The other morning, I got to my dentist’s office bright and early for my regular checkup.  My dental hygienist asked me how I was doing and I replied, “I’m doing FANTASTIC! I just finished my morning “power hour” right before I came.”   She looked puzzled. (I figured she was puzzled because she was expecting the regular answer of “I’m fine.”) So, she thought about it for another moment and then asked, “What is THAT? I’ve never heard of power hour before!”  I was a bit surprised because I thought it was common knowledge, but apparently it isn’t.  Due to time I explained it briefly to her but will share it in more detail here.

My morning power hour consists of the things I do on every morning to benefit my mind.  It’s similar to the daily morning habits you have for preparing to go to work or school – brushing your teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed, etc.  Those habits make your body presentable before you go out in public.  Well, the morning power hour is preparing your mind to handle situations that come at you throughout the day and it helps keep you focused on the task at hand.  It’s also a way to assess the previous day and improve upon it.  The process has taken on many forms depending on the individual, but here is my own spin on it..

Ennie’s Morning Routine

The first thing I do when I open my eyes is to give thanks for a brand new day.  Next, I drink 24 gulps of water (16oz).  This is very important because most of us are dehydrated after sleep, especially if you get the recommended 8 hours.

Next I spend some time writing in my journal.  What do I write about?  Well, anything that comes to mind.  It’s basically getting everything out of my mind and onto paper.  I try to write at least 3 pages in my journal.  At first, there isn’t anything too exciting in the writing, since the first things that come to mind are the items on my “to do” list for the day. However, as I continue to write, other things that I didn’t think were rattling around in my head eventually come up.  (You can get more information on the benefits of journaling in the morning from the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.)

Then, I review my goals for the day and write out what I’m grateful for.  I also review the previous day and see how I can make today a better one based on that experience.  After writing, I spend time reading my “book of interest” at the time, since I’m always trying to learn something new.  Now, one of the last things I do is a short mediation focusing on having a clear mind.  And finally, I set my intention for the day.

Getting Off of Autopilot!

After I briefly explained the morning power hour to the hygienist, she said that she has never spent any time thinking about how her day went, or even considered how she would like to see her day go. She’s just on autopilot – she goes to work, comes home, prepares dinner, goes to sleep and then starts the same routine all over again the next day.  She was excited to think that she could get out of this autopilot mode and start a morning power hour herself!

Believe me, the way you start your day can either make or break it.  So, prepare your mind for how you want the day to go instead of letting it randomly happen. Make the morning routine a habit and you’ll also take back the control of your thoughts along with more purposeful activities.   Try it, you just may like it!