The most effective way to motivate yourself to do something (anything) – and this applies to waking up early as well – is having a WHY. You need to have a reason to do what to do, especially if it’s something really challenging. Otherwise, your brain will start rejecting it, and you will stop feeling motivated after a few days.
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Waking up early is hard. Because at 6 in the morning all your brain can think of is: I need to get to bed or I will die!
So before you get used to it (it will happen, I promise!), you need to have a reason to wake up early. It doesn’t have to be anything too big. Actually, something really easy you can trick your brain with is food. You haven’t been eating for 8 hours, so you might feel pretty hungry. Use this to motivate yourself to go to the kitchen and make a tasty breakfast (it works every time for me!).
Also, waking up early means spending some good alone time: it’s pretty quiet, everybody is sleeping, no phone ringing, no emails. You have some time to relax before running into the rush of your day and nobody will disturb you! I don’t know about you, but this motivates me pretty well!
My second premise is to get enough hours of sleep. Otherwise, you will break soon or after. You need to find out what works for you in the long run.
I don’t know why, but I convinced myself for some years that I was able to sleep 6 hours per night. Eventually, this led me to me having a breakdown and falling asleep on the train. I don’t recommend that!
Time to start!
1. GET A DECENT ALARM
I want to make this clear: don’t scare yourself out when you wake up. Don’t set a too loud alarm just because you think it’s gonna make you jump out of bed. Your body doesn’t like waking up like this! Instead, I suggest you use some more natural relaxing sounds.
I personally use this app that allows you to create a customized phone alarm mixing together bird sounds. It’s so relaxing and makes me wake up in a good mood.
Something that really helps me wake up early consistently every day is visualizing how my next day will be. I literally imagine the alarm ringing, I see myself opening my eyes, going to the bathroom, washing my face, brushing my teeth and so on.
This doesn’t only make me get out of bed more willingly, but it also helps me fall asleep faster! The more detailed you are, the more it works.
I don’t know why, but it works every time, I swear. Just give it a try!
3. DRINK WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
I always keep a bottle of water near my bed, because I know that sometimes it’s the only way to really wake your brain and body up. You haven’t been drinking for 8 hours, your body – and brain – are dehydrated!
4. REWARD YOURSELF
If you woke up early for more than two days in a row, reward yourself. You made a commitment and you should be proud of what you achieved by far. Rewarding yourself will eventually keep you motivated in the long run.
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5. FORCE YOURSELF TO GET OUT OF BED
Put your alarm – or your phone if that’s what you use – where you are forced to get out of bed to turn it off.
6. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT
At first, your brain will start telling you stories in the morning. Things like:
“You don’t really need to wake up early, go back to bed!”
“5 more minutes will be enough, then you’ll get up feeling fresher!”
(those 5 minutes will eventually turn into an hour…same old story)
Your levels of willpower are really low in the morning – or at least for the first 15 minutes – so try not to think at all because if you really start thinking about it, it’s not gonna end good. What you want to do after you turned your alarm off is go straight to the bathroom, do your stuff and go on with your day. Accept that you won’t feel better if you sleep 5 more minutes (and I think deep down you know that).
Actually, it will make you feel worse both physically and mentally (because you’ll feel guilty for it!)
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7. GET A MORNING ROUTINE
During the morning, you want to be able to go on autopilot as much as you can.
That’s because your morning routine should be a relaxing way to set your mood for rest of the day. So make a list of the things that you would enjoy doing in the morning (maybe something you don’t have time for during the rest of the day) and try to make a routine out of those.
I suggest you don’t make it too long or tiring and be prepared to experiment and modify it as you go on and try new things.
Also, avoid decision making in the morning as much as possible. To do this, you can choose your outfit – and makeup – or write your to-do list for the next day the night before.
This is essentially a combination of everything that works for me and still helps me wake up every day consistently at 6 am. Give your body the time to adapt to your new routines and morning habits. And please do not beat yourself up if things don’t work at first, or if you fail once in a while. Just keep trying, making mistakes, learning and growing. Don’t hesitate to contact me for any other suggestion here.
Write down in the comments section below what is – or are – your reasons to wake up early in the morning.