Some days I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. Can you relate? I am faithful to my “Morning Book End” of protocol of activities including movement, meditation, prayer and writing. But some days, it is nothing but commitment and discipline to get started in the early morning.

I first learned the term “book ends” through Brian Johnson and Although the idea may not have originated with Brian, there are many authors and self help gurus that he refers to who’ve helped me understand the concept of book ends.

Essentially, we have the most control over what happens when we first wake up, and when we go to bed. By identifying those “habits” that are central to our best shot at having a great day (or a great sleep) and prioritizing them first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, we have the best chance at consistency.

I find this to be true: Once the sun wakes up so does the world and its demands. If I take the time for self care (which means different things to different folks, and should) I have a much better shot at being “response-able” when faced with challenges. When I run my AM and PM bookend algorithms I have prioritized maximizing my energy, and state of mind. I am less reactive, more creative and flexible.

More on installing great bookends in a future chat. For now, I will just share that this morning, it was a rough start. I got to bed very late last night which was something out of my control. I slept hard and fast but when I awoke at 5am as I normally (sans alarm) do, my head was pounding and my body felt like a had a wet suit on that was weighting me down. Even rolling over seemed like a chore.

I did something I don’t usually do: I fell back asleep. I just didn’t have the gumption to force myself up. Yet. Fast forward to 6:30am which is the next time I awoke. Despite my inclination to cancel my day by going through some non-productive self inquiries: (ie: What meetings do I have today? What does Zach need ? Do I have any appointments? It would be so awesome to take a day off and just rest…) I took a few deep breaths, and faced the realty that I had to get up and show up for my commitments.

My mind then shifted to engage in a few last ditch efforts at rationalizing “skipping” my morning routine: “Well since it is so late, maybe I will skip my AM Bookend activities, or at least the mediation part which takes so long. Or maybe I will set the whole routine aside…” this went on for several minutes. Then, I was reminded of “The Five Second Rule” by Mel Robbins (see Google for more) which in summary is the practice of counting backward from five (”5-4-3-2-1”) and ACTING when you reach zero. I counted it out begrudgingly and stood up.

Spoiler Alert: I ran my entire morning protocol reminding myself “It’s ok to suck, it’s not ok to skip” (see 2/19/21 post). As much as I wanted to be a rebel, I knew that I was at a mini crossroads. If I chose to abandon self care, I would pay for it all day and maybe all week. If I chose instead, to show up for myself even if it was a rough start, it would be a gift, not a punishment. And so it was.

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