Picture a morning person. See them waking up at the crack of dawn smiling. Birds are chirping happily, a soft glow bathes the room as they stand up to stretch, excited about the day ahead. They are getting ready to go exercise, probably to set a world record in something, the fact that they are up early means that they are unstoppable. At least, that’s the illusion I have.
When I wake up, I roll out of bed after hitting snooze a few times. I rush around getting ready for work, avoiding anyone else that is up. I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to be up, and I’m not pleasant. But I want to be a morning person. I want to start my day with that level of discipline; it sets a good precedence for the rest of my day. There are so many things we can get done in the quiet hours of the morning that can make our days go smoother, but it’s easy to disregard them when tempted with the prospect of a few more minutes of sleep.
There’s got to be a way that us non-morning people can get on board and reap the benefits of this extra “me” time. Once it becomes ingrained in your routine it will be easy to maintain, the tricky part is getting to that point. Until it becomes second nature, here are some tips to make your mornings less painful and help this habit to stick.
- Do it Everyday
To quote the jogger from Bojack Horseman “Every day it gets a little easier. But you have to do it every day. That’s the hard part. But it does get easier.” Truer words have never been spoken. Although he was talking about jogging, this is the biggest tip to make it easier to wake up early. Not going to lie, it will suck at first. It will not be fun, you will be angry wishing you were sleeping, but you will make progress. Wake up at your goal time everyday including weekends. Sleeping in later will make it harder for your body to get used to the routine and will take longer to form the habit. With enough repetition your body can begin waking up naturally on its own without having to use the alarm on a regular basis.
- Don’t Hit Snooze
I know it’s tempting to hit that snooze button when the alarm goes off, but don’t do it. The mind can do some amazing calculations first thing in the morning as you try to add up how many more minutes of sleep you can wedge in, but I promise those extra 17 minutes of sleep will do you more harm than good. The jolt of the alarm has already woken you up, so if you do doze off, it will not be the deep restful sleep that you need. In fact, this will just make you feel drowsier throughout the day, making your morning more difficult and leading to that extra cup of coffee. To make it easier to resist hitting snooze, get one of these awesome alarms! Starting 30 mins before your designated wake up time, it will simulate daylight and gradually light up your room. Before the alarm even goes up you are already more awake!
- Get Out of Bed
It’s too easy to want to stay cozy in bed when you should get up early. You know that you are early and have time to kill, so you might as well stay comfy and relaxed since you’re awake to enjoy it. Don’t fall to this temptation. This is how you fall back asleep and make yourself feel worse. Use the momentum from the jolt of the alarm to hop out of bed and get moving. Just walk away from the bed, go get coffee, watch TV, read a book, anything you want to do so long as you are not in bed. Remember, we don’t have to be productive in the morning yet, we just want to be conscious.
- Have Something to Look Forward to
Remember as a kid how easy it was to jump out of bed for a holiday or a special occasion? Make every day a special occasion in this regard. If you have something to look forward to upon waking up, it will provide a little extra motivation to get you up and moving. Make your favorite breakfast, watch your favorite movie, walk the dog, whatever fun is to you, add it into your morning routine. I believe in positive reinforcement to make this habit stick. We want to be excited to greet the day and if we need an extra push at first that is ok. Get excited about it the day before and think about it before bed. Make that the last thing you think about, when the alarm goes off you will remember what you are looking forward to and jump up to do it. Need a breakfast to look forward to?
- Go to Bed Early
Set yourself an adult bedtime. Staying up until midnight will only make getting up at 5am harder, and we want this to be as easy as possible. Make a point of trying to go to bed even 30 mins earlier than usual to make this a habit as well. Being well rested will make the mornings and rest of your day go smoother so do not skimp on sleep. Don’t feel like you are missing out by going to bed early, the hours are still there, we are just shifting them from the evening to the morning. Staying up late for a Netflix marathon? Have a book you are dying to finish? Just move it to the morning. This way you will be well rested and have something to look forward to.
Now that you love mornings, here are 7 things you should do every morning!