According to bestselling author, Robin Sharma who penned 'The 5 AM Club', to be great, one needs to put in the work, and by ‘work’, you need to invest time in yourself. It can be challenging to do just that in the evenings when you are lacking in energy after a long commute home and a hard day of work. That is why Robin Sharma advises that the best time of day to invest in yourself is first thing in the morning when you can dedicate a full hour to yourself, undisturbed by those who are still sleeping around you.
Sharma speaks of the 20/20/20 framework, this practice involves breaking the first hour of your day into twenty-minute segments. The first segment is dedicated to exercise. You can spend twenty minutes doing some yoga or Pilates in the quietness of your living room, or alternatively, you can plug in your earphones and follow an online exercise class on YouTube or grab your trainers and head out for a short run or a brisk walk.
According to ‘The Health Benefits of Sweating’, which has been medically reviewed, building up a sweat helps to cleanse your body of chemicals, heavy metals and bacteria. Exercise can also boost your energy levels, improve your mood, and help to strengthen your body against infection.
The second twenty-minute slot should be spent reflecting. This can be done through meditation, writing in a journal, a 'Have Done' and 'To Do' list or by creating a mind map. Also, take a few minutes to breathe deeply, this will help to relax your body, regulate your heart rate after exercise and make you feel calm and focused for the final twenty-minute segment. The Don’t Tone Alone CIC App has some great breathing exercises which are all available for free. These short videos, led by DTA’s expert trainers will be sure to relax you and help you adopt a positive attitude for the day ahead.
The final slot of your hour should be spent learning. As expressed by the late B.B King, renowned American singer-songwriter, and guitarist, “the beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” Spending just twenty minutes a day reading a book, listening to a podcast or learning a new skill can enrich your life and boost your creativity levels. Skillshare, Drawspace and Blinkist are great places to start and have plenty of courses, educational podcasts and book summaries available to satisfy your curiosity and suit all tastes.
By rising early and dedicating the first hour of your morning to your health and development, you can ensure that you achieve your fitness goals, master self-reflection, map out your goals and learn something new (on a subject that truly interests you) before the world around you starts to demand your attention.
This daily practice may push you outside of your comfort zone but will also help you to maximise your precious ‘me’ time. As Robin Sharma says, “take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of your day will pretty much take care of itself. Own your morning, elevate your life."