We’ve all had those days where nothing seems to go right for you. We’re jolted from our sleep by an alarm clock that sounds like an ambulance siren in your ear only to find yourself furiously tap away at a smart phone with one eye a quarter of the way open, so we can SNOOZE. Then 5,10,15 minutes later it’s déjà vu. Dragging yourself out of bed, you realize that there is not much time left to get ready and get on with the day so you’re in a constant state of anxiety and urgency from that moment on. You can’t find your keys, you spill your coffee, you forget paperwork, the kids are late for school, you’re late for work and all you want to do is wake up hoping its all a bad dream. Sound about right?
This was my life also and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. You can free yourself from all that stress, anxiety and unnecessary urgency first thing in the morning. All you have to do is win your morning. You win your morning and you’ll win your day. Winning days will turn into winning weeks which turn into winning months and before you know it, you will own your year. This is how you win your morning.
This sounds like a no-brainer but it’s easier said than done. If you want more time in the morning so that you are not rushing, then you must make more time. You do that by waking up earlier. QUIT HITTING THE SNOOZE BUTTON. The cliché saying, “you snooze, you lose” is a cliché for a reason. It’s true. The moment you hit your snooze button, you surrender your morning along with your day. Here are a few ways to help you wake up and stay up:
- Put your alarm clock far away from your bed so that you must get up and turn it off.
- Quit looking at your phone first thing in the morning. The morning is your time.
- Brush your teeth immediately. This signals the start of your day.
- GO TO BED EARLIER which takes me to my next point.
Go to Bed Earlier
We spend too much time on mindless activities like watching television and video games. Don’t get me wrong, I love both, but both should be extremely limited. Staying up all night watching a television show, watching a movie, playing a game, which includes your phone too, is doing nothing more than sabotaging you. You will not sleep well and chances are you won’t get much time to sleep because you have to be up early in the morning. You must set up your environment so that it will help you get to bed earlier. Here are some tips that have helped me.
- No electronics an hour before your intended bedtime. You can set an alarm on your watch or phone for this too.
- Leave your phone charging outside of your room. Restroom, kitchen, living room, it doesn’t matter as long as you don’t have it next to you in bed. If it’s your alarm, then it’s time to invest 10 bucks on an old fashion alarm clock.
- Read right before bed. Some will argue to not read before bed, but in my case, it helps me in two ways: it helps me wind down to sleep comfortably and I get to learn just a little bit more before sleep. There are studies out there that say reading right before bed helps in retaining the information taken in.
Give it a shot. There are hundreds of ways to get to bed earlier, but these are a few that help me.
Start a Morning Routine
A solid morning routine will do wonders for the rest of your day. And by morning routine I don’t mean get up, get dressed, grab the coffee and go. Your morning routine should set the foundation for your day. Some people exercise first thing as their routine, others meditate, some stretch and various other activities to prepare them for the day. My morning routine consists of gratitude, writing and reading. My exercise comes later in the day. My morning routine is instrumental in taking back mornings and allowing me to win the day.
Take back your mornings and win your days. Do it by waking up earlier, going to bed earlier and starting a solid morning routing. Remember that you must be consistent.