About four weeks ago, Jess announced the With Intention Morning Club on her blog. I loved the idea (committing to spending 60 minutes a day on your mental, physical and spiritual well-being-- what Stephen Covey calls "Private Victory"-- for at least 7 consecutive days) and immediately joined the Facebook group.
As with anything else, in practice it took me a week or so to actually incorporate this new habit into my routine. But once I did, I noticed a difference.
Since beginning the practice a few weeks ago, I've spent my Private Victory reading, writing in my journal, and practicing yoga (for at least 30 minutes; if I go to a class at the studio or the birth center, it's an hour-ish practice).
I've been reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which I started awhile ago and gave up on because it's too dense to read at bed time. Reading is part of my bedtime ritual, and I don't tend to read at any other time of day, unless I'm laid up in bed for some reason. Needless to say, I've been getting a lot more out of the book this time, though I can see why it's a book people read over and over again-- there's a lot of information to process.
I've enjoyed the time to dedicate to journaling, as well. Even though I usually only write for about 15 minutes, it's 15 minutes more than I was managing on most days. I'd love to be someone who scrawls pages and pages every day, but the reality is that I tend to leave journaling for the evening, and then it's too easy to just put it off for one more day. Which is a shame, since it's something that really helps my mental well-being.
I'd heard that yoga is one of the best things you can do to prepare yourself for labor (since there's so much emphasis on breathing), but again, it's one of those things that's way to easy for me to skip over. Incorporating it into my morning routine has definitely helped me develop a regular practice. If I'm at home, I do this 30 minute floor class from yogadownload.com (although I need to download some more classes because I'm getting a bit bored with it). On Tuesday mornings I take a class at a local studio, and my birth center offers a Saturday morning class. The Tuesday class tends to be a bit more restorative, and the Saturday class (led by one of the midwife assistants) tends to be more of a workout, so it's a nice balance. As I'm getting further along in my pregnancy, the daily yoga is becoming more and more of a necessity. My muscles are feeling tight and sore (trying to sleep on my side isn't helping, I'm sure) and stretching (especially side stretches) is such a sweet release.
These 3 things combined have helped me start my days feeling balanced and in control, which is always a good thing! It's such a simple concept, but one that has really made a difference. Sometimes it's hard to justify taking an hour out of my day, but I'll usually starting reading while finishing my breakfast and tea, so I'm multitasking while being intentional.
If you're interested in adding Private Victory to your day, check out Jess' post about how to spend your 60 minutes. And let me know how it goes!