August 20, 2008

Morning Routine Plan

With the expositional slice of my manifesto already written, it is time to advance to the nuts-and-bolts of what this transformation will look like. I have no problem with depriving myself of vices. I haven’t eaten meat for nearly ten years, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I know how not to do things when I put my mind to it. My problem is doing certain things, and doing them regularly. And the certain things I mind doing the most are exercise and meditation.

I love to sleep. If left to my own devices I wouldn’t crawl out of bed till around eleven O’clock in the morning. The idea of waking up before the sun has had a chance to even brush her teeth seems unforgivable. I know that exercise and meditation are pivotal to my enduring happiness, but still the lethargy takes over and I hit the snooze button.

This indolence must end, and establishing a sunup routine is the first step toward my new lifestyle. I am not sure if a structured schedule makes for good reading, but I am not entirely documenting this process for the sake of you reader. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have always felt validated my documenting my life through text, and if I sit and methodically write out what I need to do, and when I need to do it, then hopefully it will get done. I hope that documenting my routine will make it seem more real to me. The ultimate goal is to make these acts habitual and not cumbersome.

Let’s get to business: I will need to wake up every morning at five-thirty, if I am to get everything done. Ideally, I should wake up a bit earlier, but I cannot even fathom what waking up at five would look like, and I don’t want to hate this new regiment before it has even started. Five-thirty is early enough for me.

Wake up at 5:30 and prepare a cup of tea with honey. I will look into finding local tea and honey, which I am hoping will not be too difficult. I have always wanted to drink more tea, not because of the taste or caffeine, but because of the Zen tea drinking ceremonies. I think the cup of tea will be a good starting mediation to ground myself in the present and awaken me from my groggy state. I also want to eat some dates, another local energy source before I get started. (Any other suggestions on what to eat at this stage are welcome.) Then I am off to the elliptical machine for 10-15 minutes. I will need to get my blood pumping, by drowning out my memories of the warm bed I left behind with some high-energy music on my iPod. I am very much looking forward to this part of the routine.

After the machine, I want to habitualize a push-up and sit-up routine. Three sets of ten reps of each. At this point I should be half way through my hour. I want to find a few Pilates exercises that I can master for the 15-minute block. This will take some tweaking until I can find a nice set of exercises that fit into the time slot. I may have to stretch the entire routine by 15 minutes to fit it all in. I hope not, but we will see.

I will close with 10-15 minutes of Zazen. Then off to make breakfast for the family, take a shower, and out the door to work by 6:45. Sounds like a lot, but I think it will be doable.

5:30-5:45 Elliptical machine
5:45-5:55 Push-up and Sit-ups
5:55-6:20 Pilates
6:20-6:30 Zazen
6:30-6:45 Shower, breakfast, work.

I will most likely have to get up about ten minutes earlier, but I will start with this routine till I see how it works. This is step one; wish me luck!


  1. sounds like us :) husband snoozes 2 or 3 times (down from like 5- i threatened to kill him :) i know what you mean- i am working on a schedule right now- i have the chores scheduled in so everything gets done (i have 3 properties to oversee) but now, i have to schedule in the healthy stuff. not as easy but a must for health and sanity. good luck!!! the routine sounds good.

  2. Instead of doing everything everyday, you should alternate your exercise programs. Athletes don't work every body part every day.