Over the years, my mornings have taken on a lot of different forms:

  • In Stow, I woke up with my mom knocking on my door.

  • In Columbus, I woke up to the top bunk shaking with a roommate that was rushing off to his 8am chem class.

  • In Chicago, I woke up via a call from my pre-scheduled Uber that said he was already at my door and that in order to make my flight, I would have to leave right now.

  • In Seattle, I used to wake up with a bright flashes of lights that are hooked up to my alarm.

Before three weeks ago, I never chose my morning. My morning chose me.

And to be honest, I am pretty ashamed about it. Not every single piece of my life needs to be planned out, but I knew I was yearning for a change: I wanted my mornings to be sacred. I craved mornings where I set goals and defined success for the day. I wanted my mornings to be full of thoughtful prompts:

  • "How do I run toward love and away from fear today?"

  • "How can I show gratitude toward my friends and family?"

  • "How can I make a tangible impact today?"

Instead, I was just getting a bright flash of light before I bolted toward the door. There was a wee bit of room for optimization. That's why I started the 6AM challenge: waking up and dedicating the first couple of hours of the day to myself.

To make this actually happen, I made a couple of changes:

First, I bought a real-life physical alarm clock that served no other purpose than to tell the time and beep really loudly. This $15 purchase was probably the best purchase I have ever made in my life. I can't turn it off from my phone or Apple Watch; I have to get up! I was a helpless snoozer. No longer, my friends!

Secondly, I set my phone on my desk before bedtime. This means no more late night scrolling/comparing/procrastinating before bed. It also means that I can pick up a book before bed and really build in some legitimate wind down time.

Thirdly, I bought a cold brew coffee filter. Confession: I have never made coffee in my life and I feel like as a 24 year old that is quite unacceptable. In the mornings, I now look forward to a sip of coffee that I made myself. It's so much more rewarding than going and picking up coffee from Starbucks. IKEA Effect? Quite possibly. It's working in my favor though so I am okay with that.

Still working on what my first thoughts of the morning should be. Right now, it has been focused on being productive to get this website shipped. I'm curious about your "first thoughts of the morning." If you'd be willing to reach out and share with me, I would be incredibly appreciative. I'd love to hear about them.