Thoughts On Getting Up Early

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“When that alarm goes off every morning…what you decide to do will define who you are.” – Chris on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss, episode “Krista”

I work from home, which really in itself is a dream come true for me, because whenever I went to an office everyday I would wish and hope that someday I could be at home. I LOVE being at home, and would have absolutely no problem with being a stay at home mom (someday). I would never get bored or tired of being at home.

I also live in the Pacific time zone and work in the Central time zone, so I must login to my work computers by 6 AM. I have been living in Henderson, NV for three years, and have been starting my job at 6 AM during all 3 years. Before I moved here, I thought for sure that I would be able to spring up out of bed at 5 AM to go for a walk, do yoga, journal, make breakfast, etc. But it has actually been a major challenge, especially since no one I know starts work at 6 AM, so other people tend to want to stay up much later than I should – and of course I want to join them!

Some days I am good, but many days I roll out of bed when my last chance alarm goes off at 5:55 AM. I have definitely noticed a pattern that when I get up right at 5 and do my 20 minute yoga practice on Hulu and allow myself about 5 to 10 minutes to meditate and make a pot of hot tea, the morning and the rest of the day seem to go so smoothly. That is in contrast to the days that I drag myself out of bed at the last minute. On those days it seems someone has some kind of urgent need right at 6:05 (my time) – just about 10 minutes after I woke up.

Not allowing myself “me time” before getting the day going isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it definitely is worse than getting up when I meant to. When I worked in an office, I also remember feeling more with it if I got up early and had a smooth transition from the bed to the office, vs. the days when I could barely drag myself out of bed at the last minute.

I have tried and tried to motivate myself to get up at 5. I have labeled my alarms as “get up and live your life” or “pop up like toast” – but this tactic has not worked. I don’t think I am even reading the alarm label on the days I just turn off the alarm anyway. I think the best way to get out of bed when the alarm goes off is to have something that excites you – at least that is what I have read, and it does make sense. Otherwise, it is too easy to want to stay under the cozy covers – especially if it is cold out!

Getting up early can not only have a transformative impact on how we feel throughout the day, but that time in the morning truly can be life-changing. Exercise is a great example, because many people have a very hard time finding time or motivation to exercise later in the day (although there are many people who are able to exercise in the afternoon or evening). A person can totally change their whole body just by getting up an hour or so earlier. It is amazing.

I have read about several authors who got up very early in the morning to write their books (including John Grisham) before going off to their day jobs – eventually finding success with their stories and able to leave their day jobs in the rearview mirror to focus on their creative passions.

If you struggle with getting out of bed early like me, before trying to get up any earlier, identify a goal that makes getting out of bed worth it. Think about it before you go to bed at night and then when the alarm clock goes off, remind yourself of your greater purpose. I think it helps to tell yourself that you will allow yourself to sleep in on the weekend or after you achieved a goal. That way it is not a forever punishment, but a beautiful stepping stone on the path to your dream.

photo credit: luscious-cookie

 

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