Yesterday I posted a “what’s your biggest time challenge” question on my Just a Minute Facebook page. A couple of the comments were “how to get up in the morning without hitting the snooze button.” Thanks to everyone who commented, some good ideas for future posts – but this one got me thinking right away.
Some mornings – ok – most mornings – it seems so hard to wake up and get up. It is warm and cozy in bed and you’re still sleepy and it is so easy to say…. “please, give me just ten more minutes…..”
But yesterday’s comments made me think – how can that same old morning routine be something different? How can we wake up with more energy and without the personal battle that we play out every morning?
Surely you’ve read all the “how to wake up” tips that are out there:
- set your alarm thirty minutes early
- set two or three alarms
- wake gently to soft music
- wake up immediately with an obnouxious ringing alarm that will also wake your neighbors
- use a soft light to gently waken your whole mind and body
- set the alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off
- use those mental alarms that make you answer a question or solve a puzzle before it shuts off.
The thing about all these sorts of systems is that – even in our sleepy state – we are smarter than they are. Mainly because we are the ones that trying to “trick”oursleves to thinking they will work. Have you ever noticed that you can’t tickle yourself? Same sort of thing – you can’t trick yourself either.
Answer this – if you set your clock nine minutes fast – do you trust that is the correct time – or do you still allow yourself to realize that you still have at least nine extra minutes?
So I got to thinking – what if we don’t tackle the issue from the same angle – that of – what tools and techniques we can use in the morning – instead – let’s tackle this issue the night before.
What is your normal bedtime routine?
This is what mine looks like – – I check email and Facebook one last time, let the dogs out, check the locks, change my clothes, brush my teeth, get into bed – maybe read or watch a little TV to unwind before shutting my eyes. I would assume you have some sort of nightly ritual that you go through each night.
What if during this process – you also envisioned falling asleep and getting a good night’s rest and waking up energized and ready to tackle the world.
Here’s what I suggest we all try – – during that last email check of the night – also look at your “to-do list” for the next day or the the rest of the week and take that to bed with you.
It is important to not think of this list as dread and “oh my god – look at all I have to do tomorrow.” Don’t do that or you’ll obsess about it all night long and end up not getting a good night’s rest.
Look at your list and envision yourself make progress on your list and getting closer to your goals. Find the passion in your list and let yourself be excited about what the tomorrow will hold for you in the form of possibilities.
Athletes do this sort of thing. Politicians on the campaign trail do too. People that do great things everyday fill their heads with positive thoughts and imagine themselves doing great things. Why not use this same imagery practice in your daily routines – and it starts with:
- I will wake up fully rested and jump into my day!
- I am going to wake up strong and energized tomorrow!
- I am excited about what the future holds!
Here’s one last thought – – does that extra ten minutes really help? Do you feel better by getting those extra ten minutes – only to beat yourself up later about it?
Change the thought pattern! Become excited that you have a new day in front of you – yours for the taking!