I am about to embark on a personal challenge, and, if I’m being honest with myself, I am terrified.
Remember a few weeks ago when Lyn told us how she struggles with going to bed? Well, most of the time I’m pretty good at that part (though I am super guilty of dicking around on the interwebs for way too long doing nothing at all). My challenge is the getting up part.
For many of you, this might not be hard at all. Pamela, for example, is a professional morning person. Even on vacation!! But I am nowhere near. I am basically Garfield when it comes to mornings.
I have a few things working against me in life. For one, my work schedule is consistently inconsistent. I work at a clinic three days a week, each shift starting at a different time. At my private office, sometimes I start in the morning, sometimes I start around noon, sometimes I have awkward gaps in my day. See? I’m already off on the wrong foot.
I hate waking up early so much that I tell myself I get to sleep in on the days I don’t need to be anywhere right away. I never make it past 8:30, so it’s not like I’m a college student snoozing until afternoon, but it does give me an excuse to waste the morning, drinking coffee, watching TV, because “I don’t get to be lazy ever”. But I do. Like, all the time. And I’m pretty sure this wibbly wobbly sleep schedule is doing me absolutely no favors.
And what is this: somehow, in the 20 minutes before I need to get up, this is when I find the perfect, most comfortable Goldilocks position. Sleep becomes the best thing ever. Angels sing. All my good intentions and pep talks get squashed by a voice saying “NO!! YOU WILL NEVER FIND COMFORT LIKE THIS AGAIN!!”, and I can’t break free of it. I’m really good at snooze button math, and will give up a fair amount of logic (like how long it takes me to actually get ready) to keep sleeping.
The thing is, I actually really like mornings. Sure, the getting up part sucks- for some reason it takes me a while to shift into gear- but mornings have a bit of magic to them. It’s nice to get started on your day. One of my favorite things in the world is to walk through a city on a crisp morning, the day starting fresh, the smell of concrete warming up, the sun coming up over the buildings, and a world of possibilities. Lyn and I used to get together once or twice a week at early o’clock and catch a yoga class or go for a run. Every single time, I would wish to wake up to a text saying “never mind! Can’t go today!” so I could curl back up in bed, but honestly those early morning workouts (and the delicious juice/coffee/gossip to follow) were the best. We got it out of the way before we even knew it was happening, and set the rest of the day up to win.
So, I’m trying to recapture this magic and get myself on a better schedule overall. I have been working hard this past year on my goal of getting to the gym to lift, consistently, three times a week, and I’m too the point where I start to feel twitchy if I’m going to miss a workout. Yay! Goal achieved! Thing is, sometimes I go at 2:00 on a Tuesday, then 9:00 on a Wednesday, then maybe I can catch a Friday afternoon but if I’m booked with appointments I’ll probably talk myself out of going because I’m hungry and/or tired so hopefully I can grab a Saturday morning deadlift session.
As my husband put it, “damn, I don’t think I could do it without a strict schedule”.
You know what? He’s right. Also handsome. So I’m going to take his advice and stick to a schedule. And, wouldn’t you know it, the time I have open almost every single day during the week? 7:00 in the damn morning.
Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, so hopefully I haven’t failed already by the time you read this!) I am going to get up at 6:30 and my ass to the gym by 7:00. In the morning. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
It’s going to be painful, but I think, overall, it will be a good thing.
I’ve come up with a few strategies to try to overpower my strong gravitational pull to my pillow in the morning, and the first is coffee. If I have to tear myself from the grasp of sleeps, then the sweet sweet sounds and smells of coffee brewing away is going to be the thing to do it. Seriously, is there anything better than having hot coffee just ready and waiting for you? (Yes, there is, and that is someone bringing coffee to you while you stay in bed, but I’ll save that for Sundays.) I just have to be on top of prepping it at night and setting the timer. Easy! I’ve already checked this one off the list for tomorrow.
Next, I will work to convince myself that even though I’m getting up earlier than I historically have, I’m still getting a solid 8 hours of sleep. This means I have to go to bed by 10:30, which is pretty normal for me most weeknights. I discovered that a new feature in the iPhone’s clock app is “bedtime”, where you can set yourself, um, a bedtime on days that you choose, and it will sing a cute little lullaby and remind you to go to bed. Adorable! Lyn, you should probably look into this, too.
On the same tip, I have also disabled the snooze option on my alarms (much to the delight of my husband), which I have set for 6:15 and 6:30. I figure the first one will piss me off, but then I’ll be happy when I realize that I can sleep another 15 minutes before I really for reals have to get out of bed.
I will not be sleeping in my workout clothes, as so many “become a morning exerciser!” articles advise. Come on now. No one should sleep in compression leggings. But I will put a pile of my clothes in the bathroom the night before so I just have to stumble to the bathroom, brush my teeth, change, stumble downstairs, down some coffee and peanut butter toast or a banana, and be out the door.
So, ok you guys, I feel really good about this. Scared AF, but positive. I’m trying to remind myself how good I will feel to get it done, every day, and how having a schedule will be good for me. Plus, this will free up my random afternoon blocks of time for things I’ve been skipping in favor of the gym, like pedicures and getting my oil changed.
So, pray for me. I’m already late for bed.
Are you a morning person? How? Why?? Help!