There just are not enough hours in the day. As an entrepreneur and mom of 2 young children, I am constantly battling Father Time. I am always perplexed when I meet or read about a fellow mother who seems to be doing it all – building her empire while leaving plenty of time for zoo days, playdates and school fieldtrips. I console myself with thoughts like, “she must have help.” Maybe so, but she also probably uses her time very wisely.
The harsh truth is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. As hard as it is to swallow, you and I have the same number of hours each day as Einstein. So what gives? Well, if some of those precious hours are spent stalking Facebook late at night or pressing the snooze button multiple time each morning, it can feel like there just are not enough hours in a day.
After a particularly stressful week last year, I decided it was time to take the next step in my career and start waking up earlier. I had resisted this idea for years, but it seemed there was no other option. I set a goal to write 1,000 words every morning and set the alarm for 5:15am.
It wasn’t easy, and there are definitely still times when my pillow gets the best of me, but I can now call myself a proud morning person. There is no better feeling than starting my day knowing that I have already accomplished a huge goal or task on my to-do list. This gives me such a sense of peace and accomplishment that I can never go back to my old ways.
If you are a committed night owl, I hear you, but are you willing to try getting up 15 minutes earlier? Commit to setting the alarm earlier for 1 week and see how you feel. You just may be hooked. Here are 5 tips to support you.
Define Your Why
In order to make any lasting change, we have to tap into our why. Why is this change so important? Changing ingrained habits is tricky business. If it wasn’t, we would all run marathons and drink green smoothies every day. We all know what we should do, so the trick is to connect to why this change is so vital in our lives.
Take a few minutes to sit down and pull out your journal. Write down why you are ready to start waking up earlier. Write down what you will accomplish with this new time in your schedule. Write down how you will handle those inevitable set-backs. Most importantly, write down how you will feel once you have started your new schedule. Will you feel peaceful, accomplished, proud, grateful? Take some deep breaths and really connect to those feelings. Focusing on what you want will pull you out of bed on even the sleepiest mornings.
We have all heard the old adage, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” Our environment is constantly influencing our decisions, so make sure yours is supporting you. If you want to work out in the mornings, set out your clothes, sports bra and shoes the night before. I will admit I’ve even gone so far as to sleep in my workout clothes. It is hard to talk yourself out of getting to that early morning yoga class when you are already in your Lululemon finest!
Do Something You Enjoy
No matter how motivated you are, there is no way you will be able to keep up this new habit if you know that you have to do something you dread as soon as you are up. Be gentle with yourself. Spend a few minutes in quiet meditation or writing in your gratitude journal. Ease into your day and make this new time something you look forward to.
Move Your Body
There is no better way to tap into your body’s natural energy than to get moving first thing in the morning. This does not mean that you have to hit the 6am cross fit class. Spending just 15 minutes of gentle stretches or walking with your favorite podcast is a beautiful way to begin your day.
Perhaps the most powerful way to become a morning person is committing to it publicly. Find a friend who is also interested in taking advantage of those early morning hours. Schedule a weekly early morning call or Pilate’s class together. The hardest part is getting started, so look for support in the beginning.