For my entire life, I’ve been a morning person. (Well, except when I was a baby because apparently I just slept all the time.) I may not necessarily want to get out of bed when my alarm goes off, but I’m not a “snoozer.” I click off my alarm and from the minute my feet touch the ground I’m off and running. I kind of feel bad for people when they’re with me in the morning because I’m basically in a 3pm state of mind.
Places to go, people to see is my philosophy when it comes to the morning.
Add on top of that the fact that I’m thrive on routine. I can still remember my routines for each year of school. In high school, all four years were exactly the same. (Middle school was different because I couldn’t drive and my sister’s schedule affected my own.)
I woke up every morning at 5:45. Straightened my hair until 6:03 (seriously). Walked downstairs and needed to be at the table eating an Eggo waffle by 6:14. I’d read one article in the paper and be done by 6:20. Upstairs to get ready until 6:45. Check the computer (which “back in the day” meant scrolling through Facebook) until 6:55. Obsessively go through my backpack until I knew I wasn’t forgetting something and then out the door at 7 to walk to school.
A little crazy, but it ensured that I started off the day on the right foot.
I had a similar type of morning schedule when I had a regular job last year, but when I quit to work for myself I really struggled with the morning part of my routine.
But now I think I have it down pat and it’s literally changed my days.
The trick I found is two-fold (and I think this would be perfect for people who aren’t really morning people, too). I realized that having a morning routine wasn’t about hitting the ground running so much as it was setting myself up for success.
I used to go to bed simply dreaming of the coffee I’d have in the morning. Now, however, I literally go to bed so excited to go for a walk with Teddy in Central Park. It’s off-leash before 9am, so we head out early for an hour-long walk/play.
Knowing I have something fun to do is a huge help in getting to bed at a decent time and clicking off the alarm when it goes off the first time. And the benefits are HUGE. Teddy gets in a ton of exercise so he’s a happy puppy all day long. Plus, I get in some extra steps in and extra sun.
When I bring Teddy back to feed him, it’s only 7:15 so I go to Starbucks for coffee and an hour or so of reading depending on what my morning meetings are. Honestly, the reading element was something that was missing from my routine for a few months now because I used to read before bed, but wasn’t able to fit it in at the end of the day. Having it back in my day (and especially the morning) makes a world of difference.
8amish and I’m ready to go for the day. I feel good. I don’t feel stressed. And most importantly, when I go to do actual work, I’m completely happy and in a great mood! Nothing is worse than sitting down to work and being groggy and grumpy. (Can you actually get good work done that way anyway?!)
Not everyone has dogs to walk or bookworm tendencies, but I imagine there’s something that can get everyone out of bed to enjoy an hour or two of personal peace.
If you have a long commute, maybe you want to opt for audiobooks instead of music (chewing gum for the ears). If you’re into yoga, switch to a morning session. If you like to cook, prepare meals or plan meals in the morning. Things I suggest avoiding: anything involving a screen. Television, internet, phones. It’s idle and won’t really give you the energy to start the day. (Might as well stay in bed for the extra hour!)
I love my mornings now and I can say with absolute certainty that my days are more productive and (most importantly) generally happier!
Is there something you can add to your mornings to get a happy jump start on the day?