If you're a planner user, chances are you value productivity, organization, and intentional living. We've often said that mornings are the perfect time to plan your day, and waking up earlier is a great way to maximize your time and do things that power the rest of your day. The problem? Forcing ourselves out of a cozy, warm bed, especially when it's still dark, can be just plain hard.
We've all heard about the benefits of waking up early; the question is, how do we do it?
Here are five easy ways to help you wake up earlier and get a head start on your day.
- Go to bed earlier
One of the most effective ways to wake up feeling rested can be one of the hardest, especially if you're a night owl!
Try gradually shifting your bedtime earlier by 15-30 minutes each night until you find a time that works for you. You can also calculate your desired sleep and plan your bedtime accordingly. If you want to get seven hours of sleep and wake up at 6:00 am, you'll need to be asleep by 11:00 pm.
Need a reminder? Write your bedtime in your daily or weekly planner page or set a bedtime alarm! Set your alarm to sound when it's time to get ready for bed. Be sure to share this goal with your family, so they can support your effort to get more sleep.
You may not need a set bedtime alarm for every night of the week, but when you know you have an early morning tomorrow, a predetermined bedtime is essential for a healthy sleep schedule.
- Create an evening routine.
A relaxing evening routine tells your body to wind down and prepare for sleep. Think of things you do every night, like brushing your teeth, then add some enjoyable habits that help reduce stress.
Here is a short list of mini-self-care ideas that you can add to your evening routine tonight:
Write three things you're grateful for in your planner or journal.
Take a hot or warm bath.
Read a few pages of a book.
Practice relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing.
Spray a subtle scent on your pillow or dab it on your wrists.
- Prepare for tomorrow.
What can you do tonight to save time in the morning? Which small tasks can be easily done in advance, so you have one less thing to do before school and work? Doing chores before bed may not seem like a stress-reducing activity, but when you complete a task, it signals to your brain that it can move on to other things, like a good night's sleep! The result is a clear head and obviously, less morning work.
Here is a list of things you can do the night before to make your mornings less busy:
Prepare your coffee maker or set the timer.
Run the dishwasher.
Lay out your clothes for the next day.
Pack your work bag and put it by the door.
Pack your kids' lunches.
Write a priority list for the next day and put it in a visible place.
- Look forward to your morning routine.
If dark, early mornings seem too depressing, you need motivation. Or, at the very least, something to look forward to!
What's your favorite thing about a quiet morning to yourself? Is it that first transcendent sip of coffee? Bird songs? Or do you enjoy the silence? You already know what you must do in the morning; now it's time to add small pleasures.
Important note: if you have kids or pets, you’ll want to wake up before them. Pets are likely to sense you’re awake and demand breakfast or a walk, but you can quietly enjoy your morning while your kids and family enjoy their beauty rest.
Which light activities will help you prepare for your day? Try adding one of these to the start of your day.
Sit in your favorite chair with soft lighting
Prepare the perfect cup of coffee, tea, or hot water with lemon
Read a few pages of a favorite book
Write in your planner or journal
Go for a morning walk
Sit on the floor of a room that brings you peace
Try Tanya's morning routine; it's a winning trio!
Drink 16 ounces of water
- Plan snooze days.
Give yourself some grace and establish a day or two to hit snooze. Snooze days are like cheat days when you're dieting, and they're essential when you're starting your journey to earlier mornings.
Note: snooze days are in addition to weekends! Choose one or two days a week that you will allow yourself to hit snooze. You can decide at the beginning of the week or right before sleep – flexibility is key. If you have kids or pets, you may only have the luxury of hitting snooze a few times, so set your alarm accordingly.
Ready to see the sunrise and take control of your day? By implementing these five tips, you can train to wake up earlier and start your day with intention. What you'll lose in sleep, you'll gain in activities that enhance your well-being and help you achieve your goals.
Here's how to use your inkWELL Press planner to become a morning person.
Use habit trackers to document your wake times.
Try color-coding with stickers to rate your sleep
Track your morning routine in the Goals planner
Take the stress out of dinner with the Menu Planner