There are plenty of compelling reasons for being an early riser. A number of studies have proven that morning people are happier and more productive than their moonlighting counterparts.
Still, Night Owl Network reports that of the 85% of people who follow an early-bird schedule on a daily basis, only 22% say they would continue to do so if given a choice.
If you’re among the large percentage of Americans that don’t hop out of bed “sunny-side up,” here are 5 strategies that could help:
- Don’t hit snooze! Even if you have to get an old-fashioned alarm clock to remove the temptation — break the habit of hitting snooze. Set your alarm a few minutes earlier and give yourself time to really wake up if you need to, but GET UP. Don’t fall into the “I’m just going to lay here for 5 more minutes” trap. The sooner you get up, the sooner you’ll wake up. Motivating self-talk at bedtime can also be a powerful tool in avoiding the “snooze trap.” Before nodding off, tell yourself “I want to, and I will, get up when my alarm goes off.”
- Give yourself a reward. Whether it’s setting the timer on your coffee pot so there’s a cup waiting for you in the kitchen, or prepping a healthy breakfast the night before, a little motivation for making the trek out of the bedroom can make a big difference.
- Devote time to your No. 1 priority first. Here at Early to Rise, we believe in putting first things first (see Editor Craig Ballantyne’s “Big Three Rules for Your Life.”). It’s easy to get sidetracked with the noise of the day, so it’s imperative to define what’s most important to you and focus on it first. If you’ve been wanting to journal, refocus on your faith or spirituality, find time to meditate, or exercise, don’t wait until the end of the day when your mind is cluttered and you’re overly tired or you’ll find it easier to skip.
- Get moving. No you don’t have to do an hour of cardio or run 4 miles each morning (unless of course you want to!). A short, targeted workout, or even a walk with your pet, can energize you for the entire morning — and yield fitness results. Research shows that getting in just 21 minutes of activity a day (150 minutes per week) results in reduced sleepiness throughout the day. Plus, knowing you’ve done something good for your body (and maybe your dog’s too) can set a positive tone for your entire day.
- Schedule morning activities you won’t want to (or can’t) skip. Ideally, you should schedule things for which you’ll be excited to get out of bed, like a favorite workout or coffee with a friend. But the obligation of work tasks and meetings is a powerful (if not less exciting) motivator, too. Either way, you’ll be pushed to get out of bed.
Start doing some of these things each day and you may just discover that morning time is your Magic Time.