Over the past several years, I’ve read and took a lot of advice from self-help books, but nothing has been as transformational as the advice I got from Mel Robbins’ book, The 5 Second Rule. In it she guides readers to stop hitting the snooze button. The book’s concept is that decisions are made in five seconds. So, on the night this idea resonated with me I set my alarm 45 minutes earlier than normal and told myself that when it went off in the morning, I would count backwards from 5 to 1 and hop out of bed. It worked, I did it and I love it!
A History of Snoozing
I always loved quiet mornings. The house is silent, which means no one is asking me for anything and I can get things done uninterrupted. But until recently, I snoozed my way through this glorious time of day.
In The 5 Second Rule, Ms. Robbins’ advises to place the alarm clock out of reach. I understand how that could be viewed as helpful when you’re trying to stop hitting the snooze button, but I already knew that wouldn’t make a difference for me. As a teenager, my alarm clock was on my dresser across from the foot of my bed because I didn’t have a nightstand. When the alarm went off, I got out of bed, walked over to the alarm clock, hit the snooze button, walked back over and into the bed and went back to sleep for 15 minutes. I’d repeat this pattern three or four times before actually getting up. Once and a while I would hit that button one too many times and it stopped going off. Those are the days I overslept. Here I am, thirty-something years later, and finally understand that there is a science behind the benefits of NOT hitting snooze in the mornings.
My New Weekday Morning Routine
Every weekday morning for the past six weeks, I’ve ‘5-4-3-2-1’ myself out of bed at the sound of my alarm clock. My new morning routine consists of:
- Get dressed in the workout clothes set out the night before.
- Quiet time. Not exactly meditation, but quiet time to let my thoughts wander. It builds the foundation of my day.
- Feed the cat and make a pre-workout drink.
- Computer work – usually personal development work or writing.
- Work out with a Beachbody On-Demand program.
- Proceed with my old morning routine consisting
- Watch the headlines with a cup of coffee
- Get myself ready for work
- Make breakfast and lunch
- Take something out in prep for dinner
- Get my son ready for school
- Dash out the door
What about the Weekend?
By the end of the week, I admit that I look forward to not setting a 5am alarm. However, I’m finding that sleeping in is ruining my precious weekends. Without my morning time described above, it takes longer for me to feel awake (despite the fact that I slept in), my mood is not great, and I need to actively search for things to improve the way I feel both physically and emotionally (like an extra cup of coffee, a mid-day nap, or a walk). Until I find something that works, I’m not my best self and certainly not someone my family wants to spend time with. I’m realizing that a morning time practice may be necessary on weekends too.
It’s Been a Long Time Coming
I recently reviewed old journal entries. In February 2014, I wrote the following:
“Today I’m committing to giving myself time! I don’t need much just a little…I will wake up earlier to achieve this. I will plan on ½ hour a day, but most of the time it will be only a few minutes that I need. This time will be used to reflect on my goals and what I’d like to accomplish in the day.
I’d also like to give myself another ½ hour to work on my body.”
That was over five years ago, and the answer was always right next to me!
Tell Me This: What is your morning routine?