In this lesson, we will talk about two things:
- Why the First Hour is so important.
- How to make the most of it.
Why is the First Hour so important?
That first hour is the start of our day when we haven’t done anything else yet. You haven’t checked your messages, gotten caught up in the chaos of your day, or allowed yourself to wander down the internet rabbit hole. It is a blank slate. And in that blank slate, you get to decide what to do.
That’s not always the case. If you need to attend to a crying baby, an emergency, or unexpected crisis that is beyond your control, then you do not get choose. But most days you can wake up and decide how you want to spend that hour. You can check things online or take that sacred time for you.
Sacred means that you take it as almost holy. It is special and has some divinity or power you hold to be important. You get to decide what to do in your first hour and how that first hour will influence the rest of your day.
Some morning activities you could do:
- have a tea ceremony
- exercise or yoga
- your most important work
- writing, music, or painting
- journal, reflection, and gratitude
It is a powerful action that you might normally put off. If you do that early on you do your most impactful action first. It will set you mood, energy, and happiness for the rest of your day. It can also influence how you treat the rest of the hours in the day.
How can we make the most of the First Hour?
It is different for each person. Experiment and see what works for you. A few things that I have learned over the years and that have worked for me, include
- journaling, reflection and gratitude
Gratitude is really important because not only does it make us reflect on the things in our lives that we are grateful for, but it makes us feel a little happier about our lives, our days, and our hearts. Gratitude changes our minds in a way that can impact the rest of our day. You could journal a few sentences about it, think about it, or meditate on it.
Meditation can be powerful as well. We will go into this later in the course but also have plenty of resources available in past courses. I find meditation a powerful thing to do in the morning because it helps you to
- get in the right frame of mind
- be more mindful for the rest of the day
- it might make you more focused
Try just a two minute meditation to start with and focus on the breath. Take a look at my past resources, but we will have a meditation later this month. Meditation, reflection, journaling, and gratitude are all great things to do in the morning.
Physical activity is another one
- tai chi
- walking or jogging
- weights or lifting
When we do this in the morning, we feel good about the day and feel healthy and physically fit. It also helps us to push into discomfort a bit. We do not like to do this early in the morning, but even if we can do just a few push-ups, chin-ups or yoga, it is a good practice. Procrastination is often trying to get away from discomfort, but if you can push into discomfort, then you may procrastinate less throughout the rest of the day.
Your most important work.
If you get this done early, you will not procrastinate because you have already done it. I find this a great way to work.
I suggest you start with small versions.
- Start waking 15 minutes early than you normally do.
- Do a 2-minute meditation or reflection.
- Do one small most important task or exercise, 5-10 minutes.
You can read, study, write, or do whatever is important for the first part of the day. The first hour consists of small little things that you can do to get a start on the day. Later, you can extend the time you meditate or do exercise.
The first hour doesn’t need to be a hard limit. You can go into the second hour with some of these things. Use the first hour to set the tone for the second hour.
- Wake 15 minutes earlier and decide how you want to spend that 15 minutes of the day.
- Map it out and use small versions of the things you want to do. Pick 2-3 things.
- Just go with it and get the ball rolling.
Check in at the end of the week. For now, just start with this task. Start today for planning tomorrow!