If you struggle to get going in the morning, you aren’t alone. Most people chalk it up to not having yet had their cup of coffee. Others are simply unhappy with their jobs, or are dealing with an issue in their lives. But the truth is, if you have nothing to look forward to, that’s your own doing.

The key to waking up with enthusiasm is to realize that you control your own life, and that excitement has to start within you.

1. Set Your Goals The Night Before

The value of setting in your mind what you want to do tomorrow, the night before, is vastly underestimated.

There is something to be said for getting very clear on your goals right before going to bed. That sort of planning ahead not only puts the right foot forward, but it plants your aim firmly in your subconscious to be mulled on throughout the night.

The next morning, you’ll be amazed with how quickly you think about what it is you had said you wanted to get done — and from there it is simply a question of discipline, not ambiguity.

2. Put Your Alarm Clock On The Other Side Of The Room

If you have your alarm right next to your bed, you are making a big mistake.

Put your alarm clock on the other side of your bedroom, so that you are forced to get out of bed to turn it off. By doing this, you are removing the opportunity for your tired self to reach over, turn it off and immediately fall asleep again.

If you stand up, walk across the room, turn off your alarm and then walk back to bed and go back to sleep, you are making the conscious decision to not embrace the day.

3. The First Thing You Do In The Morning Should Be Fun

What gets you going? What’s that one thing you could do no matter how tired you are? Do you love a morning radio show? How about making music? Maybe you love video games or watching a certain show on Netflix or reading.

Whatever that thing is that jolts you awake, I’ve found can be used as tremendous motivation to embrace the day. Let yourself have 30 minutes of “fun” time right when you wake up, and this will help you get your gears running in the right direction. Doing something you find fun right when you wake up sets a great foundation for the day. You can do the boring routine stuff, like showering or eating breakfast, for right after.

4. Socialize

I’m sure we can all remember the days of having roommates (and if you have roommates currently, then you’ll definitely be able to relate), waking up in the morning, confronting each other in the kitchen, tired and exhausted, someone cracking a joke and suddenly you’re wide awake.

If your day to day is extremely busy, if you have a lot going on, it may behoove you to have an “accountability buddy.” To motivate each other to wake up early and embrace the day, make a pact to call each other first thing in the morning, or meet at a coffee shop. When we socialize with another human being, we are forced to be awake. Doing this first thing in the morning sets the tone for the day.

5. Be Consistent

The hardest part about establishing an effective, positive morning routine is that it takes consistency. The reason people find it to be so difficult is they stop after a few weeks, or even a few days — and then chalk it up to “just not being their thing.”

You have to do something for a long, long time in order for it to become second nature. If waking up and embracing each and every day with enthusiasm is something you want in your life, then you need to commit to that practice for a long period of time. Eventually, it will no longer be something you have to “think” about each and every morning. It will just be part of who you are.

Start practicing now. You’ll reap the real rewards in a few months.

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Originally published at www.inc.com