Waking up early in the morning has always been a struggle for me. No matter how many alarms I set, my lazy self would always find a way to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. Believe me, I have searched all the possible tips and tricks which could help me break this bad habit.
The things I have tried that did not work for me in the long term are:
- Keeping my alarm at a distance (…so I have to get up and walk across the room to switch it off, literally making me get on my feet. Worked a few times, but I still managed to go back to bed and sleep.)
- Going to bed early in order to wake up early (Again, didn’t work because I couldn’t fall asleep till at least 12 am.)
- Trying to wake up 15-20 minutes before my usual time and go backwards from there.
- Switching off the internet connection and use a night light on my phone.
Even though I really wanted to improve my habits, I could not stay consistent. I kept researching more and more about developing morning habits. After a lot of trial and error, I was able to narrow down the best tips that worked for me. I was also able to figure out other ways which motivate me to wake up early.
Here is the step-by-step guide that would
1. Focus on WHY you want to wake up
Motivation can be a tricky thing to comprehend. One minute we may feel super motivated after watching a TED talk, then go back to binging on Netflix. Our world is driven by services which provide instant gratification and this can be the biggest challenge in the journey of self-improvement. You may not realize it now, but figuring out the ‘WHY’ for your goals can actually make you consistent with good habits.
Why do you want to wake up early? Do you look up to people who wake up early in the morning? Is it because you simply think it will make you productive and successful?
For me, waking up early is important in order to achieve important tasks. It’s my time to read, learn and implement my existing knowledge into my long term goals. Why is waking up early important for YOU?
Early mornings are awesome because this is the time where you can sit in solitude and meditate or self-reflect, while the world around you is asleep. Early mornings are perfect for anyone who has big dreams and great ambitions.
Which leads us to the next step..
2. Plan your day the night before
Making a list of things that you want to do the next morning can significantly improve your productivity. You can use either a notebook or a to-do list app on your phone to set your goals.
DON’T be vague about what all you want to do. Write small, specific tasks that are achievable. Believe me, putting a tick near your completed tasks can be really motivating. It drives you to do more and helps you feel energetic and in control of your life.
You can improve upon this habit even further by writing down future tasks whenever an idea pops in your head. I keep adding new things in my list whenever I remember something important. This has made me more organized and
3. Associate mornings with pleasurable activities
Sometimes we have great expectations of ourselves, but the reality is very different. You may plan to do many productive activities every day like studying, working out and playing a sport. Although it is an ideal scenario, doing these activities every single day may cause burn out very soon.
Conditioning yourself to love mornings can take time, but it is more long-lasting and effective.
Plan your mornings to be something you genuinely look forward to. It could include doing light yoga or reading your favourite book. In the beginning, you could even plan to do just plain enjoyable activities like watching a movie or taking your pet out for a walk.
Whatever makes you feel happy, plan to do it early in the morning.
4. Get tired enough to go to bed early
Exercise is great for your mind and body. But another great benefit of exercise is that it can guide your body to become an early riser. When your day lacks physical activity, your body finds it hard to relax and fall asleep.
Honestly, this tip has worked great for me. I love a good night’s sleep after a day of workout and exercise. You can start slow by doing light exercises for a few minutes and eventually increase your workout intensity with time.
5. Drink water and get moving to stay awake
You may be able to wake up early, but the real challenge is staying awake. Thousands of thoughts would run in your mind which may motivate you to go back to bed.
The best trick I use to calm down my groggy mind is simply drinking a glass of water and go out for a walk as soon as I can. It sounds so simple, but it works better than all those complicated and ineffective ways to stay awake.
- Reduce your caffeine intake, especially
- Setting 2 alarms to become mentally ready.
- Reward yourself in small ways for waking up early.
- Watch motivational videos before sleeping to get mentally ready. (I know it’s kind of stupid, but IT WORKS!)
Becoming a morning person is more about training your brain than just having a change in routine. Trust me, it would help you achieve so much in the long run. You may hate waking up early now, but when you finally fall in love with the mornings, there is no going back!