Last night, with best intentions in mind, we set out our workout clothes, set the alarm to get up bright and early, and then when the morning actually arrived – we hit the snooze button. We hit snooze again. What were we thinking? The bed is so comfortable and warm! And to start the day without coffee? Why bother? After rushing out the door we realize that so much more could have been accomplished if we’d just gotten out of bed and started the day when our alarm buzzed.
And yet, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done! But what if we could make more of that precious time?
How do you become that person who jumps out of bed, goes for a jog, and happily greets each passerby with a smile and a “good morning” each day? It may take some time, but it is possible – and you can do it with a series of small steps. Here’s how:
1. Let the sun wake you up.
Toss those heavy blackout shades, and opt for something lighter that will let that morning sunshine come in. You’ll have to be willing to give up a dark room that makes it a little too easy for sleeping in. It has been shown that waking up to natural light in the morning will actually help you fall asleep at night, and when you fall asleep more easily, you can wake up more easily! Are you seeing the pattern here?
2. Hydrate first thing.
Most people reach for a cup of coffee, but we should actually be reaching for a big glass of water! During sleep, our bodies are basically fasting from both food and water. The cells in our bodies are depleted of the one thing that truly keeps them going: WATER. Think plain old water can’t match your cup o’ joe? Here are some great drink recipes to make the night before and refrigerate, so that you’ll be motivated to hydrate first thing in the morning. BONUS TIP: Drink a cup of warm lemon water first thing upon waking and you’ll be stunned at the incredible ways in which it will benefit your mind, body, skin, heart, and overall well being.
3. Ease your way into a workout.
It can be hard to get out of bed when you’ve decided to run 3 miles on your first day as a morning person. Make your goals a little smaller to start, and then work your way up. For example, start with saying “I just need to do a 15 minute walk, that’s it.” Then your goal will be easier to reach, and easier to find motivation to get out of bed and do. The next week, decide on 30 minutes. Keep building little by little, and you’ll be hopping out of bed for your 3-mile jog in no time! Even better, find a morning workout buddy! You’ll be more motivated to actually get up and out of the house if someone is waiting on you.
4. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes.
It is never good to start off a day stressed out – it influences your entire day! Grabbing everything and rushing out the door while still buttoning your shirt and stuffing down breakfast is a sure-fire way to have an energy crash soon after. Giving yourself an extra 10 minutes means you’ll have some wiggle room. Use that time to sing in the shower, or take your time with styling your hair. Maybe read a chapter in that book you’ve been trying to finish. Write in a journal, set a timer and meditate, or do some really good stretches. However you spend it, giving yourself a little extra time will set you up for a more stress-free day (and life)!
5. Once you’ve mastered it, expand! Now that you’re beginning to adjust to the extra 10 minutes, the morning exercise, and that big glass of water or tasty flavored beverage first thing – you’re quickly becoming a pro. So why not tack on ANOTHER 10 minutes to your morning routine? Set that alarm just a little bit earlier, and see how much more you can accomplish! Suddenly you’ll be leaving the house with a workout under your belt, a chapter read in your book, the dishes done, and dinner prepped for that night. You’re officially a morning person!
Becoming an early riser isn’t something that happens overnight (even though we wish it would). It takes a little time and planning, but those changes can make a truly positive effect on your day – and your health!
[Credit: Wooten, Virgil. “How to Fall Asleep.” How Stuff Works Health.]
[Credit: Diamond, Amelia. “How to Teach Yourself to Be A Morning Person.” Man Repeller.]
[Credit: Bortnick, Amy. ” The Many Wonders of Water: 6 Reasons to Drink Up.” Active.com.]