Positive Path Recommended Reading

A Bonus Hour Each Day
By Chris Joscelyne

For years my wife was the only early morning person in our family. A typical "Lark", she was awake, alert and ready to tackle the new day at six o'clock each morning. I was an "Owl", naturally slow at seven o'clock in the morning, reaching my personal prime time in the evening.

My wife, a busy professional in a demanding job, has always used her early morning starts effectively. She undertakes tasks that are interesting and fulfilling. It is a positive way to start each day. When I first thought about this I was amazed at how much she was achieving. With further thought I realised that her 6 o'clock start was giving her the equivalent of about 10 additional working weeks per year! That convinced me that I should try her early morning routine.

As a regular international traveller, I had learned to adjust my body clock to the various time zones of Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. If I could do that, logic suggested that I could adjust my body clock to get up an hour earlier each morning so I decided to give it a try. Despite this logic, during the first few days I found it very hard to arise an hour earlier than usual.

In the beginning, getting out of bed was difficult because it was winter, the bed was warm and it was still dark outside. Anyway I made the effort, and over a period of about two weeks I found that it became easier and easier to make that earlier start.

I still function at my very best in the evenings but I also wake up refreshed, a few minutes before the alarm clock sounds. I have adjusted. Now I have an extra hour each morning to do things that are important to me (I'm writing this article at 6.45am) and I appreciate the early quiet and the fresh beginning of each new day. I relish this "bonus" time in my life and I suggest you try it too.

Here are some hints that may assist:

  • Make a specific time to get out of bed and set your alarm clock. A general intention to get up earlier is likely to fail.

  • Go to bed an hour earlier for the first few nights. Soon you will find this is no longer necessary.

  • Establish a routine. This will make the transition much easier.

  • Reward yourself. Take a hot shower and have a hot or cold beverage. If you have a full breakfast at this earlier hour remember you may have hunger pangs by mid-morning. This can create a fourth meal for the day with unnecessary extra calories. It may be better to stick to your usual breakfast time.

  • Persevere. You may feel early morning tiredness for a couple of weeks until your body adjusts. Accept this as a normal phase of the change.

About the author: Chris Joscelyne trained as a clinical hypnotherapist under the tutorage of Margaret Tomko. He was taught grief counselling by Mal McKissock, and he learned meditation in a course sponsored by the Department of Health. He developed his personal awareness knowledge with mentors Barbara and Terry Tebo of Lifespring. 

For ten years Chris was a visiting lecturer at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School where he taught personal development, meditation and stress management skills. Now he shares his knowledge with a wider community as a speaker, trainer and coach, teaching people how to live "Life by choice - not by chance".

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