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What is the one thing you make sure you do every morning no matter what else?
(well, besides using the john, I mean)
If so, you may be missing the opportunity to include your highest priority of the day in your morning in a SYSTEMATIC, REGULAR way.
- Is it chugging down that cup of joe?
- Strapping on your jogging shoes?
- Checking email for any work-related fires that occurred in China while you slept?
Warning: this one may seem deceptively simple and somewhat un-glamorous at first glance.
The magic is in the consistency and intention with which you do it.
MORNING MINUTES: THE MOST IMPORTANT TODO OF YOUR DAY
The practice is to spend 10 minutes of EVERY SINGLE morning in a connecting activity with your loved one (whether you live together, are in a long-distance relationship, or a single parent whose loved one right now is your crabby 12-yr old).
The benefit to this practice will accumulate over time, so I invite you to consider the possibility of committing to it every day - and making it a standing priority.
Now - those of you who are about to stop reading - and email this article to your mate with a hasty "I told you sex in the morning was good for you" - please hold your (wild) horses - and read on.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
While passion plays an important role in your (romantic) relationship, spending 10 minutes of every morning in quiet connection will help you:
a) bond, neurochemically speaking (see this great post by Marnia Robinson on the subject)
b) put the Big Things first (making time for what matters most, first thing, every day)
b) set the tone for the day (beginning with slowing down, connection, gratitude - rather than rushing, ruminating, reminders, etc.).
TIPS FOR MAKING IT A SUCCESS
1. GET BUY-IN FROM YOUR LOVED ONE
The first step is to get buy-in from your partner (or child, if that's your goal). This is not as difficult as it may sound, as most people have had the experience of doing this and reaping its benefits at some point (on vacation, weekends, or on random mornings).
Try to make it fun and invite the other to try if for a few days as a start.
2. COMMIT COMMIT COMMIT
All of us have engaged in Morning Minutes occasionally - on a lazy weekend, holiday getaway, or on that random morning when it just happens.
The trick here is to make a serious commitment.
Set the alarm 10 minutes early (this has worked for us) or shift other things in your morning to make the time (making lunches or choosing outfits the night before? setting breakfast food on the table? use your creativity to make this work).
Like with any other new practice, you want to try this out for 21 days (or so) before it becomes a habit - and an organic part of your life.
3. FOCUS ON AFFECTION - NOT SEDUCTION
As mentioned above under "bonding", the trick is to actually engage in affectionate, connecting time such as cuddling in bed or sharing a morning coffee - not in passionate play.
If passion is a part of your morning, too, great - just make sure to ALSO make time for cuddling, pillow talk (in bed or out) or 10 minutes of companionable silence (with a focus on each other).
Note: My personal experience has shown that this practice does not work nearly as well if you spend the 10 minutes criticizing your mate's snoring, drooling, or blanket-stealing from the night before - but maybe that's just us.
But What About Morning Alone Time?
Much good stuff has been written on the benefits of beginning the day alone, in silence, centering oneself, meditating, appreciating, stretching, writing, being productive, and/or setting intentions.
As a believer and practitioner of Morning Pages (not just for boosting creativity but for keeping me sane), I agree - and have found you can have both.
We are talking about 10 minutes every morning - but not necessarily the first ten. Yes - you can have your muffin and eat it too (with your mate or young one, after you walk the dog and do your yoga, for instance).
- One of my friends meets her honey for breakfast every morning on campus before her class.
- Another exchanges daily sweet "textings" with her long-distance beaux as they both have their morning coffees (she on Central time, he on West coast).
The benefits will surprise you.
What is your MOST IMPORTANT 10 min of the day?
Write in and share so we can learn from each other.