Historically, I’ve taken a bit of pride in the fact that I’m not a morning person.
You know morning people. The ones that wake up at 5am with sick, Cinderella-esque glee. Pretty sure that bluebirds bring them a cup coffee. “Good morning, Darling! Lovely to see you looking so chipper!”
Yeah. Those people. I’ve always been adamant that I’m not one of them.
Despite my assumed identity as an anti-morning person, my daily routine just wasn’t working out. My evenings were turning into Bible reading with glazed eyes and prayer that sounded a bit more like, “Father, Thank you for this beautiful day. Tonight, I bring before…Zzz…I bring before you a…Zzzzzzz…..” #crash #burn
Other nights I would find my work flow and hustle until I could barely keep my eyes open, only to collapse into bed too exhausted to talk to my husband, waking up grumpy and sluggish the next morning.
Something had to give.
I gave voice to the thought that I wanted to make early rising a habit. My Internet friend Natasha mentioned that she was going to start setting her alarm clock earlier, too. We decided to hold each other accountable.
Then Amanda from Beloved Sweetbay shared with me her morning routine tips, and becoming an early riser began to sound even more tangible.
Besides, seeing all of these glowy Instagrams of intentional mornings from people like Kristin Schmucker was getting to be irresistible.
And let’s not forget, Scripture mentions that Jesus was known to rise early and pray. (Mark 1:35) Early rising is not a command from the Lord, but I don’t think we should ignore the fact that Christ modeled this example for us.
Spurred on, I boldly set my alarm for 6am (Hey, don’t judge. That’s early for me!)
I felt super groggy, but rolled out of bed to my alarm, poured a cup of coffee, and opened my Bible.
Then the next morning I did the same thing.
And the next, and the next, and the next.
Despite a few hiccups – well, actually, not hiccups; two rounds of strep throat and pink eye – I have followed my newly adopted morning routine consistently for two months.
And you know what?
I like it! I really like it!
My delighted surprise is owing to the fact that I’m actually not a very disciplined person. I prefer indulging over abstaining. I prefer to go with my heart and not my head. Snooze buttons were invented for people like me. However, particularly in this season of being a young mom, I’m finding that to make the most of my time, I have to have a plan. And, for me, waking up before my house does has been the best way to keep my soul, mind, and creativity nourished. I must plan for that.
If you, like me, find that waking up early is a struggle, maybe these tips will help!
How To Wake Up Early (If You’re Not A Morning Person)
- Prepare Your Space
These first two points are straight from Amanda, so I’ll link to her helpful post again. Having your home prepared for early rising is, I think, the trick. If you’re planning to sprawl in your living room, for instance, make sure that space as inviting as possible. Throw the pillows back on the couch and set your favorite blanket out. If you want to read or journal, lay those books out on a coffeetable. Do a quick tidy-up just before bed, so you won’t be distracted by clutter while you’re trying to find your morning groove. Plus, tidying up eliminates the unfortunate possibility of ramming your big toe into Elmo’s Let’s Rock! Guitar while trying to stealthily ensure that your household remains asleep…not that I have any firsthand experience.
- Make It Super Easy
My early-riser guru Amanda encouraged me to make waking up as seamless as possible. She suggests being intentional about preparing even the smallest details, like having your coffeepot ready to go when you wake up. If you don’t want to leave your cozy bed, keep a hoodie or robe nearby. If you feel gross first thing in the morning, try showering at night. Don’t give yourself any excuses. Make waking up early as easy as possible!
- Have Accountability
As with any new habit, it’s a great idea to let others know about your plan so they can help you track progress. Especially with waking up early, you want to let others in your home know your intentions. Be sure to give your parents, roommates, or spouse the head’s up; it’s just the courteous thing to do! Additionally, it’s great to have an accountability system. Maybe you do ask a roommate to hold you to your commitment of rising early. I text my friend Natasha, sometimes we catch each other in the morning, other times we’ll text during the day to ask how our morning routines are going. Build an accountability system that works for you.
- Decide What To Do With Your Time
Another thing that has helped me wake up early is to sketch an idea of what my morning time will look like. For me, I start my pot of coffee then begin studying my Bible. After that I’ll usually pray. And then I jump on the computer (which was ready to go from the night before!) and write as much as I can before my daughter wakes up. I do my best to stick to this plan and not waver, like falling into social media rabbit trails during my precious, quiet moments! Whatever you want to do – yoga, journal, read a book, take a bubble bath, write, paint, build a new product – I highly suggest that you make a mini-schedule and follow your outline.
- Don’t Get Discouraged
So, what happens if you wake up only to find that half the morning’s gone and you’ve lost that time you planned? DON’T BE GLUM, CHUM! As I hinted earlier, we recently had a two week period in which everyone in our house was sick. Waking up early just wasn’t an option. We all needed rest. If you sleep through your alarm or have a season (long or short) in which rising early isn’t feasible, don’t fret. Life happens. Begin again the next morning. Starting over is really that simple.
Are you an ex-anti-early bird? Think you’ll set your alarm an hour earlier tomorrow? I’d love to hear your story! Share in the comments below, or shoot me an email.