What do you dislike more? Your alarm clock going off in the morning, or the act of getting out of bed? How is it that these insignificant and incredibly quick actions can have such an impact on how we feel, how we start our day, and often how the rest of our day goes?! Now THAT is giving a lot of power to two things that do not deserve that weight and significance.
As someone who has spent the last five or so years dedicating a lot of time and attention into creating a morning I like, feel in control of, and starts my day off proactively instead of reactively, I am also the first to say it is still quite rare that I wake up and do not feel tired. I go to bed around the same time every evening (at least relatively…I am a mom of three kiddos, so bedtime and sleep are fluid), and also wake up around the same time (again with the exception of the first year after babies are born), and yet I do not bounce out of bed. I too look a wreck, am slow moving, and desperately do not want to leave the warmth of my bed.
There are a handful of things though that do actually help me avoid the snooze button, combat fatigue, and make the transition from sleeping to starting my day pleasant and positive! And any time I can help make this process easier, better and more conducive to additional lifestyle changes I want to pay it forward. So check out the list before and then be sure to actually TRY THEM, maybe even for the next 4-5 days to really get a feel for them and their impact on your day.
- CHANGE YOUR ALARM CLOCK TO A SONG
“All I do is Win,” by DJ Khaled. That was my alarm clock for the better half of 2018. I don’t think I ever fully got used to it and would awake abruptly each morning as the start of the song would always startle me, but just as quick it would pump me up for the day. It was fun, put a smile on my face, and definitely made it more difficult to accidentally fall back asleep. This simple change is a fun way to personalize the start of your day and also help decide the tone of your morning too
- GIVE YOURSELF A COUNTDOWN
I can’t take credit for this. Thank Mel Robbins. Although, I’m sure we’ve all used this tactic at some point, whether it was for getting our butts’ outta bed or to entice a child into doing the right thing. Mel was absolutely on to something when she applied this to one of the most challenging parts of our day: getting out of bed. This quick and effective method creates a definitive time and action expected, while giving yourself a tad bit of grace in getting there. Watch Mel’s quick 1-minute video here to get you fully bought in to try it out tomorrow morning!
- TAKE A BIG WHIFF OF ESSENTIAL OIL
As soon as your alarm goes off, open up your bottle of essential oil and take a whiff or two. Peppermint is my favorite go-to for this purpose, but any essential oil would do the trick. I have also used an essential oil roller ball bottle and applied some to the inside of my wrists and neck. Our senses can play a big part in our energy levels, and by calling on our olfactory senses first thing acts as quite the wake-up call and gets the rest of our system energized, making it easier to get out of bed.
- DRINK 16 OZ. WATER FIRST THING
I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Probably more than once. Have you done it yet? As you are well aware, our body is made up of over 60% water and on top of that most of us do not consume enough each day. Then factor in the overnight fast from food and drink, and you can imagine how much your body needs water first thing. It isn’t uncommon for our feelings of tiredness, fatigue, and even hunger to actually be our body signaling to us that we’re actually bit dehydrated. So before bed I fill a water bottle and put it on my nightstand for in the morning. When my alarm goes off it is one of the first things I reach for, and drink at least 16 ounces within the first minute or so upon waking. Physically it helps shake off my sleepiness, but mentally it is also positive reinforcement as I instantly move closer to meeting my daily water consumption goal.
- HAVE WORKOUT CLOTHES READY
Give your brain one less excuse and have your workout clothes ready and waiting for your. Perhaps right next to your bed, at the foot of your bed, or laid out waiting for you, so that shortly after you get out of bed you quick change and are prepped for activity. You may not be someone who works out in the morning (yet), but incorporating this into your morning followed by even 5-10 minutes of a brisk walk, push-ups and squats, or yoga and stretching, will get you into the pattern of morning movement. It has been the primary habit that has made the most impact on my day and life, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. The days I workout first thing, I am also more productive, energized, happy, patient, and more likely to make healthier decisions.
- PLAN YOUR ROUTINE THE NIGHT BEFORE
Decision-fatigue is real, just as much as physical fatigue. By starting your day off with a plan already in place delays that process (and stress) and allows you to think less and just do more. Rather than wasting time picking out your outfit, aimlessly wandering around the house debating if you stretch, walk or journal, plan it all the night before. Without next-steps after shutting off the alarm clock, it can be even more tempting to stay in bed. I have found it helpful to include something for my mental health and something for my physical health, such as reading 10 pages in a personal growth book followed by a 25-30 minute at-home workout. I love the book, “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod for this specific purpose. In the book he lays out a simple and super effective morning routine that can be completed in as little as 5-7 minutes.
- LISTEN TO YOURSELF
This one is a bit different, but hear me out. Some of the most successful and influential people in the personal-growth realm do this and talk highly of it, and I think you’ll agree after you try it out. Record yourself reciting personal affirmations. Affirmations overall might be a new concept for you– statement(s) meant to build self-esteem and confidence by reframing self-limiting and negative thoughts. It’s defined as, “the act of confirming something to be true, or is a written or oral statement that confirms something is true.” The intent is to repeat affirmations often (daily, throughout the day), to gradually reprogram those thoughts and thinking patterns. Much like how we need to do consistent daily activity to improve our physical health, integrating affirmations each day are meant and emotional exercises for our mindset. Our thoughts control our actions, and overtime therefore over time these positive statements will help us to improve our life. Our brain is a fascinating thing, and yet simultaneously so basic in some ways. The simplest of shifts in how you consciously think of and phrase your goals and how you speak about yourself can make a world of a difference.
- INCLUDE A REWARD
Tasks, especially new ones, are always more fun and exciting when it includes something fun and exciting! It doesn’t mean that it needs to be extravagant or expensive, but something to add some pep in your step and entice you. Those workout clothes you’re going to put on, consider buying a new pair of workout shorts/leggings or tank. Frumpy sweats and an old tee don’t exactly scream motivating, so set yourself up for immediate success and positive reinforcement and perhaps buy an article of clothing to start your journey.
Or maybe like me, the fun reward is a fruity alternative to Red Bull of sorts without the sugar rush and artificial ingredients, but still the amazing pick-me-up that any morning craves. At times my fun reward has been a new journaling notebook or planner, or even simply a new pen (honestly, when you know you know). This change and process is worth it and it is what will yield the progress you wish to see and feel, but rarely does it happen as fast as we wish. Therefore, these small rewards can be just the thing to keep ya keepin’ on.
I hope you’re able to find at least a few of these tips and tactics helpful to add to your morning! Not every day is going to be smooth, but the more you practice and implement strategies that ease the process, the more consistent you will become. Before you know it, you’ll have built some effective habits that have shifted your morning and then your life.