If the answer is no, I suggest waking up earlier. It might sound painful but it’s worth it. I’m waking up in the early, early morning and although it was difficult at first, I’m loving it. The reason I get up extra early in the morning is to do the things for myself that I would not otherwise do at a later time, at least not as consistently. I wake up to meditate, journal, and do yoga or I’ll drink tea, read a book, and plan my day or week. It’s basically my free time to do the quiet things that make me feel good and that don’t have any urgency around them so they will get forgotten in the more hurried hours of my life. They are also the things I have zero motivation to do at the end of a long day. Getting up at 5am gives me anywhere from 1 to 2 hours of totally alone “me” time. This time has become a priceless resource to me and I wanted to share with you what’s gotten me through the resistance my body and mind have to getting up that early.
1. Making a commitment – I make a weekly commitment to get up at 5am, otherwise I would probably not do it. Knowing that I have that on my list as one of my top priorities for the week keeps it front and center.
2. Accountability – The other day I slept in one morning until 6am. I had accidentally turned off my alarm before bed without realizing it. I had made the commitment to get up at 5am – 5 days a week so in order to keep my commitment I had to wake up at 5am on the weekend. Something I never would otherwise have done. I was so happy that I did, that ended up being one of the most important days for me since my practices kept me balanced and feeling good on a day that otherwise would have been emotionally quite tough.
3. Don’t stress the time – I’m getting up at 5am because I like to have a lot of time, but my kids also tend to get up early so if I set my alarm for 6am I may not get anytime at all to myself. It’s really not about the number it’s about beginning the day with yourself in mind before you have to turn it over to work, or your family, it’s about making yourself a priority.
4. Spend it doing things that fill you up – There is a lot out there about getting up early and being productive. If you get up early you can get a jump on the day. That is certainly true. But you can also use that time doing things that fill your cup, if that’s your work, great. For me, it’s my spiritual practices. My brother-in-law wakes up early to practice the guitar. It doesn’t have to be anything in particular as long as it’s for you.
5. Think about your use of technology – One thing I’m pretty strict with myself about is not checking my cell phone or getting on my computer. If there are mornings when I want to use the time to work a little, which are rare but do happen, I make a point to do something totally for myself first, even if it’s just 5 minutes of mediation, or jotting a quick list in my journal of what I’m grateful for. If technology is part of your #4 that’s okay just keep in mind how you are using it.
I hope you will consider adjusting your day so that there is more time just for you in it.