Ugh. *hits alarm*
This past week has been a pretty rough one for me. I got the flu and have been battling against it with everything I know how.However, I have had to find the motivation to get up and around in the mornings whether I want to or not, and whether I was going to work or school that day…or not. (It was a not.)
Most of us are not morning people. Really, being a morning person comes with practice. Yeah, yeah. You’re sitting there asking yourself ‘Who would want to be a morning person?!’, and for a while, I was in the same boat with you.
Let’s think about it.
Morning people are the winners. Think it isn’t true? Read any Forbes interview or health guru interview and you will find what I am saying is true. Maybe they don’t get up ever single day by 6-7-8 AM, but most days they do. They find the value in the early morning hours, and they don’t want to waste it!
I know (past week as evidence!) that it is hard to get up some mornings, so here are a few things I find help me really kick my butt into gear and get up to start my day.
1. Prep the night before.
This seems like a no-brainer, and that’s because it is. Some of us have been taught from a young age to set out our clothes for the next day before bed, some of us haven’t. No matter which you grew up doing, it just makes sense to get your outfit together the night before.
(Not all of us have a smart house to do it for us. *ahem* Nickelodeon ruining being a functional adult for me…thanks.) It also helps to check out the weather forecast the night before.
I find one of the bigger motivators for me to drag myself from the sheet palace called bed in the morning is having my coffee ready. I don’t mean steaming hot and already in my cup with cream and sugar, but already loaded into my Kuerig and ready to just press the brew button. That’s the great thing about Kuerig’s. They make a cup of fresh brewed coffee in two minutes flat. It’s wonderful. It makes life easy. You should get one.
The best thing about each of these suggestions? They help you emphasize on your minimalist intention. I know if I hadn’t prepped my coffee the night before, I would have probably grabbed Starbucks on my way to work. And if I hadn’t spent the time to find a killer outfit, I would leave the house looking a mess and feeling kinda miserable about my wardrobe. Taking the steps to make the best of what you already have is a huge part of minimalism.
2. Brush your teeth.
I know, this list seems to be pretty self explanatory, but sometimes we really need that push to actually take note of our hygiene, because staying in bed all day can be pretty unhygienic. So, even if that is all you plan to do today, get up and brush your teeth.
With the flu, sometimes this was all I could muster myself to do in the morning besides change into the comfy clothing I had laid out the night before and grab my cup of joe. If I wasn’t running a fever or didn’t have an aching head, I went ahead and got myself looking half way decent. You never know what may come around as an opportunity, and sometimes if you aren’t prepared, you may miss out on something really great. By this, I mean missing out on opportunities that will make you feel better all around, despite being sick. Just the other day I had this exact thing come up. I was already dressed, though comfortably, and I was invited by my better half’s parents to go out for the day. I didn’t feel 100% but the opportunity to get out and move around was a good one. Sometimes that’s all you need in order to really get to feeling better! Vitamin D is a powerful one, and sitting in the dark at home is never conducive to anyone’s health.
3. Make your bed.
Have you noticed a theme here?
This is another trick I learned from all those successful people being given interviews. Making your bed can give you the little bit of accomplishment you need to feel like you achieved something that day. It also makes it much less likely for you to crawl back in and sleep the day away. By making your bed, you will go to bed at night feeling like you have been successful and all around have a better outlook about life. Those crisp sheets and the simple action of pulling back smooth covers is a very satisfying one. And keep in mind, a clean bed makes the room immediately look cleaner and tidier!
4. Eat Breakfast.
And make it a habit! Eating a large and filling breakfast is scientifically shown to be the best way to begin anyone’s day.
Pack it with protein and vitamins, not just three bowls of cereal and a bagel. Loading on carbs early in the day isn’t a terrible idea, but know that it will leave you feeling sluggish and down by mid afternoon. The goal here is to get enough energy to get through the day without burning out, as well as making it to the lunch hour without needing a snack because your stomach is so loud the students three rows behind you can hear it.
5. Outline your day.
This is my favorite and best kept habit. I started doing this when I returned to college about a year ago, and let me tell you it has been a life changer.
Taking just five minutes (or less!) and outlining my day while I eat breakfast or drink my morning ritualistic cup of coffee, I can see what I need to do, what I have already done (Yes, I add ‘Make the bed’ to my list, just so I can cross it off. Don’t judge me.), and how busy my day will be. Sometimes this is the motivating kick I need to get going. And sometimes, it’s a sign that I will have a really enjoyable day.
The outline doesn’t have to even be an outline. There are days where I feel better going through my day with just a super simple checklist. Find what works for you, and take those small moments during the morning to prepare yourself for the day. It will show in your productivity and make your life a little more enjoyable and less hectic.
My Final Thoughts
Mornings can be tough, and even tougher when you are not a morning person. Waking up late isn’t a crime, but making it a habit can really be a success crusher. I challenge you to take 5 out of your 7 day week and make waking up early a habit. I don’t mean waking up for work or school either. Wake up for you! Even if you partied the night before, I believe we all have it in us to party and rally and make the absolute best of the day. (Hey, there’s even a smoothie on that smoothie board that is designed for hangover’s! No excuses.)