A means to an end

A means to an end

I know that we’ve chatted about morning routines before, but yesterday I stumbled across three different posts/articles/videos, the key message of each being about the joys of getting up at 5AM.

Oh, before I start – I’m going to use “I” a lot. Everything I read or write is for my own selfish needs. I say far too often that I’m not an expert – there’s a reason for that.

I’m very shit at a lot of things and need constant reminders about what I should be doing and thinking about.

I have no answers. I’m like Stevie Wonder doing the Rubik’s Cube, making one move and then asking, “how’s that?”. So, just a reminder, none of this is a recommendation. I just find it helpful to think about things and if that helps any of you think about things too, so much the better.

I’ve done the whole 5AM thing. I no longer do it, not because it didn’t work, but because it doesn’t fit in with my life. I need a good 8 hours sleep, so getting up at 5 would necessitate a…
does maths…on fingers

…9PM bedtime and that’s our child-free time zone. I need that.


There’s an underlying truth to all of these amazing habits though that I often miss – it’s not the actual habit that counts, it’s what it allows you to do or feel.

The habit is a means to an end.

It’s not about journaling, meditating, exercising or lying in a bath of green smoothies while doing crunches…

…it’s the BENEFIT that comes with doing those things. That’s what counts.

  • I exercise (STOP LAUGHING AT THE BACK!)…so that I have more energy and feel stronger.
  • I meditate…to feel calmer and more focused during the day.
  • I journal…so that my monkey mind shuts the hell up for 5 bloody minutes!

Getting up at 5AM doesn’t guarantee anything. I could still have a shit life (and, without my kid-free time, this would almost definitely be the case!). If I got up 2 hours before everyone else and ate doughnuts, drank coke and smoked cigarettes, I’m almost certain that my life wouldn’t be better than it is now (though, in the spirit of honesty, I can’t be SURE, as I’ve never actually done it).

If getting up at 5AM allows you to get in some exercise and plan your day so that you feel centred and emotionally ready, then that’s definitely a good thing, but the key for me is paying attention to what I need to experience and feel to have a great day and THEN figure out the best ways of achieving that, regardless of what the actual activity is.

Meditation is a great example for me. I don’t enjoy it, though the benefits of reduced stress, anxiety, improved focus and self-awareness are high on my “I want this in my life” list. What I have found is that, even though I don’t like meditation, I do like a quiet dog walk in the country. A quiet dog walk gives me a lot of the same benefits – it takes me away from work for a few moments, gives me a feeling of space, calmness and perspective.

Granted, it’s not EXACTLY the same, but it’s close enough to help bash the FOMO on the specific tasks I feel I “should” be doing.

What I “should” be doing is focusing on what’s really important – the feelings, emotions and mindset I need to bring to today to make it a kick-ass day!

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