To tell you the truth, mornings can be quiet hectic. It’s so difficult to find time for morning meditation. If you have a young family and children to get dressed and out the door, you know this first hand. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. No matter how busy you think you are first thing in the day. Earlier, I shared with you how the first few hours in the morning set the tone for the entire rest of the day. Do you want that to pull out you hair out of frustration? Do you want to be frantic? Or do you want to be in control? It’s up to you to make the change by embracing two simple concepts to form a habit.
Form a Habit
To form a habit, you form a three-part psychological pattern called a “habit loop.” First, there’s a trigger, that tells your brain to go into automatic pilot. Neuroscientists have traced our habit-forming behaviors to the basal ganglia, a part of the brain. The basal ganglia deals with pattern recognition. Second, there is the routine that forms from practicing this new behavior. Thirdly, your brain receives the benefits of the reward, which is the peace found in meditation.
1. Get up Earlier by 30 Minutes.
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button first thing in the morning to catch a few more minutes of sleep. It’s even harder to set the alarm early enough that you have plenty of time for everything you need to get done. If you’re as lazy as I am, moving up the alarm by 30 minutes to carve out a little extra time can be rough. Think about your goal. You want to wake up to meditate. Be clear about what you want to accomplish. After those first few mornings, it won’t be so difficult and challenging; it’s something you’ll get used to.
Getting up early enough and avoiding the snooze button at all costs is the key to an unrushed morning. Here’s the problem with cutting time too short or hitting the snooze button too many times. It gets you behind even before you get a fresh start. You have to rush to make it out the door in time and any little challenge along the way turns into a huge problem. Like me, not being able to find the car keys is suddenly a major life crisis.
Remember, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start chasing down time and running around in circles, that’s likely how you’ll spend the rest of your time.
Make a new habit by getting up early and move on to a new morning routine. You are able to control what needs to get done. By taking one small step, getting up early enough, you set yourself up for a sunny disposition and an amazing productive day.
2. Restructure Your Routine
Spend a little time thinking about your current morning routine and where you’re spending time. Look for things you can change to find more time for the things you really want to do. For example, if you want an extra 20 minutes in the morning to meditate, look at what you could take care ahead of time. Plan, eliminate or delegate to make that extra time.
If you spend a lot of time running to Starbucks like me, get in the habit of calling ahead. Or get your spouse to get coffee ready, so all you have to do in the morning is push a button. Teach the kids to make their own breakfast. They should take the dirty dishes to the sink, rinse them, and put them in the dish washer. Make sure clothes are set out the night before and that book bags, purses, briefcases, and car keys have a designated spot. I keep my car keys in a hanger in the mud room. I’m ready to go each morning. Small changes like this to your morning routine can make a positive difference.
Think of yourself as a time saver! I challenge you to come up with a few small changes that will save you at least 30 minutes each morning.
Determine That Meditation Is Crucial to Your Well-being
Your morning is not about cramming a to-do list. Your morning is focusing on what is important. Sometimes when you read about time management, you star thinking that “doing” is the important step to become productive. Although, “doing” can create momentum, as a short term strategy but not long-term. The more you do without determining your outcome, the more likely you will burn-out and blame yourself.
To set out to meditate for 15 minutes, evaluate your current morning routine. Ask yourself what is the best use of your time in the morning. Compare your perfect morning with your existing morning routine. What aren’t you doing on your ideal morning? If you start by cutting things out, finding time to focus on what’ important to you becomes so much easier.
When you start setting time for mediation in your morning routine, consider that the practice of meditation is important for your general health. The key word here is practice since it requires commitment, consistency and perseverance. By making time, for meditation your well-being will improve.
Meditation is a mind and body practice that focuses on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior. It may reduce blood pressure and irritable bowel symptoms (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Meditation may help those who suffer symptoms of anxiety and depression. There are also studies that have shown that people with insomnia have improved their sleep through meditation practice. In short, meditation is beneficial for your health and should be part of your morning routine. It’s all about finding time for morning meditation.
1. Eliminate Busy Work
Remember, the autopilot mode. Busy work is something you do out of habit that doesn’t have to be done every day. Even Elon Musk, sets up a system to check crucial emails pertaining to Tesla or Space-X in the morning. If you are doing it out of habit, then it’s time to rethink.
2. Earn Back Precious Time
The second way to quickly earn back time is to see if you’re doing things for others that they can do themselves. Kids are the perfect example. We start by fixing their breakfast, making their lunch, cleaning up after them, and making sure their backpack is packed and ready to go. When they are little. We focus on these things, but all too often we continue to do them long after they’re capable of doing things on their own. The same applies for our spouse. Maybe there was a time when you had less to do in the morning. It made sense to take on the majority of morning chores. It’s time to get help from your partner. A few small changes may be all it takes to make time in your busy morning for what’s important to you.
How To Find Time for Morning Meditation
The best way to plan for a morning meditation is to set aside double the time you will need. Let’s say that the meditation is for 15 minutes, then set up for 30 minutes in your calendar. The point is that you have enough time to complete the meditation and self reflect without feeling rushed. This extra time gives you the desired space to create a moment of self-compassion in your meditation. It shows that you are taking the first step to care about yourself.
To meditate on the go, you can resort to YouTube videos such as this one on Mindful Poetry. This will the subject of a whole new blog post soon. You’ve already taken the first step to find time for morning meditation.
Free Meditation Book
Please click on the meditation book above to receive a free guide for complete beginners.