Hey my darling! Are you enjoying the summer? I hope you are getting the most of every extra hour of sunshine, specially the morning hours. Did you know that for my entire 20’s and beginning of my 30’s I was a night owl? I had no idea what I was missing, mainly because my old career required that I’d be up until late. Oh boy was I missing on some magic! Even after I changed careers & schedules I battled with the idea of rising early for a while…can you relate?
I would literally pray to God to help me become a morning person because I kept hearing, reading and seeing the marvels of a morning routine in my studies, clients and basically everywhere I looked! Several studies relate rising up early to success in various areas. For example, in a 2008 Texas University study, students that identified themselves as early risers earned an extra point on their GPAs. Harvard Biologist found out that early risers are more proactive and willing to take charge to attain their goals and Randler’s research identified that morning people are more likely to anticipate problems and minimize them efficiently. That is some pretty amazing data! Beyond that, I know that when I wake up early I have the time to do something for myself. Aka my practice. I can meditate, practice breathing and asana, visualize my day and eat breakfast, all without rushing. The quiet time in the mornings helps me plan and organize my day. That sets the tone for it, it puts me in a better mood and ensures that I have a calm demeanor no matter what I have to face. Overall I’m a better version of me when I wake up early.
Maybe you know all this, but after much trying you just can’t seem to get there. I hear you! I tried all the tricks and they were just not working. But after much trying I realized I was putting the wrong energy into it. So I’m going to share my secrets to becoming a happy morning person….
- Start gradually. I wanted to jump from getting up at 8am to 5:30am…yep, not a good plan. Do it in 30 minute increments, when the first 30 minutes become a habit which can take about 21 days, go to the next 30 minutes and so on.
- Go to be earlier. You’ll never get to rise early if you keep going to bed at 11pm. Here’s a good trick to help you get there. Start turning all your lights off by 9pm and do not watch TV or stare at the computer before going to bed. If needed try a relaxing tea like Valerian, Chamomile or lavender. My favorite thing is the Tart Cherry Concentrate from Purium with natural melatonin.
- Watch your inner dialog. What are you saying to yourself when the alarm goes off? Listen carefully because that dialog leaves clues. I would tell myself that I work hard so I deserved that extra hour, or that one day wouldn’t be a big deal. The truth is that if I was tired I could organize my nights go to bed earlier, not robbing myself of any sleep…and on the second excuse, we all know that one day always turns into 2,3,4 days…Try this: Listen to the excuse and ask yourself: “Who is saying this? Is it my higher self?” Can it be your ego? (hint: the answer is yes). I wrote a flash card with my intention to have peaceful and nourishing mornings and I kept this card in my night stand. When my mind went on this tangent I would turn on my lamp and read it a few times to remind me of what my higher self really wanted.
- Trick yourself into getting up. I mean it. Put your alarm clock or cell phone as far away from your bedside as you can (try the other corner of your room!). Or maybe jump in the shower right after you get up, Set your coffee maker at the same time as your alarm so the smell lures you. Get clever…! Once you get out of bed is much harder to talk yourself into getting back in.
There is one more thing…I must say that the wisest thing I ever heard on this subject came from a Yogi from India, actually a very well know expert on the Yoga sutras. He taught this in a seminar about creating a morning chanting practice (I’m paraphrasing) “Don’t beat yourself up or go into a guilt trip over the hours of Brahma or whatever people say about getting up early. Instead, decide What is early for you and start there”. This is important, be realistic and kind to yourself. If you miss a day try the next and maybe plan a couple of days a week when you sleep in. After all, I’m a 100% believer of the 12 step program saying “Easy does it”. So have easy and happy morning my darling!
Coach Maria Marcano