How many times does your morning alarm go off and you hit the snooze button? Do you drag yourself out of bed, exhausted and anxious about your ‘to do’ list? Do you not feel excited about the day? First order of business is to get more sleep and be less exhausted.
Once you are getting enough sleep, you want to greet each day as if it were a ‘surprise party’, celebrating your life and expecting all kinds of excitement in store for you.
Try these seven tricks to train your brain to be alert like this as soon as you wake up!
Set an intention to wake up alert and ready-to-go for your day
Before you go to sleep, tell yourself what time you want to wake up and how alert you want to feel when you awaken. Yes, your subconscious mind is powerful and you can literally tell it, “When I awaken at 6:30 a.m., I want to feel refreshed and excited for the day!”
Then when you wake up in the morning, have a strong sense of “why” you are waking up each morning. Imagine who you will help or support that day, and let that image motivate you to get out of bed. Identify and focus on the one thing you really want to happen that day, and make it happen!
Have an accountability partner
Schedule something early in the morning that requires you to bound out of bed. Often we’ll get up to ‘be there’ for someone else in a way we don’t always show up for ourselves. Perhaps it’s your morning power walk with a girlfriend? Or an exercise circle you belong to? Or a coach or trainer? You can find someone who also wants to be held accountable for taking actions for success – schedule a time each morning to check in for 5-10 minutes to report wins from the day before and set new goals for your day ahead. Having that accountability will get you to do things you might not do for yourself.
Up-level your morning routine
Do you have a morning routine that sets you up to feel your best in the day? If not, time to start one! Start with the end in mind: what do you want to feel at the end of your morning routine as you step into your work or family role? Then, put into place a routine that will help you feel that way and be in that state.
For example, start your day by drinking with a large glass of cold or hot water – this flushes your system from the night before and fills your cells with hydration. (It’s even better if you can add a drop of lemon juice to your water). Set aside 10 (or more) minutes to meditate so you go into your day with calm and perspective. Do some stretches or yoga poses so your body – and your mind – is open and stretched. As you sip your tea or coffee, read or listen to wisdom – your favorite audio recordings, podcasts or music. Or read passages from a book, blog or spiritual source that helps to remind you to be your best self for the day. You can also listen to this wisdom as you get dressed and ready for your day.
You might have to get up before other people you live with or go somewhere nearby in order to have this sacred time. Once you start noticing how centered it makes you feel, you won’t want to start your day without it.
Engage your senses to feel more alert and motivated
Pre-rehearse getting out of bed. On those winter mornings when I don’t want to take off the covers to let in cold air, I imagine hot tea pouring into my body and the smell of coffee wafting in the air. I’ll imagine all the things I’ll do for the first several minutes of my day in great detail as if I’m doing the routine in my mind. It creates the muscle memory for it and helps me awaken the feeling as if I’ve already done it. Then it’s easier to carry out!
Start your day with a dance party!
Why do this? Because how often do you wake up feeling swampy and kind of blue (depression is more likely first thing in the morning). I know this might sound a little out of your comfort zone, but try it to get rid of the depression cobwebs you wake up with!
Make a playlist of your absolute most favorite energizing music. Then, play one song each day (with earplugs or out loud) to get you out of bed soon after you wake up. Yes, you can dance your way to the kitchen as you are waiting to heat up water/coffee, or as you make your way over to the bathroom! Feel the beat in your body. And yes, allow yourself to get some of your sexy moves in – that will wake you up and allow you to feel beautiful and full of purpose throughout your day.
Entrain your sleep cycle so you wake up at the part of your cycle in which you are the most alert
Start by creating a regular bedtime and a regular wake time. What time would you LIKE to go to sleep? Make a commitment to a regular bedtime over the course of 30 days.
Then start to notice how you feel when you wake up at varying times in the morning – i.e., do you feel better when you get seven hours of sleep? Eight? Why pay attention to that? Because your sleeping hours take you through multiple cycles of the four phases of sleep, with each cycle lasting approximately 90 minutes. Stage four is the deepest one and stage one (REM sleep) is the lightest one – closest to the awake state.
Whichever amount of sleeping time enables you to feel the best indicates how long is best for you to sleep each night. (If you are super geeky and want to understand the specifics of this, look into getting a sleep tracker app that will help you understand the science of your specific sleep cycle.)
Make gratitude your first act of the day (I’m saving the most important for last)
When you wake up each morning, be grateful that you woke up that morning! Specifically identify one to three things you feel grateful for (this could be the person sleeping next to you (in which case tell them you are grateful to them); your health (this should be on your list every day!); your living quarters; your family; your work in the world; your freedoms; etc.). This will automatically put you into a heart-centered energized state and start your day off with a positive perspective.