Charles Runels, MD
Ed Foreman, the only person to be elected to congress by two different states, now writes and lectures about how to be productive. I was not surprised to see that he stresses the helpfulness of a morning routine. Most of the people I know who maintain excellent health and lead productive lives have a morning routine. By morning routine, I mean a series of actions that you take every morning that give you a better chance of having a healthy, happy, productive day.
The idea of a morning routine may seem somewhat obsessive/compulsive to some and I suppose like anything it could be taken to the extreme and become counter productive. But in the writings of the successful and in observing my own healthy patients, this habit seems to be common. Consider revising your morning routine after reading today's strategy.
The idea behind the routine is to thoughtfully outline the steps you will take every morning that will best get you going, then just wake up every morning and do the routine and allow your brain to work on other matters without having to decide what to do next.
The routine ideally should be on that inspires, instructs, and makes physically healthy. Ed Foreman's routine is to wake early, read something inspirational, walk, listen to something inspirational and instructional while dressing for work, eat a healthy breakfast, then leave for work.
My routine is to wake (4:30 am), read something inspirational, write, walk and listen to something inspirational while walking, brief Yoga routine and prayer, wake the children, cook breakfast and prepare lunches while they dress for school (I usually drink a protein shake while cooking their breakfast), then dress for work and out the door.
Do I do all of this routine perfectly every day? No! But the routine is there as a guide and when I catch my self falling away from the routine, then I need to either rethink the routine or revise what I'm doing in the evening to allow time for the routine.
The common ingredients of a powerful morning routine seem to be walking and nutrition for mind and soul. A good morning routine, starts the night before. Do you know what you'll read and study in the morning? Do you have walking clothes near your bed and ready to go? If you're going to listen to something inspirational/instructional while walking, have you considered what will be the most beneficial and is it loaded onto your CD player or MP3 player? Remember that 3 miles per day of walking gives you about 365 hours of class time or about 2 1/2 months of 40-hours-per-week class time per year, so put some thought into what you want to learn and think of walking time as class time.
Now rethink your morning routine. Write it out and keep at your bedside. Revise and experiment until you have a routine that works for you. Then good spiritual and physical health will come more easily. But, expect to deviate from your routines. When it happens, just relax and go back to the routine as soon as possible. One warning: don't routinely disrupt your routine just because it's the weekend. I'm all for sleeping in occasionally, but I think a better strategy is to stick with the routine; if you need extra rest on the weekend, go for the afternoon 20 minute nap.
__ Mark: Chapters 1 - 3
__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles _____
__ 5 fruits or vegetables: actual _____
__ Virtue: Order - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.