Around the end of last year, I came across this Hello Mornings concept through a couple of podcasts that I listened to. I was intrigued by the 3-minute morning concept put forth by Kat Lee, the founder of this movement. As I was in the mood for New Year Resolutions (it was November/December after all), I checked out the website and the book and decided to give it a try.
Now, I have always believed that I am not a morning person. I can stay up late but I cannot wake up early. Even if I sleep early the night before, waking up early the next morning still takes a toll on me. Except for the times when I had babies waking up at all kinds of unearthly hours, I do not wake up early in the morning. My husband takes care of the school run in the morning. Me? I am ashamed to confess : I had the luxury to sleep until I wake up naturally. At night, I stayed awake past midnight indulging in “Me Time”, which involved a lot of snacking and drama-watching. Again, not something I am proud of.
However, I was keenly aware of the fact that my day slipped by much faster than I would like and I had more things on my to-dos than I had hours to do them. It was like the moment I opened my eyes I had to start running. Honestly, I felt like I had something chasing after me all the time and I did not like that feeling at all.
Kat Lee proposes that everybody has 3 minutes to spare in the morning. The Hello Morning concept is about using that 3 minutes first thing in the morning to align yourself with God so that you take care of your spiritual and physical needs. It is the simple idea of starting your day right and the rest of the day will be right except that it is pared down to just 3 minutes. It is not even about waking up at 5 am in the morning so you get 1 hour of meaningful time before the rest of the family wakes up. It is just about starting your morning right. I am one who is all for small achievements. So the idea of a 3-minute morning routine sounds good to me.
In short, your 3-minute morning routine is supposed to cover, in this order :
1. God Time
2. Plan Time
3. Move Time
God Time involves just praying Psalm 143:8.
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
After you are done with God Time, you then look at your planner and sort out your schedule for the day. Lastly, you take care of your physical body by just drinking a glass of water for Move Time.
I know this sounds ridiculously simple and you may wonder what good does this do? Just reading Psalm 143:8 hardly qualifies as a proper Quiet Time. Drinking a glass of water hardly compares to, say, jogging for an hour, or spending the morning in the gym for taking care of your body. But that’s the thing. Sometimes, too big a goal immobilises us from really taking actions. Even if we can start off right, we give up at the first setback because keeping up is much harder than starting. That’s why most people fail at New Year Resolutions. The 3-minute is just the starting point. You are encouraged to expand on each component once you get the hang of things. And when things get a bit tough, like during holidays when schedule is thrown to the winds, you can easily pare it back down to the basic 3-minutes instead of giving up on everything. You can pick it back up again when life gets back to normal.
For me, I had two goals : I wanted to wake up earlier so that I have more time in the morning. I was tired of that constant ‘being chased after’ kind of feeling. Secondly, I wanted to start my day with the Lord. So I set my alarm to wake up one hour earlier than my usual waking time. Compared to people who attempt to wake up at 4:30am, 5am, 6am, to get a head start in the morning, my wake up time is nowhere near ‘early’. But it was a start. I started with the 3-minute minimum. Very soon, I expanded my God Time to a proper Quiet Time first thing in the morning, instead of just waiting for a ‘convenient time’ during the day which usually never came. I made changes to my Plan Time in the beginning of the year also but I will write about this in another post. As for Move Time, most days, it is just the water and it is nothing new to me because I am brought up with that habit and so have been doing that almost all my life. But I did start on a new work out regime this year as part of my resolutions. Again, I will save it for another post.
After 1 month, I adjusted my alarm clock to wake me up one hour earlier than my new wake up time. So now I am 2 hours earlier than what I was used to. Sure, there were days that I slacked and woke up later. There were days I could only manage the bare minimum 3 minutes. But as Kat Lee said, it is all about building habit. It is not about whether I wake up super early or not. What has changed for sure is that I no longer start my day feeling like I am behind already and things are chasing me instead of me going after them. I did a lot more things that I have been wanting to do. Starting the day with the Lord also sets the tone for the day. This new routine does not just reclaim my mornings but my entire day. And Kat Lee is right. It is not about whether we are larks or owls. We do what we have to do.
So it has been 6 months since I started on this Hello Mornings routine and I am still keeping at it. It will definitely be something that will become a permanent part of my life and I am grateful for the positive changes that it has brought about.