**Morning motivation has its barriers. If your little one is still waking up in the middle of the night, scroll to the bottom of this post for a note especially for you <3**
Most days I wake up around 5am.
You might assume that I’m a morning person. And, I guess today I do consider myself a morning person today. But I’m not naturally morning person. I definitely don’t pop up out of bed. Some days I still groan when my alarm goes off, I often try to talk myself out of getting up, and some mornings I don’t actually get up early.
Yeah, I know. I’m not exactly selling myself as your morning motivation sherpa right now, but it’s the truth. Even though I wake up early nearly everyday of the week, it can still be hard for me to actually do the waking up and getting up part. Luckily, as I have become a morning person overtime, I have figured out that there are two ingredients that help me have a solid morning routine: 1. Creating a system and 2. Staying motivated.
This post is all about the motivation part. It’s not a quick fix (what good things are?), here’s my four step process to stay motivated to get up early. (hint: it all hinges on your why.)
1. Define your why
For some, this will be the hardest part. For others, this will be the easiest part. And honestly, this could be a post in itself (maybe I’ll work on that). Morning motivation starts with your why and your why needs to be deep enough to matter. When you are tired and groggy, your why needs to lift you up. It should tug on your heart. It should hit you deep in the core of who you are. I have a bunch of reasons why I wake up early and when I began to organize them I realized they all contributed to one big why.
I wake up early so I can be the best version of myself.
How to get to your why
My favorite way to define your why is to get a pack of sticky notes and write down all of the reasons why you want to wake up early (one reason per sticky note). Once you have exhausted the reasons, start to pick up your sticky notes and rearrange them into groups with a common theme. Once you have common themes see if you can find a connection between all of them. THAT is your why.
Here are just a few of the sticky notes from my brainstorm that contributed to my why. I wake up early so I can…
- Workout (physical health, better mood, less headaches)
- Drink coffee in silence (slice of heaven, right?!)
- Have more energy throughout the day
- Be completely present and patient with my girls after work
- Spend 1:1 time with Jeff after the girls are asleep
I wake up early so I can be the best version of myself.
Your why should make you feel something. It should speak to what’s most important to you. In my case, family, energy, mood, health.
2. Write down your why + read it often
Once you have your why, write it down. Seriously! You might decide to plaster it all over your house, you might decide you just need one note hanging in your closet, you might decide to create a screensaver for your phone, or you might decide that you want to write down your big why and some of the smaller (sticky note) whys too. I have a piece of paper taped to the mirror in my bathroom, front and center. The point is, you want a way to remind yourself why you are getting up early. You want to read it before you go to bed, first thing when you wake up, and randomly in the middle of the day. You want it to pop into your mind when you are trying to talk yourself out of getting up in the morning. You want your why to motivate you!
p.s. I’m really into saying my why out loud. There is something about hearing the words come out of my mouth that makes it that much more real and memorable. Give it a try!
3. Write a ta-da list and reflect on your morning
I just recently started doing this after I heard about it on a podcast. Each night, take 2 minutes and make a ta-da list. What are all of the things you accomplished today? What are your wins, big, small, and even smaller? Write them down. And weave in a few second to reflect on what was possible because you woke up early. How did you feel because of your morning routine? This exercise will strengthen your why and your morning motivation by reminding yourself the good that has come from it.
Your ta-da list might look like this
I didn’t want to get up this morning, but I did it and I felt so energize after my workout. It was worth it.
Hayes was having a tough morning before daycare, I was able to be patient and help her through it.
I ate 2 servings of spinach at lunch!
Folded laundry (after remembering to put it in the dryer, double win)
I just got done putting the girls to bed with Jeff. I’m going to watch an episode of Schitt’s Creek, drink a glass of wine, and go to bed.
Side note about this ta-da list situation:
I love a to-do list, but sometimes I don’t finish the things on my to-do list for the day. Leaving things uncrossed on my to-do list can really frustrate me. But with a ta-da list, I’m reminded of all of the things I did accomplish despite the things I didn’t. Most of the time I completed more than I gave myself credit for. It’s a mood booster to see that even though it didn’t go 100% according to plan, there are things to celebrate!
Keep feeding the cycle of morning motivation. It’s like you’re building a muscle. The more often you wake up early, the more often you’ll wake up early. As a reminder, here’s what you repeat:
- Review your why – say it out loud!
- (p.s. sometimes I also review old ta-da lists for examples to support my why)
- Wake up early (I know you can!)
- Write a ta-da list and reflect on the morning
**If your little one is still waking up in the middle of the night, this note is for you…**
As I write this blog post, I am working through that dreaded 4-5 month sleep regression with my daughter Nellie. I do not sleep well right now and honestly, I’m tired! So you want to what I do about my early mornings? Some days I skip them and sleep. Yes! Other days Nellie wakes me up at 5am and I stay up after that. And other days I wake up early, but not quite as early as I normally do. Sleep is too important, I give myself grace.
Chances are some of you reading this are tired too. You might be waking up once, twice, three times a night to a crying infant. You might have a toddler transitioning to a “big kid bed” that’s struggling to adjust. Whatever the case, waking up early does not work when you aren’t sleeping. Be kind to yourself as you figure out what this season of life (and sleep) looks like.
If you are looking for morning motivation and you are trying to figure out how to stay motivated to wake up early, follow the steps I provided, they still apply to you! But cut yourself a break when you don’t sleep well and your morning doesn’t go according to plan. Grace is so incredibly important.