In the spring mornings I would work early while my wife still slept. The windows were open wide and the cobbles of the street were drying after the rain.
— Ernest Hemingway

Before Damn Early Days, what did your mornings typically look like?

For most of us, it's a mix of caffeine, maybe grabbing some breakfast, making ourselves presentable and rushing out the door to work. To meetings, for kids, for everything we do out in the world. Or if we work from home, taking care of our daily obligations there. Maybe we take the dog out quickly, too. 

Far from recharging, to say the least. No wonder most of us don't like getting up early--to THAT. 

How about your bedtime? Relaxing, or falling into bed exhausted, perhaps after getting lost in our phones or Netflix a bit too long?

What if we rethink what mornings and bedtimes can mean. What if mornings aren't about getting up in order to show up for the outside world, but it's a time when we get up in order to show up for ourselves. Afterwards, then, and only then, do we shift and show up for others.

Let's rethink our patterns -- if the first and last hours of the day were protected, and prioritized, we could start and finish off our day feeling fulfilled, on course, and invigorated rather than rushed, late, exhausted or stressed.

Added bonus: how would our days feel with an hour of WINS right out of the gate? Then wrapping with a few more WINS as we wind down at night?

Today's Challenge: Your Hour of Power

When you begin to think about building an hour that supports you, you will find there are many resources out there. But most of them are a variation on the Hour of Power. It's an idea created by Jack Canfield, best selling author of "the Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be" and creator of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books (remember those?).

Simply put, it's creating and protecting 1 hour that focuses on you, in order to start your day off feeling recharged rather than running on empty.

Imagine--what would the day feel like when your mind, body, and spirit are taken care of first. 

The premise is to spend 20 minutes taking care of 3 key areas of yourself so you are ready to step out and take on the rest of life.

We can also take this model and flip it for bedtime--making time for 3 areas that help us unwind after the day is done. 

Take a look at these variations below, and see if any combination feels right for you. Create your own Hour of Power, and adjust it as you need to this month. 


Hour of Power: AM

Mind/ Body/ Spirit


Mind


Spend 20 minutes feeding your mind. Try a Ted Talk, a podcast, or an uplifting or inspiring book. Absolutely no social media. Invest in material that feeds your mind instead. 

Bonus: did you know you can listen to youtube videos and audio on faster speeds? Just saying. More goodness, less time.


Body


Move. This could be taking a walk or job, walking your dog, or it can event simply be slowly stretching on a yoga mat. If you want to be really comfy, we won't judge--stay in bed and slowly stretch and twist. Wake up and use your body, rather than using it simply to rush out the door to work. 


Spirit (or the You deep down inside)


Writing, journalling, reflecting, writing about gratitutes

Meditation - more and more people are giving meditation a go. In our busy lives, simply the act of quieting your mind can be powerful. 

Popular apps can guide you through 100s of approaches to meditation. There are bound to be some that work for you. Try apps like Headspace, Insight Timer, or look up meditation courses near you or guided videos on youtube. Sometimes learning form a teacher can make all the difference for those of us who feel we just can't meditate. 

Or, for a simple challenge this morning, try this: What does the morning sound like where you live? Get a pillow, open your window or balcony door and sit on the floor or a spot near the window/door. If it's chilly, get a blanket.

Sit comfortably, eyes closed. Let the morning air in, and feel it fall down upon you.

 Listen. To the city, to the wind, to anything you hear this morning, as the city is waking up.

Breathe. Deeply and slowly. 

Listen. When your mind wanders, that's no problem. Simply guide it back to listening to the morning. Try this for as long as you are comfortable, 10-20 minutes. See how it feels, I dare ya.


Build your own Hour of Power


Choose 3 areas that matter to you:

Writing/Reading/Moving

Journaling/Meditating/Reading

Body/Goal-Setting/Meal Prep

Yoga/Meditate/Cook

that's important / that to / ya definitely that

What three areas matter to you?

If move is on your list, hit play and move around your kitchen to this morning jam below...

what about bedtime?

Good question.

We know from experience that bedtimes make or BREAK our success with getting up early for DED. It's one of the biggest obstacles for most of this community. So, we have a bonus post for you today, going deep into what holds us back. Find it over here.

Read it now, read it later today, but be sure you read it.

Trust us, morning routines and bedtimes will be 2 of your most important tools this month. So make the time to plan them today.


Do you have any favorite podcasts, books, or ideas for your Hour of Power?

Come share them on the FB, and get ideas from the community to add to your Mind list. 

 

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Got a Good Link or song for the Daily Dose? Let us know

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