You’ve probably tried to consistently wake up early several times, only to find yourself giving up after a few days or even on the first day.
It’s one thing when you HAVE to wake up early to get to work on time.
It’s another thing when you CHOOSE to wake up earlier than you need to be up.
I wake up at 4:30 or 5 am. I don’t leave for work until about 6:45 am, so technically I could wake up at 6 am and still leave on time.
However, waking up earlier is extremely valuable to me.
After I get over that initial sleepiness (this usually is after my shower) I find my inspiration and focus.
I am not as focused after work as I am in the morning. Sometimes I get more things done in 45 minutes-1 hour in the morning than I do in 2-3 hours in the evening.
That may not be the case for you.
However, you can create an amazing morning routine that includes things that make you want to get up.
You need a bigger reason
I don’t wake up excited to go to my full-time job, my guess is that you don’t either.
You won’t want to wake up any earlier if the only thing you have to do today is go to work.
I wake up early so I can work on MY stuff. My writing is so important and meaningful to me.
I have a why. My writing and my business are my reasons.
If I didn’t have this I would be miserable.
My goal is to be self-employed. I know that every morning I wake up and work on my stuff is one step closer to achieving that.
As soon as my alarm goes off that’s what I think about. My reason is so powerful that it won’t allow me to shrink myself by hitting the snooze button.
I am able to push past the discomfort and just wake up.
I am lucky and grateful that I have found my purpose, I know not everyone has yet.
Your reason may not be anything like mine.
Maybe you really want to feel strong and healthy, so you wake up earlier to work out.
Maybe you really want to prepare a wholesome breakfast for your family and spend time with them.
I encourage you to seek a larger reason to wake up early.
Even if it’s just to build more discipline and improve yourself.
Put your phone across the room
If your phone/alarm is on your bed or nightstand, you can easily hit snooze and turn over.
I put my phone across the room so that I have to get out of bed and this has made a huge difference for me.
Many people argue that this doesn’t work for them because they can just hit snooze and get right back into bed. I used to do the same.
However, you’ve got to avoid that.
When you get up to shut off the alarm just take a moment.
Squat down and just allow yourself to become aware. Take control in this moment and fight the temptation and habit of going back to sleep. Stretch, move your body, talk to yourself, breathe deeply.
If you’re so used to hitting the snooze button, you won’t even think twice about it. Your body is on autopilot. So the more you practice actually thinking consciously upon rising, the easier it gets to just wake up.
You’ll build the habit of NOT hitting the snooze button.
Control your thoughts
Your thoughts are going to be the hardest part to overcome.
Personally, I wake up and instantly start thinking negative thoughts:
“I’m so tired.”
“I don’t want to go to work.”
“What is life?”
“Why am I doing this?”
So I have learned to take control of those thoughts.
I immediately go to gratitude. I woke up therefore I am grateful I am alive.
Feeling tired sucks, but that’s all it is. I think to myself, “I’m just tired, that’s OK.”
It doesn’t have to be this whole big thing where life sucks and you can’t do this anymore. You’re just tired. Your brain is uncomfortable and is causing you to think those things.
Do something immediately
I turn on my lamp and start writing in my 6-Minute Diary. This diary makes me think which helps me transition from super sleepy to a little bit more awake.
It also starts with gratitude, so again it makes me think positive thoughts.
I like doing this because it’s a nice, calm transition from sleeping to feeling awake.
You could go get in the shower, change your clothes, do yoga, stretch, start making breakfast, or whatever else you would want to do right after waking up.
The sooner you can get away from your bed, the better.
Deep breaths and/or drink water
For awhile I would wake up and do yoga. It would make me feel so energized because of all the deep breathing.
However, you don’t have to do yoga to breathe deeply.
After you wake up, take a few deep breaths. You could do a few stretches that feel good at the same time. You’re bringing more oxygen to your brain and blood vessels.
The other thing is that for most of your day you probably take shallow breaths. Deep breaths in the morning is a great way to start you morning and lower your stress levels.
To really wake your body up, keep a cup of water nearby and drink that in addition to deep breathing. You just went hours without drinking any water, your body needs to be rehydrated!
I know you want your coffee first, but that will dehydrate you even more.
Water will jumpstart your digestion and keep your body working efficiently.
Have something to look forward to
I’m not going to lie, I look forward to my morning coffee every day. I combine my coffee with writing before work and it’s the highlight of my day.
I love it so much.
I used to drink my coffee at work, but now I can enjoy it from the comfort of my home while doing something I love.
You’ve got to have something to look forward to, even if it’s small.
That way you can wake up and remind yourself of it.
If you don’t have anything to look forward to in your day, create something!
Maybe you could start watching the sunrise or listening to an exciting podcast while you get ready or reading a book.
It starts the night before
I know you’ve heard this a million times, but waking up earlier really gets easier if you prepare for it the night before.
This means you need to sleep well for enough time.
It may take some time to figure out how many hours of sleep works best for you.
Personally, if I try to sleep 8 hours I either can’t do it or I wake up feeling even more tired.
My body prefers 6.5-7 hours.
You want to try to avoid your alarm going off while in REM sleep.
REM sleep is the stage in your sleep when you’re typically dreaming, breathing faster, and moving more.
According to the Valley Sleep Center, melatonin levels are the highest during REM sleep. So when you wake up in the middle of it you feel sleepy.
Once you develop a somewhat consistent sleep schedule, you should be able to determine if you’re waking up during REM sleep or not. You’ll know because you’ll wake up in the middle of a dream and probably feel WAY more groggy.
I suggest the Sleep Cycle app if it becomes a problem. You place your phone on your bed and keep the app running. It tracks your sleep stages and wakes you up around your alarm time when you are NOT in REM sleep.
I used to use this app and it actually works.
I also think it’s important to have an evening routine where you wind down for bed.
Ideally this would include no screens an hour before bed, dim lighting, maybe some meditation or journaling, and reading.
An evening routine could help you fall asleep faster and help you wake up feeling more energized.
It may take some time to get used to waking up early, but it has made a big difference in my life.
I’ve been able to make more time to do the things I truly enjoy and love.