It’s hard to wake up early—especially during these winter months. You’re basically in full-fledged hibernation mode, and it’s so cold, and your bed is just so warm. Why would you want to ruin that?
For me personally, I grew tired of starting my days in a rush to get ready for work. I became tired of never having the time for the things that made me so happy. I was tired of feeling like the majority of my days were already decided for me.
I finally reached the point where I’d rather be tired from my early morning than be tired from my disappointment with life.
We often tend to use the excuse that we “don’t have enough time” for certain hobbies or goals…but the thing is, we have the same 24 hours in a day that all of the world’s most successful people have and have always had. It’s a matter of how we use them to our advantage.
That is why I’m encouraging you to start waking up earlier: You can get so much more out of your life by intentionally managing your time.
But how do you start doing that when you’re so used to sleeping in?
Focus on your reasons for changing your wake-up time.
Before you figure out how you’ll get out of bed earlier, consider why you want to in the first place. For me, waking up early empowers me to choose how my day begins, setting the tone for my entire day. I also have the goal of writing daily and posting to this blog weekly—something I usually don’t have the energy for after a long day at work—so I write in the mornings, when my mind hasn’t had an opportunity to be drained or distracted yet. Focusing on your reasons will be your strongest motivating factor in making this a reality.
Research how other people became morning people.
We all start somewhere. Thankfully there is an overwhelming number of people out there who want to share how they started so you can too. If you search on Google or YouTube for morning routines, you may just find a few tips that work for you. Plus it’s pretty motivating to see just how enjoyable and productive some people can make their mornings, which may make you more excited to try it.
SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Our will power is pretty weak when we first regain consciousness, so we need to prepare ourselves for possible excuses our sleepy selves will come up with. If you’re going to feel like you didn’t get enough sleep, go to bed earlier. If you’re not going to want to think about what to wear, set your clothes out so they’re ready for you without a second thought. Plan for what you know may hold you back.
Give yourself something to look forward to in the morning.
You’re going to be much more likely to jump out of bed if you’re excited for what’s waiting for you. For some people this is coffee; for me it’s my hot lemon water and playing with my cat. Focusing on the enjoyable part of waking up instead of seeing it as a chore makes a big difference.
choose your alarm-and where you put it-carefully.
Pick an alarm that isn’t frustrating or—pardon the pun—alarming to wake up to. I know some people are a fan of the siren alarm, but I’d rather not wake up to such a panicked noise. You also have to be realistic with where you put your alarm. If you’re a chronic snooze-pusher, you may want to put it on the other side of the room. You can also find apps that keep you from pressing snooze in case you need a bit more accountability.
water is your friend.
After 6-8 hours of sleeping, your body is thirsty. Drinking water as soon as you wake up is a sure way to rehydrate and wake up your body’s cells, leading you to feel more awake as well. Plus it’s extremely healthy for a whole lot of other reasons.
Be patient with yourself and celebrate even the smallest victories.
If getting up two hours earlier than usual is too daunting, take it a little bit at a time. Over the last year I’ve gone from waking up at 6:30 to 4:30, but I started by waking up a little earlier every few months. And just because some people meditate for 20 minutes and run 5 miles with their morning time doesn’t mean you have to—getting up early just to read a book is still a success if that’s what you want more of in your life.
Just do it. Even if it’s miserable at first.
When you get out of bed for work or school, you’re probably not thrilled about it. But you just do it because you have to. Decide you have to do this just like any other obligation. Once you’re physically up and moving around, you won’t regret it.
Once you get in the habit of waking up early, it becomes less of a “healthy habit” and more of something you actually want to do. Since I’ve started waking up earlier, I wake up excited, because there is so much more potential to my morning and entire day. I no longer feel like my days are pre-determined with nothing but work and errands—I make time for what I love before I do anything else, which puts me in a more positive and productive mood for the rest of the day.
What would you do with your extra time in the mornings?