alarm clock in the morning

Let’s face it, very few of us are born morning people. All it takes is switching up your bad habits for healthier alternatives. It may take a little bit of experimentation, but once you master the art of waking up early, you can drastically improve how you feel, what you accomplish throughout the day, and best of all, enjoying more free time to spend on the things you love to do.  

Step 1: Face your Fears

Well okay, not the biggies like snakes, heights, and spiders, that’s a different article altogether. We’re talking about examining why you decide to hit the snooze instead of jumping out of bed and getting a head start on your day.

What are you afraid of?

Sure, as a species we love everything to be easy, and that’s definitely part of the problem, but our inability to get out of bed goes a little deeper than that. Are you dreading another day at a job you don’t love? Do you have an appointment you’d rather skip? Think about how easy it is to get up when you have a fun vacation planned for the next day. Making every day exciting and setting something to look forward to in each new day can really flip the switch. Before trying any of the other steps, try making a list of the reasons why it’s so hard for you to wake up when your alarm goes off.

And then counter those fears with a reason why your day is going to be amazing.  By simply tricking your mind, you can switch the dread leaving your cozy bed to excitement to start the day.

Step 2: Skip the Screen Time

Well… not altogether, but at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed.

We hear this one over and over, but it’s one of the hardest habits to break. The more technology we accumulate, the more scientists examine the impact these devices have on our lives and spoiler alert: it’s not all good. While technology has certainly improved much of our lives for the better, sleep is not one of the things it’s improved.

At least, not when it comes to screens. Just as sunlight helps us wake up in the morning, screens prevent us from falling asleep at night.

The light that comes from our smartphones, TVs, and computers results in lower levels of melatonin production which in turn tricks our brains into thinking it’s not time for bed. I know it can be a hard habit to break, but try turning off the TV and putting down your phone an hour before bed and see if you don’t feel like a million bucks in the morning.

Step 3: You Snooze You Lose

Who doesn’t love hitting the snooze button after the alarm goes off in the morning? We only plan to hit it once, but an hour later we’re still in bed and just as groggy as when it went off the first time. The only things that pushes us out of bed is the fear of being late and the shame we have for those lost hours of the day.

But what if you didn’t have to worry about being late and you could feel proud of yourself for getting up instead? It’s totally possible and a lot easier than your making it out to be. As we discussed earlier, the inability to get out of bed is really all mental.

The easiest way to break this nasty habit is to put your alarm (phone) in another room that close enough for you to hear it, but far away enough that you need to walk a few feet to reach it. If you have a bathroom nearby, that is the ideal location, that way you can splash some water on your face and brush your teeth, further ensuring you won’t end up back in bed.

Step 4: Work it Out

After you master the art of skipping the snooze button, it’s time to get those energy levels up.  Working out is a great way to get your brain and your body moving and help them to stay moving throughout the day. While many people opt for a trip to the gym in the morning, you can get equally positive results from a simple 30 minute walk outside. Exercising is a great way to elevate your mood and clear your mind to help you tackle whatever the day has to bring.

For those who prefer to exercise later in the day, start off instead with a nutrient packed breakfast, filled with vitamins and minerals guaranteed to get your energy levels up. Oatmeal with added fresh berries and nuts is a great way to get many of those in one easy to make bowl. Make sure to incorporate at least one glass of water for rehydration. Of course, nothing beats a good cup of coffee.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Considering the great success Benjamin Franklin had throughout his lifetime, we should definitely take these words to heart. Follow these quick and easy steps to completely change your morning routine from a chaotic rat race to a relaxing and productive time to get a jump start on the day.

It could just change your life. At least, it’ll help you start your days off right.