Not every morning can go according to plan, right?

Especially if you have kids.

Last night, Benji, our 1-year-old, woke up around midnight with a bad coughing fit where he struggled to catch his breath. We took him into the bathroom and turned the shower on as hot as it would go to get the steam into his lungs.

We then got a nebulizer from my wife’s sister and gave him a treatment of that. And then we found out cold air would be good for him. So we bundled him up and I stood out in the freezing cold night for about 20 minutes, looking at all the snow with my son.

Several hours later he started to breathe better and went back to sleep. But since he was in our bed we didn’t get much sleep because he would cough and cry throughout the night.

If you’re a parent I’m sure you’ve had nights like this.

But what do you do when you finally wake up in the morning?

If you’re like me and your morning ritual helps you set the tone for the rest of the day then you have to decide if you’re going to skip it or do it.

Most the time I’ve skipped it. I normally wake up around 6:00 a.m. and then spend about 90 minutes doing my morning ritual (showering, pushups, drinking water, meditating, writing, and coffee).

But when I get up around 9:30 a.m., like today, I feel like I’m already “behind” and I feel stressed.

And this is precisely why I chose to do my morning ritual anyway.

When we focus on all the things outside of our control it brings stress into our lives. So when I focus on the fact that:

  • My kid was sick and I was up all night.
  • I only got a few hours of sleep and got out of bed at 9:30.
  • The plans I made yesterday for today have been disrupted.

If I focus on those things I’ll be stressed. Combine that with no morning ritual and it’s a recipe for disaster (at least for me).

So this is why I’m deciding to do my morning ritual even on days like this when I feel like I should go straight to work.

I can’t tell you how hard it was to fight the urge to check my email instead of meditate this morning. Meditation felt like such a wasteful indulgence. Like I was being completely irresponsible. But I knew it was the right thing to do.

And I’m glad I did it. Apparently the world didn’t come crashing down just because I waited to check my email!

Sure, I could have skipped the shower, the pushups, the water, the meditation, and the writing I’m doing now.

Instead I could have woke up, made some coffee and immediately checked my email and got to work.

I would have had an extra hour of work time. But who cares about one more hour if all the rest of the hours I’m not operating at 100%?

I don’t know about you but I’d rather be “in the zone” for 4 hours of work then work for 8 hours with a bad attitude, feeling stressed out.

So, next time you sleep in and you wonder, “Should I skip my morning ritual?” I would challenge you not to and see how it goes.