Maybe its a rocket in your trousers that you need but read on and see how an allergic to mornings person mastered a habit or two.
I’m not a natural morning person. Some of us are just made that way. Difficult for the early risers to understand but that’s just the way I came out of the box.
I’ve spent the last decade of my life fighting against that fact, determined to overcome my nature and turn myself into a morning person.
The question which a lot would like to ask is why? Firstly why do we need habits? And why is it important to do them in the morning? Why is that any different from doing it at another time in the day and why should I care?
Why do I need new habits?
Habits are the stepping stones to achieving your goals. If you are clear about what goals you want in life you will be clearer about the habits you need to create to achieve them. Unfortunately most of us have goals but lack the time in which to pursue them. That’s why getting up early, gaining an hour or two back from our day can be a very useful way to find time for the things you want to achieve.
For me morning habits are the only hope I have of doing the things I want to do. Once the day starts I get caught up in the busyness and by the end of my work day I would rather snuggle up in front of the fire than go workout. For example meditation is more difficult for me at any other point in the day than morning. I sometimes meditate in bed at night but more often than not I meditate myself to sleep. Not that that is a bad thing but conscious meditation has a different impact on the body than peaceful sleep.
Once I have mediated the day only gets better. For one I feel accomplished, pleased with myself that I overcame my sleepy gremlins and did what I know to be good for me. Master one habit at a time and you will build confidence, once you have mastered two or more morning habits and you become invincible.
I had mastered two for a while, I cycled on my exercise bike after my morning mediation. Once I was awake and refreshed from mediation it wasn’t such a big deal to jump on my exercise bike. Another checkbox ticked and a happier, less stressed Ciara each day. While cycling I perched my iPad on my home made stand and watched motivational videos or caught up on the reading I wanted to do.
The summary is that getting up early helps you to feel in control of your life, it prevents stress from rushing or lateness. Mornings are a great time to get stuff done.
Why not Night time?
The night owls will always argue with the need for a morning routine. Realistically if you really are a night owl this is a tricky one. Unfortunately society functions on a standard work day wherever you are and if you are staying up late at night to do work only you can answer the question, what are you missing out on? If life is perfect and night time habits are working well for you, go for it. But if your night time pursuits are preventing you from functioning in a world dominated by societal norms you may have to tweak your system. I personally fought against the status quo all my life and when I would stay up late to write soon I realised it limited how effective I could be in the morning, getting my kids out to school or serving my clients had to take priority. I had to accept a long time ago that I need to function and move to the beat of society’s drum and rising early has allowed me to do that and still get what I want done.
What to do in that time?
There are many things you can use your morning routine for, exercising, journaling, meditation, yoga, reading, writing or even just getting ahead on any project you are working on. I once did the calculation of how much time one extra hour in bed is in a year. Sleep for an extra hour a day and loose two full days of your life in a year. Do it for ten years and you have lost twenty days! This is what I try to remind myself of at the weekend when I think about turning over. What could I be doing now. I always tell myself you can always come back for a siesta later. I rarely do.
What to do when you know you won’t do it?
Trick yourself into it. Tell yourself to only do the new habit for 5 minutes. Whether tis exercise, meditation or journaling make it so small that you can’t say no!
Prepare for it, make the decision the night before about exactly what you are going to do. Prepare your clothes etc.
Buy yourself a Morning Sidekick Journal from Habit Nest.
This journal has been helping me master my morning habits. While I do have morning habits they are not exactly where I would like them to be.
but I have mastered the following
• I get up between 5:30 and 6:30 every week morning.
• I meditate every morning before I start the day.
• I journal after meditating
• I have a habit of gratitude and write in my gratitude journal regularly
• I walk my dog every morning
I did exercise most mornings but an issue with my hip has reduced the amount of exercise I can do and I have been procrastinating on finding a workout that will work for me.
One tip from the Morning Sidekick Journal which I think is crucial is to remember it doesn’t have to be perfect first go. Start with a basic habit and work your way up to doing it for longer or adding other habits. What I found is that once you introduce one habit and master that it acts like a keystone habit and other habits fit in with it nicely.
What is also good to remember is that even if you wake up late, try to fit in at least one of your habits. So if I have a late night or a bad nights sleep I will set the alarm clock later but I will always allow 20 minutes for meditation. I don’t want to start my day without it. It has become so important to me it has changed my habits for me.
Whether you get up at 5am, 8 am or 11 am do your habit regardless as habit nest say its more about what you do than when you do it.
Good Luck and get in touch if I can help you master your habits.