Monday 1 May 2017

How I Became a Morning Person

I am 33 years old and my biggest struggle most of my young & adult life has been waking up early. It takes me a while to wake up fully and for the most part of these 33 years, I used to wake up proper grumpy! It reminds me of my 3 year old nephew!

Fast forward to present; it still takes me a while to wake up fully but I don't wake up grumpy, I try and wake up feeling grateful instead. This is just a habit, a shift in perception of life and a choice. And with little practise, anyone can change.

I always said to myself and others- "If I had 'something to do' in the morning, I would wake up early. Otherwise why bother?" The funny thing is- that is the answer to the 'waking up early' puzzle. And 'something to do' in the morning can't be just a job. It has to be a bigger 'why' than your job. That's why anyone who talks about personal development talks about vision & purpose.

I kept struggling, trying to be a morning person but eventually gave up and labelled myself as 'just not a morning person.' If this sounds familiar to you, get rid of that label immediately. This is the first step towards becoming a morning person. Occasionally though, whenever I woke up early, I was AMAZED with the amount of tasks I could accomplish within the first 3 hours of my waking up. So I kept thinking about what it would take for me to really become a morning person.

When trying to change, self awareness is always a great place to start. Here's what I learnt about myself. The most important thing when I wake up in the morning is that I don't like being rushed. Being in a rush makes me anxious and stressed and I go along dreading the whole day ahead. On the other hand what I do love is a relaxed morning. I like taking my time with things.

I thought long and hard about how my perfect morning would look and the things I would love to do first thing in the morning. After a lot of self reflection I realised that meditating, exercising, having a heavy-duty healthy breakfast and then getting ready and not being rushed through any of these was very important to me. I then calculated that in order for me to do everything that I want to do in the morning without being rushed, I will have to wake up by 6 am. Most days I am able to wake up at 6 am but of course there are some not-so-perfect days and even then, I am up by 7:30 am at the very latest and try and get most of my morning routine done by 9 am.

Here are some key tips that have helped me become more of a morning person and I hope you will find some of these useful too.
  • Sleep Early. If you get in a good night's sleep and enough hours of quality sleep, you will automatically wake up on time, feeling recharged and refreshed. That's just how our bodies are designed. I am disciplined enough to get in bed at 10 pm or at 11 pm (most days) at the very latest. 
  • The Magic of The night before. The importance of planing and scheduling everything the night before really helps. Plan your outfit, do things like hair and nails. Plan your meals and snacks. This really helps in having the right mindset. Having these tiny tasks out of the way ensures you wake up feeling calm and not stressed just by thinking about the sheer amount of things you need to get done on a certain day. 
  • Do not use a dreadful alarm and no matter how tempting do not press snooze.
  • Try and wake up early in small increments. So if you wake up 7 am right now, wake up at 6:45, then at 6:30 and so on.
  • Don't look at your phone, email or social media first thing in the morning.
  • As soon as possible write down a list of things that you are grateful for. This instantly makes you happy.
  • Create your morning rituals or morning routine and fill it with things that you LOVE. Make your morning time really special. Make it your 'me-time'. Do things that energise you. If you look forward to doing something in the morning, chances are you will wake up early.
  • Have a daily vision. The days that I know exactly what I am  set to accomplish, I get up with an alarming ease. And days that are left unplanned bring about dread.
Let me know if you struggle with waking up early? And what are some of your top tips on becoming a morning person?


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