One of the best things I did for myself this year was create a morning routine. When I wake up early and focus on myself before starting the day, things are so much better. I feel better, I have more energy, and I get a lot more done.
But it wasn’t easy to get this routine in place, and every time I’ve “fallen off the wagon” and skipped out on my morning routine, it’s just that much harder to start waking up early again. For weeks I could wake up at 6:00 AM every single morning. And then one late night could completely throw me off and have me waking up at 8:00 AM (or later!) and just rushing to get out the door and head to work. Not productive, and not ideal. Or, if I had been waking up late a few mornings and then tried to all of a sudden wake up early, I’d be in a terrible mood!
Thankfully I’m settling back into my 6:00 AM rhythm, and I’m viewing this as a life change. Through tons of trial and error (and lots of alarm snoozes) I’ve learned how to wake up early on a consistent basis. It’s actually easier than it seems, but I’ve learned you have to be prepared to wake up early.
How to Wake Up Early Every Morning
An early morning starts the night before. //
Like I said earlier, you have to be prepared to wake up early every morning, and that preparation takes place the night before. To prepare myself for waking up early, first I review my morning routine and map out what I’m going to do when I’m wake up. The night before I go to bed, I go over my morning routine in my head: first I’m going to wash my face and brush my teeth, then I’m going to have devotionals, next I’m going to write in my prayer journal, then exercise, then make my smoothie, etc. Then I set everything up so that it’s easy for me to jump into my routine. I leave my prayer journal and Bible out on the coffee table for my morning devotion. I’ll plan my workout from the night before and lay out my workout clothes. When I’m really on top of things, I’ll even make my smoothie the night before so that it’s all ready to go when I wake up.
Plan to do something you enjoy when you first wake up. //
If you’re looking forward to the next day, it’ll be so much easier to wake up early. I mean, hello? Christmas? And no, every morning can’t feel like Christmas morning, but it can get pretty close if you plan to do something you enjoy when you first wake up. I really enjoy being alone with my own thoughts, and that’s the first thing I do when I wake up each morning. I spend time with me. Not social media, not even my husband. Just sitting on my sofa thinking my own thoughts, checking in with my emotions (they run deep over here) and thanking God that I have another day to learn how to be a better person. It’s great! I so look forward to that time because for the rest of the day, I’m not really by myself anymore (even my morning commute involves millions of other people). Try waking up to your favorite song, or spend your first moments awake doing something you love, like writing or playing the piano or cooking! Knowing that you’re waking up to something you enjoy will make it that much easier to wake up a little bit earlier.
Remind yourself of the reasons why you’re waking up earlier. //
It’s hard for me to wake up early for no reason. When I was initially figuring out a morning, waking up early was hard because I didn’t know what I was going to do with all the extra time! What’s also helped is having a morning to-do list. I write it out the night before (usually the tasks are related to the blog or my business), and it’s often the last thing I read before I go to sleep. Amazingly, creating a to-do list right before bed doesn’t make me anxious about the next day; if anything, I’m excited that I’m starting the day with a plan in place, and I know that if nothing else, I’ll at least be productive in the morning.
Get a good night’s sleep. //
An early morning starts with a good night’s rest. It’s really difficult for me to survive on anything less than 6-7 hours of sleep a night (I think 8 is my ideal, but if I got 8 hours of sleep a night, I’d never get anything done). I have the best mornings when I’m in bed around 11:00 PM (I usually end up hitting snooze once or twice if I go to bed closer to midnight). I force myself to stop working by 10:00 PM and then spend the next hour getting ready for bed and planning for the next morning. On a good night, I’m asleep by 11:00 PM and don’t even need an alarm to wake up at 6:00 AM the next morning. It’s really hard to wake up early when you’re tired, especially if you’re not in the habit of getting up at that time. And if you’re not getting enough sleep, you can’t be productive during early morning hours, at least not for long. The purpose of getting up earlier is to get a head start on your day, not to burn yourself out, so be sure to get a good night’s sleep if you’re making it an early morning!
Once you start waking up early, your body adjusts fairly quickly, and after a few weeks, what used to seem super early will feel totally normal! Plus, now is the perfect time to try to get up at least an hour earlier than you have been. We just set our clocks back one hour, so your body’s normal wake time is already an hour early! I’m even thinking of pushing myself to wake up at 5:00 AM instead of 6:00 AM now that the time has changed. Let’s see how that goes…
Do you wake up early? Do you find it helpful?
If you had an extra hour each morning, what would you do with it?
Let me know in the comments!