I’ve been trying to become a morning person for three years. More specifically, someone who wakes up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5 AM. I tried it on and off for years. It wasn’t working. I would wake up early one day, stay up late the next, and go right back to my normal schedule of 8 AM wakeups. I needed a change. Or… a challenge.
The main reason I want to wake up early is to have a badass morning routine. I’m not sure what you like to do in the morning, but there is something to be said for giving yourself the time, space, and energy to do whatever you want to do when you wake up. Instead of responding to others, checking emails, giving your energy up to others- it’s time for you to reset, center, and focus on what you want and what makes you happy. It will be different for everybody, but you can set the entire tone of your day with how you wake up. And just for fun, which scenario sounds better? (the first one was me for the majority of my adult life):
- Sleeping until the last possible second, waking up freaked out because of the time, scrambling around to get your life together, rushing out the door, putting on makeup while driving (ps- not safe), spilling coffee on yourself, arriving to work stressed, frazzled and like you’ve just been through a war.
- Waking up with an extra hour or two with enough time and space to do whatever it is that you want to do, so you can attack your day as a much happier, calmer person.
It’s a no-brainer. #2 option ALL THE WAY.
Your morning routine will very much be customized to whatever makes you feel good, balanced, and ready to take on the day. For me, my ideal morning routine looks something like this:
- wake up, open the windows for light, and make lemon water
- write down 3 things I’m grateful for and 3 things I’d like to see happen that day (I’ve been using the 5 Minute Journal to do this)
- read for 5 minutes to get my head into a positive growth mindset (right now, I’m reading this)
- write in a notebook. I write about anything. I mean ANYTHING. Whatever pops into my head, whether that’s a dream I had, something that’s been on my mind, or something that I’d like to make happen. I do this mainly to clear my head and rid it of anxiety, but it can also be a great exercise in manifestation. (Julia Cameron wrote about this here)
- yoga for 20 minutes
- meditate on the yoga mat
- Walk or run outside listening to an audiobook or podcast, or just in silence, while thinking about what I want to happen with the day ahead
- Shower and do my morning skincare routine (it’s a process, lol)
Because I’ve realized how important this morning routine is to me, and how good it makes me feel, I’ve realized I need to give myself the time and space to do it every morning.
For the last few years, I’ve been waking up between 8 and 9, starting and finishing my morning routine at 10 AM. Since I’m self-employed, I can pretty much begin working whenever, unless I have specific appointments or meetings. While the flexibility is awesome, sitting down to start work at 10:30 AM began to create a lot of anxiety within me. I realized I was prioritizing my self-care but not prioritizing my work. And this bothered me. I was missing a huge chunk of opportunity to work in the morning. So, enter the 30 Days of 6 AM challenge.
I bought an old-school alarm clock at Target. And IT WORKS. It’s terrifying, but it works.
For the month of January, I’m waking up between 6 and 7 am. Every. Day. For the first week, it’s been 6:45. Next week, I’ll move it to 6:30. No matter what time I go to sleep, that alarm is set. And yes, I’m tired every day, but I know that the short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain of resetting my body. (Side note- I’m not advocating less sleep. I just need to get my shit together at night and go to bed by 10.)
It’s been about a week of the 6 AM challenge and it’s strange how good it feels. It definitely is a struggle when that crazy bell alarm clock goes off, but it’s all good after I get moving. I also feel this newfound sense of control and calm from waking up early.
The best part is, is that this 30-day challenge can be applied to anything. If you have a habit you’d like to implement in your life, like green smoothies, planks, or reading- this challenge can work! 30 Days… 30 green smoothies. 30 Days… 30 planks. You get the idea. Just don’t flake on yourself. Treat yourself better than that. (This is coming from a recovering flaky person, by the way.) You got this!
If all else fails, put it on Instagram Story for automatic IG accountability.