If you’re into self-improvement at all or just have an ear to the hustle culture getting up early is presented as essential, like you’re a complete waste if you’re not up before the sun cranking out burpees, meditating, and having a smoothie within 8 seconds of waking.
Which is true so get your shit together.
The notion that some people are early risers by nature is bullshit. We learn to love it, (human beings usually learn to love whatever habits they develop) and yet I know I’m still going to slide into sleeping late and skipping the routine if I relax too much. Even for those who love it getting up early and being productive is a choice everyday.
And you want to make that choice as strategically easy as possible, like any difficult choice. Using booze as example: you have to choose not to drink – and it’s a hell of a lot easier to choose not to drink if you choose not to go to the bar, or you choose to buy a soda at the gas station before the part of your walk home that takes you by the liquor store.
So the first choice you have to make to have a good morning is to remove all choices. Decide on the weekend what you’re having for breakfast and doing for a work out every morning this week. It can be the same everyday or alternating or different every time but make the choice and set it mental stone by Sunday night.
Each evening lay out your clothes and anything you need. No matter how tired you are before bed you’re going to be more tired in the morning.
And make the choice now that you’re not going to engage with any time-sucks. No internet. Not on your phone or your computer. I know, you’re thinking you’ll engage with something easy while you shake off the zombie dust but you won’t, you’re really heaping it on and fucking up your day. Social media will only ruin your mood and any information one might pick up will come to you in a minute of small talk with an actual human later in the day regardless.
So that’s the what-not-to-dos and let’s start the to-dos:
Get yourself a sunrise alarm. Mine’s from Philips, it’s great. A half hour before its set time it starts getting brighter with its gentle yet powerful orangish light. This means that when I wake up throughout the night I know how close I am to having to get up and can fall back asleep instantly. No anxiety clock checking mental math countdown dread, just peace. Then at its set time it’s at peak brightness and birds that sound like the Swedish Chef fade in.
Because of the brightness of the Philips it’s easy and practical to keep it far away so one has to get out of bed to turn it off and bam, you’re up, and the first experience of the day is still gentle and pleasant.
If you want to go full bore (a term I realize now is ironically ambiguous) you can also get a full spectrum light. I have a Veralux Happy Light next to the sunrise lamp that I turn on when the Swedish birds get turned off.
So from the perspective of choices; I have no choice but to turn off the bird sounds and since I’m right there it’s extremely easy to choose to turn on the Veralux.
Now, my lights are both visible from the kitchen but you have to prioritize if you don’t live in a storage folder. Best to put the full spectrum light in the kitchen, right next to the sink because that’s the first place we’re going, the first super action health station.
Where you’re going to put some salt in some water and drink it. Get sea salt or Himalayan salt or a product called Half Salt which has potassium and magnesium added, and pour it, swirl it, chug it.
As any good alcoholic knows, dehydration isn’t about water. It’s about electrolytes. Drinking a glass of water first thing is mandatory, salt water is next level, then full bore is adding chlorophyll or any other hippie voodoo magic you feel like.
Then start coffee. I know this is 700 words so far but we’re still under the first 2 minutes.
While the coffee brews; work out. Whatever you want to do. Engage your body. Then shower, then eat.
Yes eat, even if it’s really small and even if not eating breakfast is a type, in the habit forming stages of this it’s mandatory to eat. We usually boil and peel eggs on the weekend and store them in salt water. Bam, takes 2 seconds to pop one in your mouth.
Day one you won’t feel magically bright and shiny, in fact you’ll tell yourself you feel worse (which you don’t. If you had felt good you wouldn’t be changing) and by day ten you’ll be so used to feeling good in the morning you won’t notice.
Until you blow off some part of the morning and sleep in and backslide and notice that, yeah, that sucks, so you’re excited to stay on the path.