There are so many great reasons to wake up early. We all know this but it can be difficult to actually make the jump. The good news is that with a little bit of training you can totally alter your internal clock and make it happen!
PRO TIP: Start soon. Tomorrow even. As the mornings get darker it can be harder to wake up early unless you already have your impressive new habit in place.
Do it Sslloowwllyy:
Seriously. Ease into it. Unless you have A LOT of willpower it’s super difficult to just decide you’re going to become a morning exerciser and do it (if that’s you then you’re a badass). This is what I did:
> Set your alarm for your new intimidating wake up time (this is just a fact now).
> Here’s the kicker: for the first week don’t work out. Use the extra time to do things that you like to do: make some coffee and a good breakfast, read the paper, sketch, meditate, whatever works for you. By doing this you won’t be filled with dread when the alarm goes off with your new wakeup time. The good news is it only takes about a week for your body to adjust to the new wakeup time so everything gets easier.
> By week two you can start to add in something active a couple of times a week but don't forget to also have your “you” days. They make the whole thing much easier.
Re-think your alarm:
Sometimes alarms can be shrill and horrible (most are when you’re trying to ease into an earlier wake up call) so pick something soothing and let it play for a little bit to wake you up—you’ll be less likely to hit snooze. HERE’s another great thing. I’ve taken it upon myself to do some market research and have been using “Yoga Wake Up” for the past few days and I’m obsessed. Also DON’T USE THE SNOOZE BUTTON. Just stop, it wreaks havoc on your psyche.
Note: if you share a bed with someone you can always switch music, a guided meditation, or previously introduced app over to headphones once it goes off or if they’re a trooper just role with it.
You need light to wake you up. Turn on a lamp immediately upon waking up. I hear there are certain light bulbs that have a more pleasant and efficient light than your traditional bulb but I’ve not looked into it much — It’s “blue light” if this intrigues you—please report back. Either way light first thing upon waking is key in resetting your circadian rhythm so don’t skip this step! Natural light is of course better than artificial but take it where you can get it.
Prepare, prepare, prepare:
> Lay out your clothes for work and for your workout (some people even sleep in their workout clothes?)
> Do you use a gym bag? Pack it the night before
> Set your coffee maker to auto-brew just before your wake up time so the fresh-brewed-coffee smell can assist your wakeup
> Sign up for a class the day before. Or sign up for all of your classes for the week in advance depending on how your brain works (some people get psyched out by the commitment of a whole weeks of classes pre-scheduled)
> Some people profit from an accountability partner (but hopefully you wont even need one) so enlist a mean encouraging friend to join you in your morning workout
Get your mind right:
> Stop telling yourself you’re not a morning person
> Don’t use weather as an excuse (i.e. the cold, snow, rain, etc.)
> Focus on how you feel after you workout and try and remember that if you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning
> Don’t tell yourself you needmore sleep. That’s a pretty common justification to skip a morning workout and remember what our gal pal Sarah Goldman from Action First Coaching says (paraphrasing here): your subconscious mind believes what you tell it, wether it's the truth or it's a lie.
>Don’t let anxiety creep into your mornings. Don’t check your email from your bed, don't stress about the rest of the day. Just view it as totally separate.
AND THAT'S IT! Soon enough you'll start waking up before your alarm even goes off. That's pretty cool. Have any other tricks? Let us know!