Update on MorningsTuesday, January 19, 2016
A bit of honesty here, guys. I have really been struggling with my goal of being better at mornings. I don't know what I was expecting...to wake up on January 1st bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to be awesome at morning routines? Ha. Safe to say, that has NOT happened. Between fighting off a cold and some dark 20 degree mornings, getting out of bed and working through a healthy routine has not been going well for me. I've had a few successes here and there, and I'm definitely still trying, but it has been tough.
Here's what has worked:
Having breakfast already made. Mark and I made some breakfast burritos to store in the freezer and then warm up every morning. I'm typically not a big breakfast person (I love breakfast food, just not first thing in the morning), so I was thinking this would be more for Mark's benefit than mine. Turns out, I really like them too! They are so quick to prepare and keep me from getting hungry by 11am.
Walking. This mild form of exercise is one of the few that I don't mind doing as soon as I wake up, plus it has the added benefit of warming me up first thing in the morning. Since I sit in front of a computer for most of the day, a few steps here and there can't be a bad thing.
Being flexible. After the trial and error of the first two weeks, I've realized that what makes mornings so enjoyable to me is the slowness of them, not the amount of things I can accomplish in them. I had written this down in my New Years intentions post, but apparently it didn't really sink in. So I've been trying to incorporate a slow feel to my morning no matter how much time I have. Some mornings that means skipping the long workout and doing it in the evening instead. And that's cool too. One of the yoga videos I like to do follows the mantra "Find what feels good" and I'm learning to apply that to my mornings as well.
Keeping a general routine. Doing the same thing over and over can get boring, but it definitely helps first thing in the morning when my brain is not ready for decision making mode. I read somewhere that the reason we're so prone to fail at mornings is because our self-control is incredibly low when we're tired. Being able to go through the motions with as little effort as possible helps. I sound like such a lazy person, don't I?
Fitbit alarm. I've started using the vibration alarm on my Fitbit Charge again and it is genius for those of us who like to be gently woken up in the mornings (as opposed to blaring alarm clocks).
Here's what hasn't worked:
Being incredibly strict. I think my biggest problem with mornings is I don't want to be told what to do. (I'm such a two year old, aren't I?) I don't want an alarm telling me when to get up and I don't like feeling like I have to get up and work out. I think that's why I struggled so much that first week. I would go to bed with all of my lofty morning goals in mind: Wake up an hour earlier. Do at least 35 minutes of yoga. Eat a big breakfast. Take a walk. Read a book. Then I'd wake up the next morning and all of those goals would become the very last thing I wanted to do. Allowing some leeway has definitely helped.
A Sleep Cycle alarm. Maybe I'm just using the wrong one, but it doesn't seem to work accurately all the time. I am positive that it has woken me up out of a dead sleep once or twice. Although, I guess if I'm constantly sleeping soundly then it has to wake me up sometime, regardless of how great I'm sleeping. The one thing I do like about this app is their alarm sounds. I absolutely hate being woken up by a blaring alarm and usually have my alarms set on the softest tinkling tone I can find. Mark, on the other hand, could sleep through a fog horn in his ear so most mornings I end up bolting awake to a very loud radio clock. Ugh.
How's things going with your New Year's resolutions? Any tricks you've found to make mornings smoother and more enjoyable? I'm all ears over here.