“My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy.” – John Bryant
It was 6am and the rain was SMACKING me in the face. I was 2,000 miles from home. My sneakers were soaked. Cars flew by me at 60 miles per hour. One car swerved directly at me. The driver recovered to miss me by 3 feet. I could see them wave “Sorry!” as they sped away, their phone still in hand. My mood ELEVATED. My mind CLEARED. Every step made a statement.
It’s EARLY MORNING – my favorite part of the day. It’s the time I ENERGIZE my BODY, MIND, and ATTITUDE. It’s when the new day ESTABLISHES direction and finds it’s MOJO.
This week my EARLY MORNING routine faced a CHALLENGE. I traveled 3 time zones away for a work meeting. This made CREATING and EXECUTING an early morning routine EXTRA important.
THE CHALLENGE: Anyone who has attended a national meeting for a LARGE organization knows that every second of your day is TAKEN. There is ZERO personal time between 7:30am to 9:00pm for anything. Without a PLAN, you will have a very AVERAGE week. You will eat junk food like Rosie O’donnell, drink more coffee than a CPA during tax season, and end each night with a desert the size of your laptop.
Weeks like this used to KICK MY ASS. The week would run me. I was NOT INTENTIONAL. That’s why I now start my day at 4am.
THE ADVANTAGE: There’s a HUGE advantage that people from the east coast have when they travel out west – they are WIDE AWAKE at 3am on the first day.
CHANGE IS BAD: I purposely DO NOT adjust to the time change. I stay on east coast time the ENTIRE week. I take FULL ADVANTAGE by waking up at 4:00AM EACH DAY. I do this to CONTROL the only part of the day I can: the EARLY morning.
The PURPOSE of the 4:00am WAKE UP CALL is to CREATE the OPPORTUNITY to work on:
- A strong BODY
- An open MIND
- A positive ATTITUDE.
THE BODY: An energy is CREATED when you get up early and go outside on a brisk morning. Double that for when your running route has you going by dramatic mountains, water, signs that say you may be mauled by mountain lions and rain slicked freeways with distracted drivers.
THE MIND: After a 4 mile run, my thoughts are overwhelmingly positive. Fresh ideas start to flow. Current challenges that seemed so SCARY the night before, now seem manageable. My body is ENERGIZED. My mind is CLEAR. My thoughts are FOCUSED. I enter the new day EXCITED.
I break out my JOURNAL and start writing down anything that strikes me as interesting. Some of the ideas I capture are random thoughts that go nowhere. Some of the IDEAS are ACTIONABLE. They are GOLD to my business and family life. The WRITING process takes only 10-20 minutes.
I immediately bring the ACTIONABLE ideas into my day. I look for ways to execute these NEW IDEAS on the current CHALLENGES I am facing.
THE SPIRIT: When your BODY is ENERGIZED, your MIND generates FRESH, POSITIVE IDEAS. You can not help but become OPTIMISTIC. This early morning routine CONVERTS my attitude from seeing problems to looking for SOLUTIONS. This positive ENERGY flows into my day. My demeanor is CONFIDENT. There is an ENERGY in my voice.
The early morning is where I work on CREATING the BODY, MIND, and ATTITUDE that ESCAPES average and RUNS towards REMARKABLE – especially when I’m 3 TIME ZONES away.
– Joe Ciccarone