You have the best-laid intentions for your weekend. You’re going to wake up at 6, and before the kids are even halfway through their cartoons, the gutters will be cleared, the garage will be cleaned, and the lawn will be mown.
Right. That’s not happening, thanks to the nefarious invention known as the snooze button. Why is waking up early – or even on time, for that matter – so darn difficult? Even when we go to bed at a reasonable hour and avoid the late-night munchies, some of us have a really hard time waking up as early as we’d like. If you’ve made sure you are eating nutritious foods, cut out stress, gotten into a good exercise routine, and have ruled out a health condition, you might find these tips to be helpful in rousing you from your VIMPS (Very Important Morning Pillow Sessions).
1. Give yourself the command.
This is the simplest, most overlooked key to waking up early (or on time). Simply tell yourself, in a clear, direct manner, that you will wake up at the desired time. Do this right before going to bed. Say it to yourself with conviction and complete focus. You’ll be surprised how effective this simple habit is. You may even find yourself waking before your alarm rings.
2. What’s your mission?
What is your purpose in life? What is your primary mission? Whatever it is, your daily actions are (hopefully) done with your purpose in mind. Waking on time is validating your life’s purpose and giving authority to your dreams, hopes, aspirations and goals. Recognize that this tiny step – waking up – is the first action in a purposeful life. Reinforce it daily.
Even if you feel like a curmudgeon upon waking, force yourself to smile. While it won’t necessarily make you feel happy, you will feel a little better. Find something to focus your smile’s intention on – a bird chirping, the puppy panting in excitement for the day to begin, or your children knocking on your door.
4. Think of the benefits.
Sometimes a beneficial thing can feel like a chore if we don’t consciously remind ourselves of the benefits. Force yourself to think positively and recount the excellent reasons to wake up early. Just as the exercising battle is won by simply putting on your sneakers, your day’s tasks and challenges are won simply by getting out of bed with promptness and a positive spirit. Think of all you will gain by getting started early. Write the benefits down and keep the list by your bed if necessary.
If getting out of bed early feels impossible, be generous with yourself for a brief time. Go ahead and reward yourself with whatever indulgence or treat is necessary – a massage at the end of a week of early rising, a hot-fudge sundae for breakfast at the end of a successful week, or a daily evening soak in an herbal-infused tub.
6. Commit to others.
If you can’t find a reason or a reward for yourself, make morning commitments to others that absolutely cannot be broken. Though you might be miserable for a few days, you’ll quickly adjust. As you do, begin to implement positive thoughts and rewards so waking early becomes a joyful thing rather than drudgery.
7. Non-negotiable schedule.
Go for a test run: give yourself a non-negotiable schedule for 30 days. Go to bed and rise at the same time, no matter what. Do not think; just do it. Tell yourself that after a month, you can go back to whatever you were doing before. By the end of the month, you will be completely habituated to your new schedule and it will feel like second nature. Be sure to congratulate yourself!
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