Let’s set the scene. Your alarm goes off and the only thing within your line of sight is complete darkness because the sun hasn’t risen yet. Your new year’s resolution to wake up earlier is echoing in the back of your mind calling to you, but so is the warmth of your bed. (The very same bed that you haven’t been able to force yourself out of just yet.) Inevitably, you hit the snooze button on your phone and continue to collect an additional hour of sleep between alarm intervals.
Does this sound familiar?
There are so many benefits to waking up early and jumping into your day with intention. So, why haven’t you been able to embrace this early bird routine just yet? You’ve been believing the lie that you aren’t a morning person. The reality is, most people will never know if they’re a morning person because they’ve never given themselves a chance to truly find out.
If you’ve been wondering if the early bird really gets the worm, here are some steps you can take to improve your routine to finally find out for yourself!
Prep the night before.
One of the key things that causes stress in the morning is the feeling of being rushed! This tends to happen due to not being prepared for what is needed to get going and out the door. Being disciplined about setting time aside at night to prepare things like choosing clothing, packing lunch or a gym bag, putting school paperwork together for the kiddos, and anything else that would usually have to wait until the morning is beyond helpful in making mornings feel smoother.
Go to bed earlier.
This is the painfully obvious one, but one of the hardest for most people. With days that demand so much from us, it can be tempting to stay up into the wee hours of the night. Setting an alarm to remind you to begin winding down and getting ready for a good night’s sleep can help you stick to a bedtime that will support your earlier morning wake up. On average, it’s important to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, so plan around this.
Limit your screen time.
Isn’t this something we would tell our children? Yes, but adults can benefit from reduced screen time as well, especially 2 hours before bed. The blue light that your electronic screens give off on items such as cell phones, iPads and computers can actually affect your vision and keep you awake. Light, in general, can actually suppress the secretion of melatonin, which helps regulate your body’s sleep cycle, but blue light is proven to do so even more drastically.
Use a real alarm clock.
Most people nowadays use the alarm feature on their smartphones; however, getting a separate alarm clock is actually one of the best things for a strong morning routine. By incorporating an alarm clock near your bed, this allows you to charge your cell phone in another location away from your bed. This will help with limiting screen time but also decrease the chance of distraction, keeping you awake longer at night or lingering in bed in the morning.
Feed your soul and your stomach.
Not having your cell phone in arm’s reach while in bed, another elimination is made: mindless consuming and scrolling. While something we all tend to do, try to be in charge of what you’re consuming! Rather than scrolling through social media or reading the news, take some time to do something that feeds your soul first thing in the morning. You can read, do 10 minutes of journaling, have some prayer or meditation time, or practice gratitude. Don’t forget to make time to eat breakfast, even if it’s something small to give you that much needed energy you’ll need to start your day.
A strong morning routine should help you feel more in control of your morning, of course, but also your entire day and ultimately a little more in control of your life! As you make these changes to become more of a morning person, make sure you can easily see what that “reward” starts to look like for you. Is it finally having time to hit the gym or carve out time to work on your side hustle? Maybe you are enjoying going to bed early and getting some reading in for the first time in months? Really zero in on what the benefits have been to keep yourself motivated and to continue with your changes.
Remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit. Start incorporating some of these steps into your daily routine over time to embrace your early riser and get more out of your mornings!