At The Beginning:
I started my first full time job when I was 19 and pregnant. From that moment without fail no matter where I worked, I would roll out of bed at the last minute, rushing to get ready and getting to work. This crazy cycle continued for 7 years and got even worse once my daughter started getting older.
She would cry every morning and take her sweet time with getting dressed, which caused a lot of mornings to start off rocky.
I always thought the idea of getting up early to get ready for work and school was good in theory, but actually doing it always seemed impossible and if I’m being honest, there was nothing really motivating me to do so. I would have every intention to wake up early the next morning, but would fail every time.
As I started doing research on successful people and their habits, I discovered that one primary habits of a successful person is they get up early! I will admit that even after I came to this conclusion, it was still a struggle to wake up early. I would press the snooze button and have multiple alarms set.
I began to do some more research on tips to waking up early (don’t you just love the internet?). I found some very useful tips which were:
- Set one alarm
- Don’t hit snooze
- Prepare the night before
- Create a morning routine
How I Applied the Tips
- Setting one alarm and no snooze button – I remember reading that it is actually not good to have multiple alarms, because you actually get less sleep. I’m sure this is true, but in the moment, that extra 5 mins is EVERYTHING. Again, even with the tips it was still a struggle. I started to slowly follow the tips. I got rid of all of my alarms and only have one alarm set for 5am every day (even the weekends). I also disabled my snooze button to help remove the temptation.
Do I jump up right at 5am? NO! I wish, but I do gradually wake up and make it out of bed on time.
- The Night Before I also learned that your mornings will be a lot easier when you do not have to think. Yes, I said think. If it is a struggle to just get up early, the last thing you want to do is figure out what you’re going to wear, pack for lunch, or any other decisions you may have to make in the morning.
I know for me, I would need to find something to wear out of a pile of clean clothes, because I HATE FOLDING CLOTHES! (But, I’m getting better now.) I would also have to find something for my daughter to wear, along with packing lunch and breakfast. So many decisions to make, and absolutely no time or energy to figure it all out.
Once I made decision to put this next tip in motion, I made a list. (You will soon learn how much I love a list. A list is a brain in paper form.) I wrote down the things I needed to do in the morning and I also wrote the things I would actually like to do in the morning.
- Get dressed
- Pack breakfast and lunch
- Read book or journal
After I created my list, I was able to see what things I could prepare the night before. I set out my clothes for the next day, packed my breakfast and lunch, and rolled out my yoga mat next to my bed.
When you have a routine and things in place, it allows your brain to not have to think so early and you can function on auto pilot. You will gradually wake up as you are doing your routine. I give myself roughly an hour and 15-30 minutes. The 1st hour is dedicated to the first 4 things on my list. Once I am all ready to leave, I sit down for 15-30 minutes and read a book.
What’s Driving Me:
I originally started this routine so I could start developing the discipline needed in order to work for myself. As I started to stick to it, in the mornings I didn’t notice a difference in my mental state and energy.
After 7 years of rolling out of bed so I could rush to make someone else wealthy and give an employer my energy first thing in the morning, I decided it was something I chose to no longer do. I chose to no longer give ANYONE my energy first thing in the morning. That energy is for me!
I use this time to set my intentions for the day, to tend to my mental and physical needs.
For this first part of my day I am not a wife, mother, daughter, or any other titles. I am just me, and my only responsibility is to take care of me.
Does this mean I don’t tolerate interruptions from my 7-year-old daughter or husband? Nope, there are times when they may need my assistance, and of course I give it to them. However, it doesn’t happen often and I have set the expectation that it is my personal time and they do their best to respect it.
I also encourage them to do the same!
Some may call this selfish, but I call it self care and self love. I love myself enough to set boundaries with my family in order to make sure I am taken care of mentally and physically. I am a better wife, mother, etc. when I am in a healthy mental state.
So my true motivation and the reason I wake up early is for ME! Me and only me. I love myself enough to give myself time to care for my own needs and put them before my family, friends, and employer. This is only the way I can truly be successful.
If you feel like this is still too much of a commitment, check out the Before Breakfast Podcast Episode: 10 Minutes to a better morning, with Laura Vanderkam.
Questions of the Week:
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it?
Do you wish to start a morning routine? What’s stopping you?