I have never been one to claim early riser status. In all honesty, I have always loved sleep… all the time. As a child I slept in on the weekends, fell asleep in the shower before school on weekdays, fell asleep on the bus to school, struggled not to fall asleep in class, and so on and so forth. I love sleep. That said, life has taken a few turns, and parenthood has forced me into waking up earlier than I would like.
A few years ago, though, I made a purposeful shift that has been life changing.
I decided to start waking up earlier than the rest of my family. (Disclaimer: This does not always work with really young kids, but I take what I can get and it is getting easier as the years go by.)
I wake up about an hour before I need to be available to help my children get ready for school. Right now, that looks like my alarm going off around 5:45 a.m. And I head out the door with my four-legged BFF Hobie for a 45-minute morning walk. Yes, in the dark and cold. But stick with me here, will you?
Preparation is key.
I lay out my walk clothes the night before (and use the same outfit pretty much every day that week). As soon as my alarm goes off, I get out of bed and quietly tiptoe my way to the other end of the house, attempting to avoid all the creaky floorboards. I change, put the leash on Hobie, and turn on the flashlight attached to his collar. I’m bundled up, phone and treats in my fanny pack. He’s ready and wiggling excitedly. We head out the door on our brisk walk, getting our blood pumping, breathing in the fresh ocean air (we live on the coast), and welcoming the new day. It is GLORIOUS.
I call it the life-changing magic of sunrise.
These morning walks have changed my life. I promise I am not dramatizing it. Getting to see the beginning of a new day full of possibilities is nothing short of a blessing. And with the days getting longer comes earlier sunrises, which is my favorite part of my walks. No two sunrises are the same, and I love every single one of them. I sometimes take a video or photo of it to share on my Instagram account in the hopes of inspiring someone else who might find it helpful and motivating — and I am always touched when someone actually messages me to express just that! I get to share this time one on one with my dog while we both get some exercise. And I get to remember how grateful I am to get another day to live.
This is why when the days start getting longer… so do my morning walks. I may be changing my alarm to 5:30 a.m. in the next few days. I hope you consider giving this way of starting your days a chance. You might just get hooked like I did!