Happiness Tip #7: Wake Up at the Same Time Everyday

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I used to be a slave to my snooze button. I would continue to snooze for 45+ minutes. I would rationalize away breakfast and showers. I would roll out of bed at the last minute and finally really wake up about 30 minutes after I got to work. Everything was rushed and stressful. Why did I do that? It makes no sense. The extra 9 minute increments of sleep just made me more tired. The snooze button was ruining my sleep and my mornings. I hated having a bad start to the morning every morning, but I was weak and my bed was so comfy.

In an effort to make my mornings less stressful and my days happier, I have started a new habit. I’m still in the process of establishing it, but it’s happening. For the past week and a half I’ve been getting up at 5:00AM every weekday. The picture above is a screenshot of my phone alarms. So far the second alarm hasn’t gone off, although I have waited until 5:04am to get up on a few occasions. Since the habit is still in the process of being created, it sucks to get up that early. Thankfully, it’s getting easier and the sucky feeling only lasts about 3 minutes and the rest of the day is sooo much better. It is worth it. It makes the mornings less stressful and my mood 100x better.

If you’re a slave to the snooze button and want to have happier mornings here are 3 tips to conquer the extra, futile snoozing.

  1. Don’t Think About It, Just Do It: As soon as your alarm goes off, get up. Don’t let one single thought get in between the alarm going off and you getting up. It takes me about .01 seconds to form some stupid rationalization to “sleep in” so I have to move quicker than that. No excuses. No rationalizations. Be strong and get up. If you have to, move your alarm far away from the bed.
  2. Create a routine or something you do right after you wake up. I wake up and immediately go downstairs (I have to remove myself from the vicinity of the comfy bed because it will call me back, I know it will) then I drink a glass of water and my pre-workout. The pre-workout commits me to working out.
  3. Go to bed early (or when you get tired). Getting up at the same time every day helps set your circadian rhythm so you should get tired about the same time every night. I love sleep and I need it, so I’m usually in bed by 9:30 and asleep by 10:30 pm at the latest.

Two final thoughts.

First, in addition to making my mornings happier and less stressful, I’ve also noticed an increase in productivity throughout the day which is an added bonus.

Second, to all the moms – this happiness tip is hard to implement when you’re still in survival mode. It’s fair to argue “survival mode” lasts until your youngest kid is 18 and out of the house but for the purposes of this tip, I would say it’s safe to try to implement a real schedule for yourself once your kid has gotten consistent with their schedule. I’m going to stay out of the wasp nest of the baby scheduling debate but if anyone is interested we had great success with the Moms on Call method.

I’m really hoping by this time next year I won’t even have to set an alarm to get up at 5:00 am. I will be a new person… what do they call it??… oh yeah, I’ll be a morning person 🙂

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