Here are three ways to get up easier in the morning.
- Move your alarm across the room. Make it so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. This changes the decision from “am I going to get out of bed” to “am I going to go get back into bed.”
- Go to bed earlier. The less sleep you’ve had the harder it is to get up. Sleeping more will make getting up easier.
- Practice reacting to your alarm sound. In the middle of the day when you aren’t sleepy, set a 10-minute timer with the same alarm sound as your morning alarm. When it goes off, get out of bed, stretch, walk over, and turn it off. Repeat this 3-10 times. This will create a habitual response to the sound that will become automatic in the morning.
Getting up in the morning is just one way to apply this week’s distinction.
I remember this time as a teenager when I heard there was this pretty girl at camp who liked me. I remember vividly walking up to a balcony at the camp and looking down where she was standing below and saying to myself, “I don’t know what to say. Does she really like me? I bet someone is just trying to embarrass me.”
I’d walk up to the balcony, look down – where the girl was smiling up at me – and then walking away so she couldn’t see me. Finally, I just ran off and hid for the rest of the camp.
Fast forward decades later and I’m out with a group of guys for a friends bachelor party. We make our first stop at this little dive bar in Houston.
As soon as we walk through the door, my friends head to the bar for a drink. I scan the room for the cutest girls in the place.
Then walk up to them and say, “Hey I just have a minute before I have to get back to my friends, but we’re having a bit of an argument and I wanted to get a female opinion, Who lies more men or women?”
By the time my friends turn from the bar a beautiful blonde and her brunette friend are arguing over who is going to get to wear my hat. With me pressed between them.
Something had changed. I’d gone from an ordinary introvert to a man with the ability to hook in a group of people in just a few minutes.
How had this happened? What does it have to do with getting out of bed in the morning? And how can you use the same thing to change your life for the better?
What had happened was I learned a strategy for starting a conversation with strangers. Matter of fact I’d learned a number of them.
Truth is I knew some strategies for starting conversations, they just weren’t very good ones and when they floundered, I was lost.
In college, it was pretty normal to ask a question like, “Hey what’s your major? Where are you from? What’s your classification?”
What we used to call the big three. But that sure didn’t translate into a Houston dive bar.
Have any of you had the experience of opening your eyes, looking at the clock and realizing you were already late for work? Did you have any trouble getting out of bed in the next few seconds?
That’s one strategy for getting out of bed, but not a very good one for a number of reasons.
Strategies are processes that lead to an outcome. A powerful, next-level personal skill is to be able to recognize and use new strategies.
In the next episode of DFL, I’m going to talk about how to find and use strategies. Right now, I want to point out a distinction about them.
Most strategies can be broken into either Internal or External.
External strategies are things you put in place that are outside of you. For instance, putting your alarm in another room is an external strategy. It forces you to act in a different way.
Another example of an external strategy is removing all the junk food from your house when you start a diet. You don’t have to resist the food when you want to eat because it isn’t even there.
An internal strategy is all in you head. It is a way you think about something. If can be the mental process, or steps, you go through. Or it could be a change in belief that changes how you act or do things. Or how you feel about them.
A mental habit is an internal strategy. Training your mind and body to react differently to your alarm sound is an internal strategy.
One kind of strategy isn’t better than the other. As a matter of fact you might want to use multiple strategies accomplish your outcome.
For most of my life I have hated getting up early. If I’d had my druthers I’d sleep till 10 am.
When I had to get up at 5am or earlier to start a paramedic shift at 6am, I used all kinds of external strategies to make that happen. Set out all my clothes and gear the night before. Alarm in another room. Cold showers.
But I also used the mental strategy of wanting to become a paramedic more than I wanted to stay in bed. Of thinking about the people who were depending on me to be at the station.
The fear of having to do a podcast episode about being late for a shift. All of those worked to get me out of bed when I needed to.
Question of the Day: What strategies work for you to get out of bed early?
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