels so good to have my exercise (or most of it anyway) out of the way by the time I get to work and my days feel better when I start them with time with God.  With limited time in the mornings, it's important to prioritize and nurture which area is best suited for the morning during your extra time.

If you're interested in how you can better use your morning time, the books outlines these things:
  1. Track Your Time 
  2. Picture Your Perfect Morning - my perfect morning is a run/exercise early, quiet time, and then a big family breakfast and lots of snuggles!
  3. Think Through Logistics
  4. Build Your Habit
  5. Tune Up as Necessary

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