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How to hate mornings less

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Beep, BEEP, BEEEEEEP!


The dreaded sound of your alarm clock wakes you from a dream.


The desire to press snooze and stay under warm covers is strong, but work, school, or meetings are on the agenda.


You drag your head from the pillow, reluctantly place your feet on the floor, and immediately your head fills with the day's list of to-dos. The combination of sleepiness, stress, and dread looms over you.


No one wants to start their day like that. What if your morning felt a little bit easier?


In this article, I will explain five steps to help you hate mornings less.


Here’s the key: find one thing you can do at night to make your morning easier.


Let’s dive in!


I used to hate mornings

My dream is to wake up each morning feeling calm, rested, and relaxed. 🧘‍♂️


Picture this: your feet hit the floor and the fresh aroma of coffee fills the air and surrounds you in a warm, sweet hug. There are no worries to be had, your brain slowly wakes to a relaxing morning routine: a mindful meditation session, a leisurely walk, a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and––if you're me––a surf check. No hiccups, no dread, just a simple and smooth beginning to another day.


However, the reality is often a stark contrast.


In my case, mornings are a whirlwind of tasks, typically timebound, and leave me with a perpetual sense of urgency. My brain's immediate response to being rudely taken from the warmth of my cozy bed: stress.


Recently, I asked myself, “What is one small change I could make in the evenings to transform my mornings?”


A few ideas came to mind:

  • Make overnight oats for an easy, healthy breakfast

  • Pack my work bag

  • Lay out my outfit for the next day

Then, that dream morning came ringing through my head and one idea REALLY stood out.


What if I woke up to a steaming pot of freshly brewed coffee, eagerly awaiting my first sip?


I revisited the potential of waking to the gentle babble of drip coffee and its enticing aroma wafting in, subtly slipping beneath my bedroom door and softly calling me out to start my morning.


That is how I want to start my day!


How to hate mornings less

Okay, so not all people "hate" mornings. In fact, some people thrive on getting up before the sun hits the horizon. But regardless if you're genetically wired as an early bird or night owl, there are ways to set your day up for greater success.


The key is to find the one thing to do the night before that will make your morning easier. Here are the steps:


Make a list

List out the things you do in the morning. Many adults find themselves:

  • Making coffee

  • Making breakfast or lunch for themselves and/or their kids

  • Deciding what clothes to wear for work

  • Packing up their bag for work

  • Checking if their children are ready for school

  • Doing dishes

  • Cleaning up counters and putting away items left out

  • Deciding which to-dos should be accomplished that day

Choose ONE item

Select one item from the list. Next, determine how to shift that task from the morning to the evening.


A few ideas are:

  • Preset the coffee machine

  • Prepare lunch for yourself or the kids

  • Check the weather and lay out your work clothes

  • Determine your top 3 priorities from your to-do list

  • Declutter and repack your bag for work

  • Make sure everyone has what they need by the front door

  • Pack your gym bag or lay out workout clothes for morning exercise

  • Do the dishes

  • 10-minute tidy-up

Time it

Find out how long it takes to accomplish the task. This will allow you to decide if it is a realistic habit to build into your nightly routine.


Also, when you really don’t want to do the task, you can remind yourself of how quickly it is to get it done!


Set a reminder

Set a recurring reminder on your phone and/or calendar.


Ensure the reminder will make an audible sound.


Find an accountability partner

An accountability partner is someone who will remind you of your commitment and keep you motivated.


Having accountability is key. According to a study by The American Society of Training and Development,

People are 65 percent likely to meet a goal after committing to another person.

If you live with someone else, tell them that you are building a new habit. If you live alone, consider sharing your new habit with a close friend or family member.


Consider if your accountability partner should remind you of your new habit and how they can best support you.


If you would like reminders, explain to your accountability partner how you would like to be reminded.


What if I cannot commit to doing one thing at night?

If these steps feel daunting, consider working with an adult executive function coach.


Adult executive functioning coaches are specialists who can help you gain motivation, develop new routines and habits, and learn executive function skills so that you feel less overwhelmed.


To learn more about adult executive function coaching, check out our comprehensive guide.


You can also book a 30-minute complementary strategy session with Eric by clicking the image below!


white mail with long brown hair wearing a black jacket, standing in front of a green background


What happens if I skip one night of my new habit?

Everyone makes mistakes.


One night, after a long, stressful day of work, I couldn't convince myself to prepare coffee.


The next morning, instead of waking up to that magnificent aroma, I woke up to thoughts of my ever-growing to-do list.


This setback presented a learning opportunity—one that I often impart to my clients while they build new habits.


Never miss twice.



Missing any single day of a particular habit has no impact on your long-term ability to stick to the habit.

People who are disciplined struggle to be consistent just like everyone else.


The difference is that when disciplined people skip a day of a new habit, they don't skip it a second day in a row.


Remember, we are not perfect. We will make mistakes, especially when building a new habit.


That’s okay. It’s normal. Now you know the trick: don’t skip it twice.


Conclusion

To hate mornings less, the solution is simpler than you think: shift one task from your morning routine to the night before.


Create a list, choose one item, estimate the time, set a reminder, and find an accountability partner.


If you falter, remember the rule: never miss twice.


Embrace imperfection, and consider an executive function coach for added support. With these steps, mornings can transform from chaotic to calm with minimal effort. So, take a small leap each night, and wake up hating mornings less.


Stay Engaged


About the author

Eric Kaufmann, M.Ed is a Professional Educational Therapist and Certified Executive Function Coach. He is the Co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, an online adult executive function coaching company designed to guide adults in overcoming disorganization, procrastination, and productivity roadblocks so they can unlock their potential. Eric is also the founder of Elevate Learning Solutions, an Educational Therapy practice located in San Clemente, CA, that guides students with neurological differences toward becoming independent and confident students and self-leaders.

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Upskill Specialists was founded when two former special education teachers turned executive function coaches decided that adults need tools and coaching to improve their workplace skills and feel confident and empowered. Our mission is to ensure every adult with EF challenges has access to high-quality coaching services. 

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