If you had a “pause” button that you could press each morning for 1 minute – just 60 seconds when the world would stand still and you could do whatever you pleased – how would you spend your minute?
- Savoring a cup of coffee or tea.
- Reading a page from a good book.
- Sitting quietly or practicing mindfulness.
It may not seem like much time – because it isn’t – but it can be a great way to start making the most of your morning time and changing the entire course of your day. It’s the best slippery slope out there, because this exercise can help you carve out even more time to do things that are important to you.
- Begin with brainstorming. Jot down 10 things you enjoy doing but feel like you never have time to do, or write one goal and the first 3 small steps you must take to reach the goal. When I tried this out years ago, my list included writing in my journal, quiet time for simply breathing, and reading for pleasure. I was tired of rushing to get ready and then running out the door, never getting to do the activities I actually wanted to do in my day, and never stopping to pause and appreciate the new morning.
- Select one activity from your list, and then commit to rising just 1 minute earlier tomorrow. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you adjust your alarm clock backward by a minute… If it helps, write down a reminder of your selected activity on a sticky note and put it by your keys, on your bathroom mirror, or on the coffee pot so that you won’t forget.
- Enjoy the rest of today. Relax! You’re on track to make the most of tomorrow morning. Don’t pressure yourself to wake up an hour earlier tomorrow and cross off 15 things from your household to-do list before the sun rises. Trust in the wisdom that gradual change will equal sustainable change. We’re starting exceedingly small for a reason – because it works.
- Wake one minute earlier tomorrow, then go about your normal morning routine. Once you’ve completed your grooming, eating, etc., set a timer for 60 seconds. Enjoy your pre-selected activity for one short but glorious minute. Just trust me on the glorious part.
- Notice the feeling. Did the minute fly by? Did you savor every second? Did it feel like a waste of time* or a worthwhile investment? No matter how you feel now, know that you made an intentional effort to take a pause from the world – for a mere 60 seconds – to help start your day in a better way than many of the other days before it. You did it.
- Take it to the next level. Tomorrow morning, you could continue with your one-minute pause or ratchet back that alarm clock one more minute for two full minutes of pause time. 60 seconds is a great place to start, and I think you’ll find that your success will snowball.
It will become easier to chip away greater chunks of time because you’ll crave more of that intentional time. Revisit your brainstormed list and try some of the other activities.
Before you know it, your mornings will transform and your entire day will be influenced. It’s amazing how your perspective can change when each day begins with you doing something intentionally that you want to do, especially for you.
He said it better. This post is inspired by the wisdom of Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. I encourage you to subscribe to his blog and support his great work.
*If you had trouble with the one-minute pause today, simply forgive yourself and try again tomorrow. Remember, this change is for you and hopefully feels like a treat, not a burden. I’ll be here cheering you on!
Did you try the one-minute pause?
What is something want to do every day but never feel like you have the time?