These posts all serve a dual purpose. As I try to communicate the things that I have found useful to remember in my own life, to others- I am reminding myself of them, as well.
I forget the things that I know I ought to be doing- to be happier, to be more productive, to be a Better Brooke- all the time.
And so, today- I am reminding myself about mornings.
I’ve written about the power of approaching Mornings with intentionality before, in press start, and a few others.
But that’s the thing about intentionality. If we do not make conscious effort to put the things that are better for us, into effect- they do not just happen.
I am no longer just waking up early with no alarm clock, and I slept in late enough yesterday that I realized I needed to start setting one one again.
Before I talk about why, though- a few things about waking up itself.
How many of you feel good when you hear the sound you use for your alarms?
Whether you use preset alarm sounds or not- does the sound you use to wake up, make you feel positive? Make you feel inspired to start your day right? Or do they make you feel anxious?
…. Alarmed, even? Hah!
Mine did. Up until the past few months- I tried using songs, sometimes- but they always ended up becoming colored for me, emotionally- by the feeling of waking up. I never used to be a morning person. Like so much else that is now a part of who I am- this is a New Thing, for me- new since January. I hated the feeling of waking up- of sleeping in late for work, and the fear of it- yet frequently did so, anyway. But now, now my goal in waking up early, is different.
Since I have made my goal something more like working towards being the best version of myself that I can, in whatever way I can-
Why should merely find a way that achieves the goal of regaining consciousness, in the mornings? Why not… Find ways to wake up, well?
I am going to tell you what I do to wake up, but I’m not telling you because you should do exactly this. I’m telling you in case it gives you some ideas for what might work better, for you.
What I do, will not work for everyone. But I believe that everyone, with a little research, creativity, and experimentation- can find their own ways to make mornings….. Pleasant, instead of a thing to dread.
I use Sleep as Android, though there are many alarm apps out there to choose from.
With that one, at least- the settings are highly customizable. There’s a smart period, which uses sleep tracking to wake you up before your alarm time, if you are in a better part of your sleep cycle to wake up easily, during that time.
I have mine set to increase the volume slowly, over a period of six minutes.
After one minute, my phone starts vibrating, and after a few more, my smartwatch likewise begins vibrating.
I can control how many snooze sessions I would like to allow myself- and I use the dream diary smart captcha function- and have the alarm set to not allow me to turn it off until I type something in it.
Most often- I scribble in gibberish, just to get it to turn off. But I’m almost always awake by the time I do this.
And once in a while, every so often- I actually write down my dreams, and for a while I was really getting better at being able to remember them.
The most important part for me, though, has been to set the Spotify Have a Great Day! playlist, or the Songs to Sing in the Shower playlist- as my alarm sound.
They are both very long playlists, so no one song gets associated with the feeling of waking up, if I don’t wake up in a good mood.
But the songs on these playlists are ones like:
These are old songs, ones I used to associate with movies, and not ones I would choose to listen to, on my own time – before recently.
But you know what?
I have to try to be grumpy, when I start my day by listening to things like Walking on Broken Glass.
And now, for some of the why: Mornings are the most powerful opportunity we have to set the tone for our entire day.
They are a chance to start fresh.
We get one, every single day. A new chance at doing a little better than we did yesterday.
And our days- they will try to beat us down.
As soon as we turn on the news, log into Facebook- the hits start coming, and theydo not stop.
I use the word ‘hits’ to mean something like I use the werd ‘obstacles,’ in general.
Things that bring us down, that hurt. Things that scare us, make us feel hopeless.
It takes a lot of energy to meet such obstacles and carry forward despite them.
And when I take the time to intentionally start my day feeling confident, feeling strong – feeling like I can actually do something to make my life better, to make the world better- I have a much better chance of absorbing those punches, throughout the day. Finding ways to overcome the obstacles in my path- whatever they may be, instead of crumbling under their weight.
Here is part of what I did the morning, to aid in starting my day off right-