This week I was talking to some coworkers about our differing morning routines. I very much enjoys mornings. I like having a few hours before work to complete some side projects, organize my day, do some devotions, workout, and generally work at my own pace instead of scrambling to get out the door on time.
I never hit snooze. When my alarm goes off, I get out of bed and start my day.
When I said those statements to my coworkers, they could not believe me. One responded, “I don’t want my alarm to wake me up, I’m at my best when my body wakes up on it’s own. That way I know I got enough sleep. So I can’t help but hit snooze a few times.”
In theory, that sounds great. Here’s the problem: Your alarm didn’t wake you up.
When you get ready for bed each night, part of your routine is setting your alarm for the next day. So when the alarm goes off in the morning it’s not waking you up. YOUR actions from the night before are waking you up.
You are waking yourself up every time your alarm goes off. And if you set your alarm for that time, you wanted to get up at that time for a reason.
If you’re like me, you have goals, you’d like your life to seem less rushed/busy/hectic, you are driven and passionate. Most days don’t have enough hours in them. You’re always finding ways to increase productivity, to learn more, to be more organized. You want to be healthy, but exercising takes time. You want to read more, but when?
Well friends, this starts with getting out of bed when your alarm goes off.
If you’ve read this far and are thinking, “That works for you, but some people are just made differently,” stop right there. Yes, some people are made differently, but if you’ve ever thought, even just once, how nice it would be to not be rushed in the morning, then this post is for you.
I used to be just like you. I’d set my alarm for exactly the number of minutes I’d need to get ready for work, but not a minute more. Then I’d hit snooze a few times, only to scramble every day to get out the door on time. I ended up always forgetting something, or having to skip breakfast, a run, or devotions. In fact, until last year I wouldn’t have considered myself a morning person at all. I’d sleep in ever chance I got.
Then one day it changed. Yup, just like that. One day. One night actually. One night I read a blog post about how we don’t trust children to make important decisions because they aren’t yet capable of choosing what’s best for them.
Think of your morning brain as a child’s brain. It doesn’t get to make decisions. It’s not ready to be trusted with something as important as this.
Your night brain –when you set your alarm– has made the decision. Your morning brain just reacts to that decision.
It really is that simple. I know you won’t believe me, so you’ll have to try it. Tonight when you go to bed do two things. 1) Set your alarm intentionally and decide with certainty what time you’ll wake up 2) Choose what you’ll be working on in the morning so you have the drive to follow through.
Do you want to blog? Run? Read the Bible? Read a book? Do some yoga? Watch the news? Clean up the house? You don’t have to allot enough time for all of those, pick one or two your first week, eventually you’ll want to add more.
Then in the morning when the alarm goes off and you have woken yourself up, don’t think. Just make your feet hit the floor, and start your routine. Don’t let your morning brain start thinking, because as soon as it does it will question all your past decisions and quickly threaten to override all your best intentions.
After that, it’s just a decision you make every night, not every morning. You’ve decided to wake up at a certain time to start your day on your terms. So do it.
It’s pretty cool when you think about it. It’s almost like time travel. Yourself from the past is waking up yourself from the present.
So stop thinking your alarm is waking you up; it’s not. You are waking you up. So make today a good one.
There’s life to be lived.