I used to be a snoozer – you know, someone who presses the snooze button on the alarm clock when it’s time to wake up?
Each day that I did that (it used to be everyday!), I would wake up feeling less than happy with myself. The mornings would feel rushed, and the day would feel the same way. Even though I knew that I operated best in the morning, I did not give myself permission to optimize that gift.
That all changed one day, overnight, a year ago.
I was chatting with a patient, a fellow morning-person, a fellow morning-walker. I was lamenting how I wish I could wake up earlier so that I could get more things done, walk longer, feel more prepared for the day. I told her about my snoozing-habit.
She didn’t have empathy for me, at all, actually. Instead she said:
“Kit, it’s really easy!”
“Really? What do you mean?” I inquired.
“You just move your alarm clock far away, so that you have to get out of bed. If you do that, you probably won’t snooze it!”
My mind was blown. How did I not know to do this before?
As they say, the rest is history.
Literally, that ONE advice changed my life (and I have told her this!). I started that very evening, putting my alarm on my dresser which is a few steps away from my bed. I set it for 5am, and boom, at 5am the next day, it rang and I got out of bed to turn it off. It made me feel so empowered, this little thing that I did! I had an extra hour or so that morning, and I felt like I conquered the world!
Since then I have added to this morning routine, and I have to say that my life is so much better for it. I wake up even earlier now, and I get even more productive, and focused. I start each day feeling already accomplished, and well-planned. Here’s a sample of my morning routine:
1. Wake up early
2. I drink a glass of room temperature water with lemon juice.
3. I write in my journal (a list of 5 things I am grateful for, I call it my ‘Gratitude Five’)
4. I create my Task list for the morning, prioritizing what needs to get done first (lunches, laundry, dishes, sometimes if I have time, I make dinners, too!)
5. Exercise for 10-20 minutes (this depends on my mood. Sometimes it’s simple yoga, sometimes it’s cardio, and sometimes it’s weights. I do it all at home.)
6. Walk the dog for 20-30 minutes.
7. I come home to wake up my children, and ‘start’ my day.
Without realizing it, what I end up accomplishing each day with my morning routine can be thought of as :
Gratitude (the journal), Clarity (the Task List), Self-care (lemon water and exercise), and Family (all those chores!). And it all happens before 7am!
I am convinced that because of my morning routine, I am able to focus on both my personal and professional life with as little sense of overwhelm and stress as possible. Some days are harder than others, of course, but I make sure to show up daily. Each day that I don’t snooze the alarm, I am a happier, more productive person. And that is a wonderful pay-off!
What is the ONE thing that can help you feel less overwhelmed? I want to hear it!