4 Tips for Waking Up Early Every Day
Without Feeling Terrible.
“I want to start waking up early, every day.” I would tell myself this, every couple of months on a loop. Yet, nothing would change.
I would wake up with the sun for a couple of days, exhaust myself and give up around day 2 or 3.
The goal of waking up early every day seemed unobtainable and frankly unrealistic. That was until I started using the extra time properly.
I have finally achieved the unthinkable. I have woken up early every day for the last couple of weeks. Other than a 3 day mini-vacation, I was out of bed when my alarm started at 5am.
I can’t have volume on my alarm since there happens to be a sleeping baby on the other side of the room. So the vibrate begins at 5, and I groggily find my phone under the pillow.
Once the alarm is on, the task becomes willing myself out of bed. This where it becomes a pass or fail.
I have had to build a set of procedures to make me want to get out of bed. I had to learn how to be kind to myself in those first moments.
I set those early hours doing things I enjoy, avoiding adding busy work. Most importantly, I am learning the discipline in finding my bedtime.
1. Being Kind to Myself
In the past, whenever I tried to wake up early, I would suddenly decide to wake up early and expect it to magically work the next morning.
When I inevitably sleep in on day 2, I bury myself in pity and give up altogether.
“Back to the drawing board, you dumb <adjective> <noun>.”
The lesson I’m learning here – and in every other area of my life – things get easier when I am kind to myself. I have to be patient.
Habits are meant to form, not start.
I tried waking up this early, with various levels of success, for quite a while. I had to incrementally back my alarms into the time window I wanted.
This took a lot of patience, and even some cheesy positive affirmations.
Cheesy positive affirmations, in place of self-deprecating dwelling, was a surprising change. Though it takes time, and a bit of self-awareness.
2. Waking Up Early To Do Something You Enjoy
Positive affirmations can only get me so far. At a certain point, I had to have something to look forward to when I wake up.
For me, this is time for meditation and writing.
I have written my best content of the last few months in those early hours. It’s the same time of day where I experimented with my first YouTube videos.
Meditating in the morning is an enormous change for me. I have pinpointed first thing in the morning as the most volatile time for my mood.
Taking this time to focus on breathing, and training my relationship with my thoughts. This is my antidote for those emotionally sickening impulses in the morning.
I have capitalized on this extra time, and when the alarm starts dancing at 5am – I am looking forward to getting up.
3. Do NOT Add More To-Do’s
This is where I went wrong every time before. I would set myself on waking up early, and notice the extra time on my hands.
Instead of focusing on something I enjoy, I convinced myself that those hours need to be spent in front of the dishwasher, washer & dryer, or other chores.
After building this enormously flawed plan, the alarm shakes at 5am. I tell myself to wake up <negative noun>, and what’s waiting for me is chores.
Nah, I’ll go back to sleep. Thank you.
Create extra time for you, not more time for things to control you.
The chores can be done later. This early time is for you to prepare for the day. Not a head start.
4. Find Your Bedtime. Be An Adult.
Author Confession: The above headline is incredibly aggressive because I wrote the initial draft at 11:38pm. But it was a Friday and I am still learning.
I have found myself comfortable at getting in bed at 11pm. Earlier could allow more sleep, but I wind up rushing my evening and stressing myself out more than needed.
Going to bed at a regular time, is way more difficult than waking up early every day.
The subtitle of this article is “Without feeling terrible.” The key to that part is a proper bed time. I don’t necessarily focus on a lot of sleep, but a consistent amount of sleep.
However, I did mention I have a baby. Sometimes she dictates this for me. With one more on the way – I might have to report back on this whole topic soon.
P.S. – Refer back to Step 1 often. Be kind to yourself, and give yourself a break when you need it. You don’t burn out if you get to know your limits.
~ Follow InTake.Create on Instagram to stay up to date with everything I am working on. ~