What do you do when your alarm goes off in the morning? Do you get up, or do you stay down…you know, for just another 5 minutes? How you answer this question tells a lot. It is the very first choice we make and influences the rest of the choices we make each day.
I’ve read just about every article and book out there about becoming a morning person once and for all. I’ve searched and scoured for that hidden secret to rising early, and enjoying it. The secret? It doesn’t exist. When it comes down to it, it’s just a choice. Get up or stay down.
I never used to think of it as a choice. I’m just not a morning person. It’s too hard to get up early. 5 more minutes won’t hurt, I’d tell myself. But, the rest of the day builds on that first thought we have. I’ve noticed that when I say yes to hitting the snooze button one more time it’s easier to yes to that extra piece of chocolate or that extra 10 minutes on the couch. It’s like laying the first brick of foundation. Put it in the right spot and you’re building a strong, lasting, successful structure. Casually toss it and the rest of the bricks don’t fit quite right making it weak and easy to fall.
I know what you’re thinking. Easier said than done, and you’re right. But, let’s drop the bull shit excuses and start owning our choices. Once you’ve decided to get up, here are a couple of ideas to keep you moving in the right direction.
Start the night before. Ask yourself:
- How do I want to spend my morning?
- Do I need to prep anything?
- What am I looking forward to?
Spend a little time really thinking about the answers and write them out. Give yourself something to look forward too. It could be anything from coffee with a friend to catching up on your favorite podcast while you get ready. Also, be sure to prep anything that can be done the night before, such as your outfit, lunches for the kids, or a healthy breakfast. This not only saves you time, it frees up your mind for more important matters.
Forget the snooze button. You’ve already made the choice to get up, so don’t let the snooze button tempt you. If you normally use the alarm on your phone, try switching it out for a real alarm clock that you can place across the room. Now, you have to physically get out of bed which makes choosing to get up a little bit easier. Check out this alarm clock if you’re interested in purchasing one. (Click on the photo to view details.)
Once up – Stay up. Don’t let those comfy blankets and pillows beckon you to crawl back into bed. Instead of leaving them as a reminder of how cozy you just were, take a couple minutes to make the bed. It’s much less tempting to hunker back down when you’ve just fluffed the pillows and tucked in the sheets.
Get active. Get that blood pumping and wake your body up. You’ll feel the benefits from something as simple as a couple jumping jacks or a brisk walk around the block. If you’re short on time try the quick workout I put together.
Eat breakfast. There’s an ongoing debate on the importance of eating breakfast, and I’m not sure which side is right. I wanted to include “eat breakfast” on here because it is another mindful choice that we can make. When I choose to eat a healthy breakfast, I make better food choices through out the day. This one is a personal choice based on your preference and lifestyle. But, if it’s something you choose, try making it into a ritual or something you look forward to. Sit down and really enjoy your meal (or coffee.)
Do something mindful. Spend a couple of minutes doing a mindful activity. You could meditate, journal, watch an inspirational video, color, or anything that centers you. Again, if you’re short on time this could be something as quick as reading through a couple inspirational quotes or jotting down three things you’re grateful for. I like to spend the time going over my goals for the day and writing in my bullet journal.
Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. – Buddha
Before you move on to the rest of your day, note how you feel. Did you spend your time how you intended? Are there any areas that you can improve? Do you need to change up your routine to make it work better for you?
I’ve put together a worksheet to help you own your mornings. Be sure to download a copy of yours here!
And remember, when that alarm starts beeping, jump out of bed and face the day. Put a brick down in the right spot so that the rest of day you can continue to build a better, wild life.
Speaking of your wild life, I want to hear about it! Be sure to use the hashtag #wildforawhile and follow me on Twitter and Instagram @wild_for_awhile.