Blood Pressure, Blogging, and 5AM

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I can’t remember when I started waking up at 5AM, but it’s been my routine now for almost two years. It took a while to get used to this, but now I love it. It’s a habit now. My morning routine is usually something like this:

  • Wake up at 5AM
  • Get dressed
  • Read a positive affirmation ( I got this one from Zig Ziglar)
  • Drink a glass of water (for hydration)
  • Sit quietly for 5 minutes of focused breathing
  • Read the Bible for 20 minutes
  • Pray for about 5 minutes (sometimes I fall asleep or get distracted)

Next, I start writing. I usually put some notes in Evernote for a future blog topic or idea/experience that inspires me. Or I start proof-reading my next blog post. And a few times per month I click the “Publish” button and release a new post. It’s still a little scary to share my thoughts, but it’s also exciting.

By 6:45 I’m start getting my girls dressed for school and preparing breakfast. My mornings aren’t always this exact, but this is what I’m aiming for. It’s an evolving morning routine at this point.

I’ve been blogging now since last August and I love it. But it’s only been possible because of my 5AM habit. Waking up early gives me the quiet time needed to think, write, and plan.

Blogging has become one of those purposeful activities, which Jeff Goins describes in his book “The Art of Work” as that thing,

“that I can’t not do.”

I have to write. It’s strange because I don’t enjoy the writing process that much, but I like the outcome. But I still have strong reasons for writing, which I’ve shared here.

And I don’t consider myself a great writer.  I’m a thinker.  And writing is one of the tools I use to organize and share my thoughts and ideas.  Writing gives me the time to focus and build my platform. In this hyper busy world, unless you’re intentional about slowing down, reflecting, and “being” you’ll never accidentally find the time .

To accomplish meaningful work you have to  create the time.

Doing the stuff that really matters in life won’t get done by accident. And even if you’re intentional about it, you still have to give it extra effort. This reminds me of something I heard Dr. Erick Thomas explain in his Greatness Session Conference. He said,

You can’t get what you want at 80% effort.”

That’s why I’m so disappointed to say that I’ve had to slow down my blogging these past few weeks. I’ve been experiencing some consistently high blood pressure and my doctor is encouraging me to get on medication. But I’m trying to do everything possible to avoid taking meds, because once you’re on them it’s for life! 

So after a long and hard conversation with my wife, I decided to change my morning routine. Instead of writing in the early morning, I’m going to use that time to walk/jog for an hour or just sleep more. I love working on my online platform, but my health is numero uno (actually it comes in numero dos, right after God).  Plus, my high blood pressure is probably genetic, which makes it even harder to lower, so it’s going to take some changes in my eating habits as well.

Well now I’m trying to figure out how to find time for blogging, since my evenings are dedicated to my family and the mornings are for exercising. I recently heard Michael Hyatt say that when he was the CEO of Thomas Nelson he still found time to blog three times week and spend quality time with his family (five kids!!).  I only have three daughters, so if Michael did it, there has to be a way that I can do it too.

Wish me luck!

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