When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive,
to think, to enjoy, to love. – Marcus Aurelius
Here’s my confession: I’m not a morning person (naturally). At least I wouldn’t consider myself that until recently. Before, even a mere thought of rising early in the morning, earlier than 8 a.m that is, seemed to be a dreadful and challenging exercise. So I would stay in my cozy bed postponing my “to-do list,” negotiating with the alarm for “5 more minutes” and hitting the snooze button. And as shameful it is to admit, I was envy about people who proudly called themselves a “morning person.”
What is usually going on in our mind first thing in the morning?
My rationalization typically looked like this: “Another day, huh? I love my sleep; I love my bed… I don’t want to wake up. Period”. This flow of negative thoughts would flood my mind before I would even wake up. I wasn’t aware of that.
Then the different notion would kick in nagging: “Um, excuse me, don’t you think that your dreams will stay just dreams while you are asleep? Aren’t you interested in fulfilling them?! And guess what, NO ONE will do it for you. So you better shift your butt and off you go!” Thoughts are powerful. What we tell ourselves is powerful.
Those thoughts were running in the background all the time. They were in charge of my mood and almost ruled everything I was about to do or was aspiring to do. So I pinned my attention to those thoughts and created suggestions to boost “morning positivity.” When I wake up now, the first thing I think about is how exciting things I’m going to do today. I changed my morning self-talk because every day has something to be excited about…
The Benefits of Rising Early in the Morning
Getting Things Done
Yesterday to my surprise, I rolled out of bed at 4 a.m. simply because I couldn’t sleep. So instead of the staring contest with the ceiling that would continue for hours, I decided to kick myself out of bed. Only now, I realized that by doing so I CHANGED the pattern. And it felt surprisingly great!
I prepared some chamomile tea with lemon instead of coffee (again, changing the pattern) and I sat before the computer screen. To my astonishment, I’ve heard the birds singing outside in the dark. Good morning. And then my focus shifted back to my to-do list that was quite formidable. I scrolled down article drafts that were waiting to be finished for many months now. And the beam of inspiration caught me off guard. I’ve started writing and by 8 a.m. I was done with half of the tasks that were on my list.
Just imagine. Getting things done by 8 a.m. when other people tend to wake up and start their day. Just imagine how fruitful the day may turn out when you are more efficient at the time of the day when you are energized the most!
In fact waking up earlier makes you more successful. It certainly gives you a head start to the day when everybody is still asleep. By waking up early and accomplishing more, we create a positive cycle that gets reinforced every day. Because it feels GOOD. It feels good to do things on time and efficiently.
Creating a Warm Felt Routine
Waking up earlier is about creating a warm felt space where you can do your stuff and BE YOURSELF. It’s about creating time and space for yourself and concentrating on your development. Time to read a book, to do a morning meditation and yoga, time for a morning run. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to create a little bit more private time for yourself? Whatever it is you are into – you can, in fact, create more time for the little things you enjoy doing the most by just deciding to wake up early in the morning. During this period, you can relax before starting your busy day.
How to Become a Morning Person
1. Motivation That Inspires
When you have a sense of purpose, you never get up in the morning wondering what you’re going to do with yourself.
This is that very first push out of the bed we need. This is that special little something that we look forward to. Before going to bed think about something you would love to do in the morning. Something you look forward to. It could be a new recipe for the frittata to try, a new smoothie to blend. Maybe it’s a new morning meditation technique that you learned about today? Maybe it’s an energizing exercise to add to your morning training. Or maybe it’s just a quiet time to drink some tea and read your favorite online resources. Whatever it is, let it be something positive and meaningful to you.
Typically I switch on some inspirational music to boost the mood and kick it onto an active vibe. Positive vibe attracts positive things, and the universe keeps sending more positivity your way.
If all you do in the morning is getting things together to go to work – make it fun! Turn the music on, make it enjoyable so your day starts on a positive note.
What is it that you want to accomplish by waking up early and how can it help you? Think about it, write it down. The bottom line here is simple: find a compelling reason to wake up early.
2. Take it Easy. Make it Gradual
One of the crucial things is to transcend into this new positive, healthy habit of rising early GRADUALLY.
If your goal is waking up an hour and a half sooner, than you can start with setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier. The next day, 15 minutes earlier again. Do it gradually until you reach your goal time that you wish to wake up at.
3. Get Ready Beforehand
The clothes you would like to wear the next morning, your lunch and all the to-do lists shall be prepared the night before. This simply saves you time in the morning and makes it less stressful as you do your preparations slowly, giving it a thought whereas during the morning hours it can become a bit chaotic to do everything effectively.
4. Committed to the Goal
Make a commitment to wake up early in the morning at the same time every day including weekends (when it’s a way easier to oversleep). Because of waking up early on Monday to Friday and then sleeping till noon during the weekend is bad news. You will feel dreadful on Monday morning again. Trust me; I’ve been there. Therefore, try to commit waking up early at the same time every day.
Our body loves the consistency, and when it’s out of sync, it goes off balance. You will feel tired and lacking energy which you actually want to have.
5. Notifications and Updates Can Wait
No computers and checking updates in bed. It will not help you to fall asleep. It will take your attention away and steal your time from the sleep you need. Updates and notifications can wait, your sleep can’t. It messes up the biorhythm, and the light from the screen keeps our nervous system alerted when it strives to be relaxed.
6. Fake it Till You Make it
If you don’t feel psyched to wake up early at first – fake it. Talk yourself into it. Emotion created by motion. Put the music on, move, smile, be grateful for yet another morning. Pack your mind with positive thoughts of gratitude, and I guarantee you will, in fact, feel better in the morning.
The morning wasn’t my favorite part of the day. Some mornings are tough and hard, but we don’t have to make them harder. Anything can change in an instant if we decide so. So I was faking it till I made it when I realised how many great things I could accomplish by giving myself a head start.
Every morning is not a subject of despise. Every morning brings us something to be excited about, to be able to create, achieve and add some positive strokes to the masterpiece we call life.