Give Yourself a Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

Photo by Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash

When I was younger, I hated bedtime. But I’m not talking about when I was a kid and I thought that wild parties started the moment I fell asleep. I’m talking about just a couple of years ago.

The problem with bedtime is that it signals the end of our time to ourselves. We know that the only thing waiting for us on the other side of sleep is our jobs, which can be stressful, anxiety-provoking, and not very fun at all. They can be demanding and push us into unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory. We can feel this way even without hating our jobs.

Simply put, we don’t have a good reason to go to bed. On the contrary, we have every reason to stay up late since this might be the only time of the day we feel any sense of comfort and enjoyment. Why would we want this to end?

Do you stay up late just to cling to the time you have before needing to go somewhere you’d rather not be?

Thankfully, bedtime doesn’t need to feel like a chore or an end to the time to yourself. You don’t need to continue to drag yourself to bed every night, dreading the following morning.

By finding meaningful activities to form a morning routine around, you’ll see this for yourself. And then you’ll see your life change in at least three meaningful ways.

Three benefits of a morning routine

By 7:00 AM, which is when I start my “real” job, I already feel like I’ve accomplished what’s important to me.

I’ve been doing this routine for almost a year now and I can easily say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in terms of organizing my time.


Reason #1: improved self-efficacy

Your beliefs about the extent to which you can influence the outcomes of your life matters. If you believe that you have the power to impact your future, you will put in the effort, persevere in the face of obstacles, and gain confidence in your abilities. On the other hand, the opposite will happen if you don’t believe you have the power to impact your future — why would you try if nothing you do matters?

Everyone falls somewhere along the spectrum of self-efficacy. But it doesn’t mean you’re stuck where you are.

Cultivating my morning routine has improved my self-efficacy. Forming this habit has helped me realize that I can cause positive change in my life. It’s made me feel more competent to take on and overcome the obstacles that come my way. Nowhere in my life is this more clear than in my job, where everyday setbacks are becoming less bothersome and frustrating. This, I think, is due to the experiential knowledge I’ve gained that improvement and growth is simply a process that takes time and consistent effort.

How I feel and think about aspects of my work that need improvement has also changed. Previously, I found it demotivating and depressing whenever I realized that something I had done could have been better. Now, when I realize that I can improve at this or that it no longer feels demotivating — it feels more like I’ve simply gained information I can use to help myself grow.

Developing something as simple as a morning routine can help you foster your self-efficacy. This can help you feel more positive about the present and your future.

Reason #2: it feels good

First and foremost, I write for writing’s sake. Anything else that comes along with it is a bonus. I get satisfaction from seeing words appear on a page. Most of the time, I don’t even know where they come from. There is a mystery to it and I lean into that. I simply allow my mind to do its thing and it feels awesome.

What do you love? What is a skill or talent you want to cultivate? What is a goal you have?

We too often ignore what we really want because we’re scared to get started. Our fear often comes from thinking we’ll fail — so, we don’t even try. Instead, we end up silencing these desires by drowning ourselves in TV shows, movies, and social media.

But, the short term boost of pleasure or happiness we get from engaging in these often mindless activities feels hollow. And then we’re left wondering whether this is all there is to life.

Thankfully, it’s not.

Reason #3: putting yourself first

Maybe this is how you were raised. Maybe doing things for others brings you joy.

What I wonder, though, is, will this lead to your best life?

It’s counter-intuitive, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t truly take care of others. By giving yourself what you need, you’ll be in a better position to give others what they need. Remember: if an airplane loses air pressure, you’re supposed to put on your oxygen mask first before helping anyone else.

By prioritizing activities that are meaningful to me I’m signaling to myself that what I want matters. I no longer ignore the things that bring me happiness, joy, and energy. Instead, I make space for them.

This bleeds over into all aspects of my life. By giving a little to myself, I’m a better partner, friend, employee, son, and brother. I’m a better human.

Opening up space in my life to do what I love feels like I’m giving myself a gift. Maybe that’s a weird way to put it, but it’s the truth. And I’m grateful for it.

Don’t underestimate the benefits of a daily routine

By creating a meaningful morning routine, you’ll develop stronger self-efficacy, you’ll feel great, and you’ll see that giving this to yourself gives you more energy for everyone else.

What kinds of activities would you be happy to accomplish first thing in the morning? What would bring meaning and value into your life by doing it every day?

What will your morning routine be?

Thanks for reading!

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