I’ve Tried 9 Different Wake-Up Routines — This Is the Only Way I Truly Enjoy My Morning Coffee
Take fitness goals, for example. I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. to practice yoga for a half-hour every weekday morning. The trouble is, the snooze button is just so attractive at that hour. I make it to the mat about once a week, and almost never at 4:30 a.m. After muddling through an inconsistent yoga habit for months, I thought maybe I just needed a more mindless activity to start my day. Yoga required too much of me — that was the issue. So, I bought a used stationary bike, as one does, because on the heels of such success with yoga, what I really needed was a greater investment. I planned to do a ride every morning, and I managed that for exactly one week. Now, I only hop on the bike when I have a virtual meeting, and never first thing in the morning.
So then, naturally, I downloaded the Calm app, because meditating when barely awake at 4:30 a.m. sounded perfectly reasonable. Other morning attempts included deep-cleaning while listening to an audiobook, doing The New York Times crossword, creating photo books for my children, learning a new language on Duolingo, and practicing the piano — as an adult beginner — while my family slept. I clearly didn’t think that last one through.
I realize it doesn’t sound like much at first blush, but it’s not an overstatement to say it has revolutionized my mornings. Am I making myself better, smarter, or stronger with this morning routine? On the surface, maybe not. But I am making myself happier. And that feels worth my time.
To make this moment happen, I really only need to wake up 15 minutes before the rest of my family. And I’ve found that when my alarm goes off, I am motivated to get up because I’m actually looking forward to what comes next — not a task, but a moment of peace.
I would love to be the sort of person who has a daily yoga practice, or is secretly a daybreak cleaning elf, but I’ve proven that those goals are too lofty for my current reality. But spending the first 10 minutes of my day in caffeinated bliss? That I can manage every single day.
What makes your mornings happier?