For 32 years of my life, I was not a morning person. And this wasn’t a problem for me until I began exercising, studying, meditating and running my own business (basically, when life got way better!)
Suddenly, there weren’t enough hours in my day and time became a precious commodity. As any entrepreneurial publication will tell you, successful people tend to be early risers; it’s how they fit it all in. So in my quest for living a happier life, I tried it and I’ve never looked back. Here are my 3 top tips for the mental game of rising early, followed by some practical things you can do too.
1. Have a compelling reason.
There is no point waking up at the crack of dawn if you don’t have a good reason to do so. Where’s the point if all you’re going to do is lounge around and watch breakfast news? I know that if I sleep in, I have to sacrifice my gym session because it’s the only time in my day I have to dedicate an hour to my fitness. For others, waking early might mean an hour uninterrupted at the office, a sit down family breakfast or simply arriving to work on time and unflustered.
2. Go to bed with the right frame of mind.
Your last thoughts at night have a direct influence of your first thoughts in the morning so when you set your alarm, hear yourself say ‘I’m going to jump out of bed and have a great morning’ instead of ‘God that’s early, I’m really going to struggle’. It’s a simple trick but it works.
3. Reframe the snooze button.
When you wake up and hit snooze, you won’t return to restful REM sleep. You’re not recuperating, you’re wasting time lying in a bed for 10, 20, 30 minutes. Having knowledge of this fact really helped me set a realistic time on my alarm and get straight out of bed when it went off. To set an alarm half an hour early so you can press snooze deprives you of useful sleep time and sets you up with the perfect excuse to stay in bed longer… Lying there thinking about how tired to are will only make you more tired. Jump out of bed immediately (think of it like ripping a Band-Aid off) and make the most of your valuable time.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep (6-8 hours) by going to bed at a reasonable time (do you really need to watch another re-run of that Seinfeld episode??)
Have your heating/heater on a timer so it comes on an hour before your alarm goes off. No one wants to leave a warm bed for a freezing bedroom. Exercise. Get that body moving as soon as possible to really shake any sleepiness. I find exercising first thing works best for me so I don’t have all day to make up excuses not to go to the gym.
Drink water immediately. You are mildly dehydrated when you wake up and this can often make you feel lethargic. Hot water and lemon is the best way to wake up your internal organs and flush though toxins.
Leaving the alarm clock on the other side of the room means you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re out of bed, don’t return. Instead, brush your teeth and wash your face in cold water.
Hope this helps!