Who thinks they can break that record tomorrow?
Hey, it’s good to have goals right?
Let's face it, we have all been guilty of hammering that snooze alarm for an extra nine (or 18 or 27...) minutes of sleep. I've tried every trick in the book. Put my alarm across the room so I had to get up to turn it off. I've found that if I put a pillow over my head I can drown out the alarm just enough to make it bearable. I've tried multiple alarms going off every few minutes...nope...didn't matter. All that made me do was move my arm every three or four minutes instead of every nine or ten. I've tried alarms with wake up calls and accountabilibuddies and phone chains and you name it.
So how did I kick the habit? I haven't hit the snooze button in years. Here are three things I did to defeat the snooze and start my day off right.
Rise and Grind or Snooze and Lose
It starts with a single decision. Ok, so that sounds obvious, but you have to start by telling yourself you're just not going to do it any more. As a matter of fact, I've found by taking that a step further and really thinking about how I want to wake up in the morning, it has made all the difference. I tell myself I'm going to hit the ground running in the morning, I'm going to feel refreshed, alive, and ready to go. I'm going to get my feet on the floor as soon as the alarm goes off. By thinking about how you are going to wake up and what you will feel when the alarm goes off, you are setting your intentions therefore increasing the likelihood that you will actually feel and act that way. This has worked for me even after a really late night where I knew I'd have to get up in a few hours. Now I'm not saying I feel amazing for the rest of the day when that happens, but I do for the moment of decision when that alarm sounds and it's either rise and grind or snooze and lose.
Kickstart My Heart
I can't stand waking up to buzzing or clanging or ringing. I want to wake up to something that fires me up. So I set my alarm to a song that rocks! Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue. Released 25 years ago this year, the introduction is a classic in which guitarist Mick Mars drops three consecutive strings resulting in a sound similar to a motorcycle shifting gears. The riff that follows lives up to the song's title and will get your blood pumping. I can't help but get up and go when it kicks on. You have to try it. Download it on iTunes at Kickstart My Heart on iTunes or on Amazon at Kickstart My Heart on Amazon. Set it as your alarm for tomorrow morning. Do it now...trust me.
When All Else Fails
I have a confession to make…one more trick that works for me. With my jam rockin' and my feet on the floor, butt not quite out of bed yet, I grab my phone and start deleting my junk email. I find the act has two benefits. One, by the time I'm done I'm awake. My brain is on. I'm ready to get up. Two, it saves time later. I do this first thing every morning whether I'm tired or not. I've essentially replaced the habit of snoozing with the habit of deleting junk email. Now some would say that going to email first thing in the morning is a terrible thing to do. They would be wrong. I'm not saying you should start emailing work or responding to requests, but deleting junk email, easy. Studies show that replacing a bad habit with a good habit is the fastest way to make a change. So, for example, I lost 25 pounds last year by replacing the habit of snacking on cheese and crackers at night with habit of snacking on edamame or carrots (no dressing) or not snacking at all. You can replace the habit of being a couch potato with the habit of something more productive by placing your remote in another room and leaving a book on your coffee table. Or perhaps that guitar you've been meaning to practice. Some may have to go so far as remove the batteries and put them in a different room than the remote. And if you've been neglecting to exercise in the morning because you've been snooze bingeing, try sleeping in your gym clothes, now that you know how to fend off the snoozes. Exercising 2-3 times per week was another habit that helped me shed some of that weight. For more on changing habits check out The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.
Now when I'm really tired and I've managed to turn that awesome song off, tempted to lay down for just nine more minutes (which can easily lead to 18, 27, and so on), I'll jump on Facebook or Twitter. That's sure to make some "experts" cringe, but this works for me. And since I have an extra nine minutes anyway... ;)
John Wasserman is an author, coach, and motivational speaker working with students nationwide to help them on their own personal journey. To hear more, check out John's Keynote trailer Think Like a Champion.