I get a lot of comments about my 5am wake ups. Some are negative, some are positive. So, today let’s talk about the why & the how. And then I’ll tell you the 3 secret strategies I use to make it happen.
Okay, so why do I get up so early?
A long time ago I realized that while relaxing at night and staying up a little late made me FEEL like I was finally getting time to myself, it was actually sabotaging me. Staying up late meant I would wake up late or wake up early (kiddos!) and be cranky. Then I’d start a daily cycle of not-so-greatness. Which, of course, would require the desperate need to have that time at the end of the day.
So, what was I doing during that time? Probably watching shows, playing games. At best, taking a bath and reading. Definitely drinking some of that time and sometimes snacking.
When I decided to try and get up early, I realized I was trading my “me” time in for an upgraded version.
So, when I get up early it does require I go to bed earlier. However, when I get up, I start the day with me time. That proves to myself that I’m worth it. It also means I’m not starting the day reactive. My kids used to be my alarm clock. That made me cranky and even kind of resentful.
So, I start the day with some me time. That means that by the time the DAY requires me, I’ve done something nice for myself and the day is now on my terms.
Energy at night is restorative. So, we definitely need to do something relaxing and restoring. Interestingly enough, most of our evening activities don’t fit that bill (we are just checking out most of the time). While we need the relaxing time at night, I find the morning time to be better for my soul and my overall mood. Morning energy is productive. That goes for you “non-morning-people” too.
Getting up early and doing what you want to do is being productive, intentional and owning your day. That’s opposed to being cranky, late and reactive. It’s like a present to yourself. The soft, quiet, still time in the morning is so amazing and contrasts our busy, hectic world beautifully.
Okay, so what are my secret weapons?
- The sun. When we lived in Alaska we had room darkening curtains. Nowadays I don’t use curtains at all in my bedroom (backed up to woods). The sun will wake you up (this requires a bit of habit building) naturally. This is what we refer to when we talk about the circadian rhythm. Your body is designed to rise with the sun. Unfortunately, the way we live now doesn’t allow for that as well. If you live in a place that isn’t ambushed by fake lights (street lights, night lights), try using the sun and moonlight to help you rise and shine. During the winter I had to struggle bus out of bed sometimes because I didn’t have the sun on my side. Nowadays, the sun is waking me (naturally and slowly) before 5 because we live so close to the EST timeline.
- The alarm clock. Okay, so I actually don’t use an alarm clock. I’ve always had this weird ability to tell myself when to wake up. And as long as I wasn’t hungover or sick, it worked. However, I do advise my clients to put their alarm clock across the room. Yes, that old trick that you have to get out of bed in order to turn it off. Well, you’re up, might as well stay up! Now, I have three caveats to that! First, I want you to have a mantra ready to say during that long trek from your bed to your dresser. Examples I use are “I am going to feel so great in an hour” “I won’t be so sleepy in ten minutes” “It’s totally worth it to stay up.” Whatever you think will work for you, practice it now. Then have it ready for repeat when the alarm goes off. My second caveat is that if you use your phone for an alarm, download an app that lets you record your own alarm sound. Then record your mantra a few times in a row and set it as your alarm sound. My last caveat–whatever you’re hoping to accomplish when you get up, make it super easy for when you do get up. My husband programs the coffee to be ready by the time he gets up so he can have it asap. My bible and journal are steps away from where I brush my teeth. My friends have their tennis shoes and clothes set out at the foot of the bed so they can roll right into them. Make it easy!
- Energize. This last one is kind of a cheat. Since moving to Virginia, sometimes I need a little boost in the morning. Now, I’ve never taken a pre-workout before. I’m naturally, annoyingly energetic. But the friends of mine who have tried it have told me they loved it and loved that it didn’t make them jittery at all. In fact, to me, it gives you a kind-of giddy motivation high. People are nice when they have energize-including me. So, if it’s rough day I do take energize before my workout and it really helps me out.
In case you’re wondering, my morning routine looks like this:
- Read, journal & pray @ 5:15
- Music / Meditation / Plan day @ 5:30
- Workout @ 6
If you’d like any help, you know we can work together until you find your sweet spot! I’m here to help. Click that button, top right, work with me!