My much earlier post on the life-changing possibilities of becoming an early riser, had readers asking for tips to roll out of bed.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, they say.
‘I’d be a morning person if morning happened at noon’.
‘Let me sleep a few minutes more…’
I used to say these things out loud too. If you do, and want to change that, this #TuesdayTip post is for you. I know how hard it is to change your internal wiring. I am here to tell you that it can be done. Once it becomes a habit, trust me, you will be on top of the world because of all the things you are able to accomplish before the rest of the world starts getting out of bed.
I used to believe that I am night owl, that my creative juices flowed freely in the evenings… and pretty lived in line with this false belief for 30-odd years. Let me enlighten you on a little secret. A lot of it really is in your head.
My top tips to go from this…
#1 Sleep earlier
Go to bed earlier – around 10 or 11pm even if you aren’t feeling sleepy. You might be used to watching TV or surfing the net in the night but if you continue this habit of calling it an early night, sooner or later you will start waking up early in the morning.
#2 Open the curtains
Let the sunlight flood into your room. Leave the bedroom as soon as you shut off the alarm. Force yourself if you have to. Find an activity, like brushing your teeth or making tea, that will wean out the temptation to go back to sleep.
I like to make my bed immediately after getting up. It’s a tip I learned from a video on Navy SEAL David Goggins. “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he says. Start your morning rituals in the quiet to prepare for the cacophony of the day ahead.
#3 Reward yourself
A cup of tea or a delicious breakfast can be pleasurable and healthy rewards for waking up on time. After you wake up, schedule a regular activity you enjoy doing every day. It could be getting your yoga mat out for asanas, meditating in silence or putting your jogging shoes on for a tempo run.
#4 Keep the alarm clock out of reach
The logic behind this is that if you the alarm clock is right next to your bed, you’ll hit the snooze button or switch it off. If it’s far away from you, you have to physically get out of bed to shut it and by then you are up so there is less motivation to go back to bed. Don’t use an alarm clock that makes you angry either (else you’ll be doing a Wolverine on it)
Experiment with varied alarm clocks and cellphone tones till you find the right fit.
#5 Never hit snooze
Remember that 10-minute nap you took that beautiful morning after hitting snooze? Of course, you don’t. Because it never happened. What usually happens is, you hit snooze to steal a sweet nap and before you know it, two hours are up. I have been there plenty of times and a number of missed appointments later, cancelled the snooze button from my dictionary.
(A version of this article was published earlier on The Times of India website)
What are your struggles with early rising? I’d love to know. Don’t forget to subscribe for more tips on being the best version of yourself.