I’ve never been a morning person for most of my teenage and adult life. This meme perfectly describes me. In college (2015-16) my roommates used to be terrified of waking me up in the morning and never spoke to me.
I’ve read and watched a lot of blogs and YouTube videos to see if there is a magic pill I can take to wake up early but sadly the answer is no! I’ve heard many people suggest putting your phone on the other side of the room and making your bed so that you don’t feel like crawling back in. All that is great but if I don’t want to wake up then there is no stopping me, I can fall back into sleep on a fully made bed after turning off the alarm and even brushing my teeth for that matter.
But what changed? How am I waking up at 5 am in the morning and what you can use from my story?
Disclaimer: I am not an expert and I am mostly taking the time to write this post because I feel like all book lovers out there have something in common and if you can find some inspiration/tips from this post then I am all for it.
Find your anchor
This should not be too difficult but might take some trial and error. It is no magic I just found my ‘why’ or my anchor if you will. Now hear me out, I’m not going to get into philosophy (at least not completely). If some one told me waking up early was the only way out for me to work out and get healthy then I would sleep through that it wouldn’t work because in general I think I am fairly healthy and I believe that eating healthy makes me feel better rather than working out.
So for me I figured that the only way I can make time to read is by waking up early. After joining a full time job, I was hardly able to read and I wasn’t happy. So to make myself happy I had to make time to read and that is how I happened to start waking up early.
There are some days it just doesn’t work because I’m super tired. But most days I’m up after the alarm goes off and I’m just rolling in the bed out of laziness. These are the days that I need to remind myself of the why.
I changed my wallpaper to one of the bookstagram photo that I clicked. It serves two purposes: a reminder as to why I set up the alarm for 5 am and it looks good to me so it serves as a positive affirmation that I am doing a good job and I have a great community of bookish friends online.
Set a routine
It has become more and more easy to wake up early this way. It was difficult initially for about 2 weeks and then my body got so used to the rythm that now I wake up on my own sometimes and I can’t fall back to sleep no matter how much I try. The one drawback to this is that I can’t sleep in on weekends even if I want to. So on weekends, I wake up anyway and spend some quality time (more on that later in the post), have a good breakfast and go back to sleep.
I have a routine now and that helps me a lot with the motivation required to wake up early. I wake up wash my face with a mint face wash, gulp down a glass of warm lemon water, stretch and then read for 30 minutes to an hour along with a cup of coffee depending on how early I have to get to work. Then I slowly start getting ready for work. My body is so used to this routine that I feel very unproductive, bloated and lazy the days I don’t wake up early.
I am at a stage where I see so many additional benefits to waking up early both physically and emotionally that I want to continue to do this forever. Even if I magically got 4 additional hours per day only to read, I still want to wake up early.
This may be obvious but I wanted to state it anyway because sometimes we all need a reminder. Remember that change is incremental and you don’t have to wake up 2 hours early starting tomorrow. Give your body the love and time it needs, if you are waking up early make sure you are sleeping early too. Sleeping for 6 hours and becoming a caffeinated zombie is counter productive. You need to make adjustments to your night to make sure you are happy in the morning and it might take multiple attempts before you find something that works.
Be Consistent and Patient
It is okay if you wake up late somedays or 3 days in a stretch once in a while. Life happens to me too and I sleep in sometimes but don’t hesitate to reset and start again. However, don’t wake up early alternate days in the beginning, it is easier to sleep in but always remind your self of the why. Because, if you aren’t consistent then it doesn’t get easier as time progress. It is also a gradual process before you get to waking up hours earlier than you intend to so be patient. When you are waking up 15 minutes earlier than usual focus on the additional tasks you were able to accomplish.
When I first attempted to wake up early, I remember enjoying my coffee better while reading 20 pages of the book and it made me happy. I loved watching sunrise sometimes and these were the little things that made me happy and kept motivating me to keep going.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? What keeps you motivated?