The Morning Launch–the First Hour is the Rudder of the Day


I certainly don’t want to waste my precious time in the morning, so I try to use it very wisely. I’ve created something I like to call my “Morning Launch.” I’m really on my game first thing in the morning. I have the most energy and creative ideas come easily, so I make sure to capitalize on these precious few hours!

I do my best to adjust my schedule as the seasons change so I can get outside each morning. It’s important to be as flexible as possible, but I didn’t always feel this way because I was so attached to witnessing the sunrise each morning. Now, I realize what actually keeps me going each morning is the newness of it all. The fact that the seasons change, makes each day a new adventure. It gives me the chance to experience the world with new eyes each morning. (even if it’s 18 degrees)

The Morning Launch

Each morning, my alarm goes off at 4:30am. From that point on the clock is ticking because I’ve got to be sitting at my desk and wearing my editor’s hat precisely at 8am. As soon as I plant my feet on the bedroom floor, I head to the kitchen to grab my coffee and it must be in my favorite mug!

What would I do without my favorite coffee mug?

It took me awhile to find the right rhythm of my morning events. I first started out with reflection, but that didn’t quite work because I needed something to wake up my senses a bit more. There’s no denying that the smell of good cup of coffee gets me out of bed and it’s a great companion while I’m writing blog content, knitting or reading.

Then, by 6:30(ish)*, I begin gearing up to get outside for my morning run. The days of running on a treadmill are minimal and I consider those “emergency” days like when it’s raining. I hate running in the rain! When I first started my routine, I began on the treadmill, but quickly found this to be such a bore and a chore. There’s something magical about being outdoors because of the visceral connection of my feet hitting the earth, the wind on my face, and being witness to a new day as it begins to unfold.

* (ish) — because there’s nothing solid in our lives and we can’t have a perfect morning all the time. My activities ebb and flow, however, there is a “solid” aspect to my routine and that is: getting up each morning at a consistent time.


“The first hour is the rudder of the day.”

Steps for Making Your Morning Launch a Reality

In order to be totally focused on these nurturing activities, there’s some preparation involved, but it doesn’t take more than about 15 minutes.Here’s what I do each night during the work week:

  1. Select my clothes for the next work day.
  2. Pack cooler with snacks and place in fridge so I can just grab and go!
  3. Set coffee pot timer to brew shortly before my alarm goes off.  I don’t want to fuss with anything in the morning except booting up my computer.

I have been rising early for years because I love the promise of a new day. It’s a time that’s protected, I know that from 4-7 am this time is just for me and as long as I’m focused, this can be the most productive part of my day. It’s an amazing time for awakening and making a fresh start. Aussie blogger, Sarah Wilson talks about morning routines, and calls them her launchpad. As noted by Dan Miller, author and life coach in the preface of Early to Rise, by Andy Traub, Henry Ward Beecher was quoted by saying:

The first hour is the rudder of the day.

Without a rudder, you’re pretty much all over the place, so let’s make our mornings more meaningful!

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