Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Becoming A Morning Person

I used to be the worst at waking up in the mornings. I would set alarms for an early morning with the thought that I would force myself to get up and start my day. Only to find that during the night I would wake up and change my alarm times, pushing the time farther and farther back until I absolutely had to get up. This pattern, I am ashamed to say, went on for months! Fortunately, I decided to create a morning routine, which meant I first needed to start with my nightly routine. What you do at night leads into how you will be able to spend your mornings. 

My first tip is to obviously create a nightly routine. Figure out what you need to have done at night so you can wake up in the morning and get your day started right. You don’t want to be frantic in the mornings, running around making lunches, trying to find the pants you had planned on wearing. All the while having to style your hair, put on makeup, and take the dog out. I would know because that is exactly how my mornings would go. Your mornings, start before you go to bed. With that said there are times where after a long day, you don't have the energy to prepare for the morning. When I have a day like this I take care of my top three. My top three are always done and are my saving grace in the mornings. The first of the three is making sure my breakfast and lunch are taken care of. If this means setting my alarm in the morning with some extra time to pick something up, then so be it. As long as my breakfast and lunch are planned, it saves me fifteen minutes of panic. The second is planning and laying my outfit out before going to bed. Why do both? I have planned an entire outfit out only to wake up the next morning only to realize that different pieces were in the wash. This set in a whole new level of panic in my morning and is now something I strive to avoid. The last of my top three is checking my agenda. I am an avid planner and I plan in advance so it is easy to forget appointments when I don't check every day.

When you are trying to change habits and create better ones, I cannot stress how important it is to stay consistent in your mindset and in your actions. The best way I have found to be consistent is going to bed and waking up at the same times every night, no matter what. Although this is harder to do on the weekends when you are out with your friends, it is important to follow. Studies show that by staying up on the weekend longer than your normal "bedtime" even when you have been working on consistency, you struggle to return to your regular waking hour. I cannot stress enough that at least while you are building this habit, not to change your plan. One missed day can mean starting all over again.

Your alarm may be your friendly reminder but it is also a big ‘get out of jail free’ card. As soon as your alarm goes off, get out of bed. Do not turn it off and stay laying in bed. I have been the victim to the "It's so warm" thoughts that keep you there much longer than you planned or wanted. Don’t lay in bed on your phone thinking Pinterest can keep you up because it can’t. I leave my phone on the other side of the room which forces me to get out of bed to turn it off. If you are saying “Good idea Nicole, but my spouse sleeps in longer than I do,” that is still no excuse. Kolby keeps his phone on his bedside table and when his alarm goes off, I get woken up. If you don’t want your alarm to wake up your spouse, then hurry out of bed to turn it off. 

The devil will come knocking, so prepare yourself. This is true in any situation in life when you are trying to change for the better. The key to overcoming this is your mindset. How you think about something is the deciding factor for if something can be done. You may face many outside obstacles but the mental obstacle is always your greatest fight.  Start your morning with something positive that you can look forward to. Several ideas of something positive would be a delicious cup of coffee, devotional, yoga, morning work-out,  or even reading on the back porch. Whatever it is, make sure it is something that is special to you and that you can do alone. My favorite is when I can have a cup of coffee on the back porch while I read and then I spend time doing my daily devotional. I feel refreshed and peaceful as I start my day.

I hope these tips help you in your journey to becoming a morning person. Let me know in the comments below what you found helpful or if you have any other tips, I would love to hear them.


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