I admit it. I like to sleep, not as much as my husband, but I do like it. At the beginning of this year, I found myself in a dilemma. The twins were starting pre-school 3 days a week which meant that we had to be up, breakfast done, dressed, and out the door by 8, which we never really had to do before. I also wanted to start exercising again...and it looked like the early morning was my only option. I say only option because let's face it. Naptime can be a crap shoot if all 3 girls will actually take a nap AND if I'm going to shower before taking the girls to school, I didn't want to come home to get sweaty and gross again. So mornings it was. Here's my dilemma (as I said at the beginning), I like to sleep.
I had to decide. Which did I like more. Sleeping or waking up regretful I didn't take advantage of a little quiet time to work on myself. I chose the second option and starting trying to figure out just how early I'd have to wake up. The short answer? Way to flippin' early. Or at least that's how I felt until I got used to it. Now that I'm used to my alarm going off at 5 AM, it's rare I sleep in and I actually "like" getting up earlier.
Any of this sound familiar? If you're struggling to get up earlier or want to know how to start, this is for you :-)
Begin by moving up your bedtime. This for me was a struggle because, well, I'm a HUGE BravoTV fan and that's when all my Housewives and Vanderpump Rules and let's not forget the Bachelor / Bachelorette or any other reality show. Now I wasn't a night owl, but knew I needed to get a good nights sleep if I was going to get up early and be a good mom, wife, friend. Instead of saying BAM, 8 o' clock is my bedtime and lying my tired little head down and immediately falling asleep, I slowly started hitting the pillow 15 minutes earlier. Once I got used to that I'd try 15 minutes earlier than that. And so on until I found my sweet spot for when I needed to go to bed to wake up early.
If you have trouble getting to bed early, try shutting off any electronics, reading a book, or trying some gentle yoga to help your body wind down from the day.
Next, decide what a successful early morning means to you. Yes, there are those women who have no trouble getting up and hitting spin class at 5 AM, can shower at the gym, and walk into work looking crazy well rested - I am not one of them. To me, it's not realistic for me to be up and at the gym that early. To me, a successful early morning is one where I'm able to get up, get my workout in, and shower before all the little's wake up. I'm also thankful I have a spouse who takes breakfast duty if I'm running a tad behind. I also know the night before which workout I'm doing, how long it takes, and when the latest possible time is I can get up to get all that done and not feel rushed in the AM.
Have a backup plan, because life happens. You may have the best intentions, but as I can share from experience, life happens. When that alarm goes off at 5 AM and I'm still in our 18 month old's room on the floor because she couldn't sleep most of the night, chances are I'm not going to get up to get a workout in. I'm going to take my butt to bed for another 60 mins of sleep in a nice, comfy, non-floor bed. I will, however, make it a priority to get that workout in during the day. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a day - just get back on track.
If you need a little extra motivation, there's no shame in bribing your self. I promise I won't tell anyone. If you're a Starbucks, Caribou, etc. lover, promise yourself that if you get up and get a good sweat on, you get to treat yo' self that day. Now I know some...err...many...of the drinks at your local coffee shop can be full of added sugars, which can be counterproductive. Think about what you're ordering or instead of a daily treat, maybe treat yourself at the end of the week. Or instead of a coffee shop treat, get yourself that graphic t you've been eying or new nail polish. Whatever it is that gets you up and going, use that!
Never underestimate the power of music! Whether you're lifting, running, or taking a class - music can add a little extra pep in your step. For me, I know I've got a playlist for when I tackle a 10k and I can definitely tell I pick up the pace when the song has a great beat!
Plan ahead for your pre- and post- workout. Have your bag packed the night before, know what workout you're doing at home, have your route planned out if you're going to walk / jog around your neighborhood. It makes it so much easier to get going in the AM if you know what you're going to be doing. Also, think about what needs to happen when you're done. If you're at the gym, do you need to bring shower stuff? Do you have a breakfast packed to refuel you and get you set for the day? How about clothes? Try to eliminate any extra work for yourself by getting yourself set for success before and after you are done.
I never thought of myself as a morning person, but nowadays, I love getting up early because it's time I take that's just for me and I don't have to feel guilty about it. I don't have to feel guilty I'm not spending it with my kiddos or husband. I don't have to feel guilty I'm not doing laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. Everyone else is snug in their beds and I get to focus on making myself the best version of me I can be. It's also nice not having distractions from dogs barking to go outside or my phone buzzing with a text or Facebook notification. It's distraction free and allows me to really focus on what I'm doing.
I'm hoping these tips are helpful for you! Give them a try and see what happens!
Have any tips for becoming a morning person? I'd love to hear them!