By Ron Pereira
I’ve been doing my best to intentionally improve all aspects of my life – spiritually and physically – for the last 60 days or so.
So, what I want to share in this article is how I’ve gone about my morning and evening routines since they’ve been a key to my success. We cover why strong routines are so important during our habit series of articles so be sure to check those out if you haven’t already (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).
Of course, I’m not proposing you copy what I’m doing… but if you feel like you’d like to improve your own routines perhaps my process can give you some ideas.
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Starting around 6:30 PM my wife and I (and the older kids help too) read to our littlest ones. This is one of my favorite times of the day… especially when our 2-year-old baby girl dumps around 14 books on my lap and hollers, “Read, read Daddy!”
After reading, my wife and I pray the Rosary with our children. Now, I won’t pretend our family Rosaries are always smooth and holy. Our kids are kids but we do our best to fight through the craziness.
Optimally, we finish praying around 7:30 PM so the littlest ones can get to bed.
7:30 PM – 9:15 PM
From 7:30 PM to 9:15 PM my wife and I have “free time” which may involve doing things with our older kids… or working on projects… visiting with each other, etc.
9:15 PM – 10:00 PM
Now, at this point in the evening the “old Ron” used to begin his late evening ritual of wine drinking and TV watching until around midnight (or later). Those days are gone.
Now, I do my very best to be FOB (flat on back) in my bed by 9:15 PM reading a book. And by reading I mean a real book you hold in your hand and not an iPad. I’ve found reading paper based books really relaxes me and, quite frankly, makes me tired.
I may also drink some non-caffeinated herbal tea with raw honey… but I’m not always consistent with this.
10:00 PM to 6:00 AM
At around 10:00 PM I hit the hay. My wife and I sleep with the room pretty cold and very dark. I’ll share more on why this is in a future article.
I’ve also started to use an awesome app called Sleep Cycle, which uses my iPhone’s microphone to determine which state of sleep I’m in. It’s pretty neat to see the various sleep cycles you go through. I also turn the phone to airplane mode.
The app also has an amazing alarm clock built in that allows you to set a time frame of when you’d like to wake up. So, for me, I usually set my wake up time to be between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM.
The app works by examining your sleep state in order to wake you up while you’re in the lightest phase of sleep during the time frame you chose. It really does work and waking up this way is much better than being startled by a loud buzzer during a deep sleep phase.
6:00 AM – 6:15 AM
Once I’m up I use the restroom and put my workout clothes on. I then head for the kitchen.
6:15 AM – 7:00 AM
Once there I make my morning cocktail, which consists of warm water with 1 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 TBSP of raw honey, and some lemon.
With “cocktail” in hand I head to my pitch-dark living room and do some spiritual reading using my iPhone. I normally read a chapter or two from one of the Gospels. Mike has also recently encouraged me to read the Office of Readings, which I’ve done as well.
7:00 AM – 7:20 AM
At 7:00 AM I do my workout. Depending on what Mike has programmed for me I may need to go to my slowly forming “barn gym.” Sometimes I have all I need inside my house in which case I do the workout in my living room.
During the first 30 days I literally did my workouts in the bathroom… but my wife started to give me the evil eye when I broke out some kettle bell swings. So, I’ve pretty much retired from bathroom workouts!
7:20 AM – 8:00 AM
At this point I’m ready to take a shower, make some coffee and possibly grab some protein and veggies before heading to work after saying an “Our Father” with my wife while touching foreheads. I know… it sounds a little strange but it’s pretty awesome and our kids love it when they see my wife and I praying like this.
Not an Exact Science
Now, to be sure, this is the optimal routine I follow. I don’t always succeed and, sometimes, life happens. We have 6 kids out of the womb and one more about to be born so we have quite a lot going on. But, I am doing my best to stick to this routine.
As I stated earlier, I’m not proposing anyone copy my approach. Instead, be you. But, if you feel as though you’d like to modify your own evening and morning routines feel free to copy any aspect of what I’ve shared.
I do highly recommend checking out the Sleep Cycle app. It’s extremely cool and, at least for iPhone users, there’s a free version which works just fine.