I'm dying to be a morning person. Although it's a bit like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, I know that this habit would help me have productive, peaceful days and would by extension make my home much more pleasant. This month, I'm taking the bull by the horns. If it's true that it takes 21 days to form a habit, I'm going to have a new one soon. Here's my plan.
Early to bed.
I just returned from an international trip, where the time was six hours ahead of my home time. Let me tell you that I need all the help I can get to get up early, so using the pull of jet lag to help me get into bed at an early hour has been huge. It's eliminated the morning battle with super sleepiness and that's an edge I've needed.
I don't think you have to travel for this type of effect, however. If you're interested in starting a habit of getting up early, use any excuse to get up early one morning (thunderstorm, bad dream, cat scratching to be let in, the end of Daylight Saving Time in the fall) and let that first early morning jumpstart the cycle of early-to-bed.
Prep ahead to make mornings as smooth as possible.
My mornings, among other things, involve packing kids' lunches, and wrangling three little ones into socks, shoes, and jackets. If I have to face a dirty sink and lost shoes on top of that, it's not pretty. On the contrary, if the living room is picked up, the coffee is waiting for one push of a button, and I know what I'm making for breakfast, it's not as hard to yank myself out of bed to face the day.
Remember what you're gaining instead of giving up.
Getting up early, for me, is an exchange of late nights watching Netflix and folding laundry (maybe) for morning time in which I can get important things done with no interruption so that they don't hang over me the rest of the day. My time in the morning seems like it's worth two of itself: I can get the same amount done in half the time because I'm fresh and no one and nothing else needs me when the rest of the world is sleeping. On top of that, I start the day feeling like I can do anything. My "lost" wind-down time in the evening is replaced by days in which I can focus on one thing at a time because I'm not scrambling to get everything done. Worth it, every time.
Start with something realistic.
I have a time in mind that I want to get up — eventually. And it's earlier than the time I'm getting up currently. But right now I'm congratulating myself for getting up before the kids (I'm on day four!!) with enough time to have some morning time and maybe a short stint of work. Once this wake-up time is second nature, I can work on another goal of shifting to an hour or so earlier. Small successes trump multiple failures of too-lofty goals.
What are your tricks for getting up early?