I’ve always liked the time before dawn because there’s no one around to remind me who I’m supposed to be, so it’s easier to remember who I am.
Morning people aka people who wake up early and are full of energy annoyed me.
I was a late sleeper. I would bury myself into the covers and refuse to come out until my room was flooded with light that I couldn’t ignore anymore. And even after I was out of bed it took me an indecent amount of time to be fully awake and do something productive.
My mornings were chaotic and I couldn’t find enough energy to get through the day. All this changed when I decided to make a tiny change to my schedule, I decided to make it a habit to wake up one hour earlier than my usual time. The difference it made has been tremendous.
- Suddenly I found the time to do all that needed to be done, at a leisure and I had time to spare.
- I was able to start the day with a more calm and focused mindset, just because I had the time.
- I started incorporating healthy things – like walking my kids to school instead of driving, eating a healthy breakfast instead of sustaining on coffee.
- Somehow having time in the morning made a lot of difference because my mind and body was rested, I had more focus and completing things in the morning meant I still had my whole day ahead of me. This gave me a sense of accomplishment and a push to do more.
- Of course there were a lot of fringe benefits like having the time to enjoy a long shower, having some quiet time to myself and enjoying the sunrise (have you ever felt the morning air is extra fresh? – everything is better in the morning trust me.)
So how do we make waking up early a habit?
I strongly believe that to make a new habit, you have to condition your mind first. If your mind agrees, your body will follow. To form a habit you will have to look within yourself to find out what comforts you, the things you enjoy and the things you find challenging. Write those down and come up with a morning and evening ritual.
Morning is an important time of day because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.– Lemony snicket
Everyone has a different way of motivating themselves. It might be reading a success story about how someone achieved their dreams by waking up early, or wanting to find some time to learn something, or imagining yourself leading the life you want.
However it is, get into the mindset, dream about it, crave it. Convince yourself waking up early is going to change your life. Convince yourself it is the only little change you will have to make to lead a better life. Write it down, hang it up, shout it out until you believe it… Because that is how change happens…when you believe it.
Create a fantasy
As a fantasy fan myself, I can attest to the addictive powers of fantasy. If you can create an alluring fantasy around waking up early, you can make your mind crave for it instead of fighting it.
Imagine yourself waking up with a smile and jumping out of bed, putting on a running gear and heading out into the fresh air while the birds are chirping a bright morning tune. Or jumping out of bed and walking into a warm , long shower , walking out to the alluring smell of coffee, enjoying every sip of coffee gazing out while the world comes alive.
Can you see yourself doing it in your mind? Does it paint a beautiful picture? Picture it every night before you go to bed. Your goal is to create a habit, not a 2 week stint which you got by with your sheer will power.
Will power is beneficial, but only up to a point. Creating habits needs more than just will power. You need to enjoy your morning routine to stick to it.
Start the day before
To have a great morning routine, it’s more important to have a great wind up routine the night before. Take time to wind down and have a good night’s sleep to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. Limit your caffeine throughout the day and avoid caffeine after 6 PM. Find out what helps you wind down and leave all the stress of the day behind. It might be relaxing in front of the TV, or meditating or taking a bath. Put away things before you go to bed, beacause a clutter free room means a clutter free mind in the morning.
Start your morning with something that gets you excited
Getting out of bed in the morning especially in the cold winter days takes a lot of willpower. Your mind will try to talk you back to snuggling into those warm sheets. You need something special that would get you excited enough to ignore your mind talk.
Think of something that will get you excited – A warm shower, a steaming cup of coffee, an uplifting morning podcast. ( Avoid social media unless you have so much willpower that you can set a timer for 10 mins and get out of it. The effect of social media on your mindset is a whole other topic.)
Don’t take off weekends
Sleeping in on weekends will undo all the work you have done on weekdays. You don’t take off brushing your teeth on weekends do you? Habits are something that needs to become a part of you that it takes decision away from the equation. There should be no question about what time you need to wake up everyday. It becomes a part of your subconscious that it is no longer a chore. And to do that, you need to accept that waking up early is just what needs to be done just like brushing your teeth or checking your phone.
Add productivity last
Granted, all of us want to wake up early so we can be productive, successful , climb that mountain, catch that star. But don’t try that yet. You will have to make waking up a habit first. You will have to walk before you run. Don’t cramp in all the good things when you start. Start slow and enjoy your journey as much as you will enjoy your destination.
Create the life you can’t wait to wake up to.-Josie Spinardi
What time do you wake up? Are you a morning lark or night owl? Do you have any tips to wake up early? Comment below. I love to hear from you.