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In the bible, it says David woke up early the day he slayed Goliath. Think about that. Think about the reason why it was even needed to be said that he woke up early.
You won’t slay your giants hitting the snooze button and lying in bed!
We all have giants. Some are so overwhelming we can’t think about them. Some we’ve put in closets with bolt locks and almost forgotten about them. Others have been on our to-do lists for weeks, possibly months. Moving them from one list to the next. But for some reason, reasons we may not even be able to answer, we don’t have the gumption to make ourselves overcome those giants.
I like to believe that anyone can become a morning person. In a world structured around people who wake up early it is not only a good idea, but a necessity.
Waking up is one of the hardest habits to cultivate. Done slowly and intentionally it can be done your own way and at your own pace.
Here’s how my typical morning used to go. The night before I would crawl into bed, grab my phone and set the alarm for 4:30, excited and motivated that I was going to get up early and get stuff done! I was going to work out, have coffee, meditate and pray all before anyone else in my house (5 kids and 1 husband) woke up. The next morning dawned bright and early, and the most painful annoying sound to my ears (the cute ringtone I had liked the night before) disturbed my soul like an unexpected fire alarm. I quickly smashed the snooze button with my thumb. Looked at the ridiculously early time on my phone. Furious that it woke me, and completely annoyed with myself for being so ridiculous as to have set it for that time in the first place. There were no kids up, why in the world would I crawl out of my warm cocoon to work out?!! Just 5 more minutes!!
We seem to think as soon as our alarm goes off in the morning we will jump out of bed like Superman jumping out of a phone booth ready to conquer life challenges. This is never the case and it never will be. It isn’t just because you lack the drive. I heard once that a sleep deprived body acts similarly to an intoxicated one. This means that simply waking up early isn’t necessarily an option. To become a morning person and love it; you MUST create a routine and here’s how:
1. Find Out How Much Sleep Your Body Needs:
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Benjamin Franklin
No matter how hard you try you will not be able to go from waking up at 9 am to 4:30 or 5 every morning. This will only leave you exhausted. If you don’t know how much sleep you need already, experiment for a few days. I am an advocate for slow and steady change. I don’t ever like to be imposed upon, or at all uncomfortable! 😊
I like to take things slowly, change things gradually as to almost not notice that I have changed at all.
Being a Rebel, as I found out from a quiz I took by Gretchen Rubin, called the 4 Tendencies Quiz, helped me figure out how to be more productive. I now know that this is who I am and to stop fighting it. Figure out how much sleep is too much, and how much leaves you feeling energized. Be consistent. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
2. Find a Reason:
Let’s be honest. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow morning bright eyes and bushy tailed just because you came across my post.
You must have a reason.
A drive for getting your body out of that warm and comfortable bed. When it is dark and cold outside you must have a real motivation for getting up. Set an intention the night before for exactly what it is that you want to achieve by waking up early.
Is it exercise? Journaling? Being creative? Getting organized before the storm of children crawl out of bed? Find your reason for wanting to get a head start with your day.
By making a to-do check list the evening before, you set a concrete intention of what you would like to accomplish when you have gotten up. Learning how to be a Time Ninja and prioritize helps you figure out WHY you want to start adding more hours to your day. Put check marks next to each task so that when you’ve accomplished them you get the satisfaction of putting that fantastic little next to it. (That’s my favorite part!) 😊
3. You Need to Start Hydrating
The third way to become a morning person and love it is to get hydrated! When you wake up, you have been in a sedated state for at least 8 hours, so the first thing you need to do is hydrate. Go straight to the kitchen and make yourself a lemon water and start the coffee pot or tea kettle. This way you are waking up your brain, your stomach, and your liver and kidneys. By waking up your internal organs you are more likely to clear your mind and be able to start to make good decisions and choices.
4. Optimize Your Sleeping Environment
It’s time to shut off the screens. Do this about 1 hour before you lay down and shut the lights off. It is essential to shut off TV’s computers, laptops, iPads, kindles, and smart phones. The blue light from these devices drain your natural melatonin leaving you exhausted yet unable to sleep. The best thing to do before you fall asleep is read an actual book. Especially a self-help book as it will condition your brain for success even as you fall to sleep). If the last thing your brain was thinking about was improvement, your subconscious brain will dwell on that all night.
Get a white noise maker. This could be a fan or you can purchase a White Noise Maker. This is the best ones I’ve found so far, and I like that I can pack it and bring it where ever I go.
This is extremely beneficial for falling asleep as it helps drown out annoying sounds outside or in your home and it helps to relax your brain as it is hearing the same sound over and over. The white noise machine gives off the same sounds as a fan without the chilly breeze. I personally can’t sleep without one. The silence makes my ears ring!
Make the room COMPLETELY DARK. It is also essential that you darken the room as much as you possible can. You can purchase Darkening Drapes that help block out street lights or full moons. Or you can put a towel behind your existing drapes to help with this as well. Also remove any TV’s or fish tanks from your room.
5. Dress Warm
Most people dress in very little when going to sleep. Boxer shorts and a tank top or camisole are very common. This makes getting out of bed a torturous task. To become a morning person and love it; dress warm with long sleeves, and pants when going to bed. Have less covers if you tend to sleep on the warm side. But when it is time to throw the covers off and rise and shine you won’t feel so prone to getting warm and cozy again. This results in you drifting back to sleep!
If this repulses you because you are a naturally warm sleeper like my husband, then lay out your robe and slippers next to the bed. Because even if you are a warm sleeper you won’t want to get out of that cozy bed in the early morning hours.
6. Gradual Change
I said it before, but I think it’s worth reiterating! I can’t stand drastic abrupt change. I truly believe that real change comes from slow and small changes to build new habits.
I found that moving my bedtime and rise time slowly back by 15 or 30-minute increments I didn’t feel the change as drastically. I actually enjoyed the process and WANTED to get up earlier!! I also found my body waking up before my alarm because I had taken the time to go to bed just as early just as many hours I was waking up, allowing myself the rest I needed.
In conclusion, to become a morning person and love it takes intentionality and a thought out plan, but it doesn’t have to be bad! Look I get it. No one wants to get up early after a long hard day just to start another hard day. Yet there seems to be a theme in the lives of successful men and woman. A theme of self-sacrifice for the betterment of themselves. They worked hard to better themselves, so they could make the greatest difference in the lives of those they touched.
Getting up early seems arbitrary, and yet it holds a significant importance. When you can rise before the rest of the world you can accomplish more than the rest of the world.
Good Luck!!! 😀