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Change Anything QA

Conquering the Snooze Button

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joseph Grenny

Joseph Grenny is coauthor of four New York Times bestsellers, Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Influencer.


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QDear Crucial Skills,

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to wake up early every day and start the day with a planned schedule. I have read about the benefits of getting up early and would like to put them into practice. I am very motivated to do so, mainly because I do not have enough time during the day to complete things that are really important to my personal growth and development.

And yet, I am still struggling to stick to this resolution. I have tried all sorts of tricks like adjusting the clock ahead of time, doing affirmations before going to sleep, and going to bed earlier. My problem is I feel so good and lazy in “sleep mode” when the alarm rings that waking up is not a priority for me in that moment. How do I get myself to wake up early?

Snooze Button

A Dear Snooze Button,

I get up pretty early to exercise. Getting up isn’t my problem, it’s getting myself to start exercising. I read for a while before I go to our home gym so it’s pretty easy to lay on the couch five minutes longer, then ten minutes, then . . . So I know the feeling.

The good news is that you’re thinking very creatively in exactly the way you need to in order to change this habit. In Change Anything, we point out that those who succeed at changing tough habits are those who begin to act like both the scientist and the subject in their change challenge. You are the “subject” in that you are the snoozer. You need to be the “scientist” by standing above snoozer-you and experimenting with ways to get the snoozer to act differently. So let me talk to your inner scientist.

First, think about a variety of sources of influence that might get you moving. For example, could you get social support by committing to do a first-thing-in-the-morning activity with another person? Not letting your friend down might be enough to get you up and start your day. For example, if you’re trying to exercise, you could join an online group that checks in virtually before exercising as a way to support one another.

Could you create a little reward or punishment for when you get up or for when you don’t? For example, create charity and anti-charity jars and place them on your counter. When you get up on time, put a quarter in the charity jar. When you don’t, put a quarter in the anti-charity jar. At the end of the month, send the charity money to a cause you love and send the anti-charity money to me. Just kidding. Send it to a cause you don’t like—perhaps a political party you disagree with.

Thursdays are my hardest workout day. I used to dread that day until I created a special reward at the end of my workout. I bought some chocolate protein powder and I mix it up with a banana to make a shake that I only drink on that day. It’s funny how much I’ve come to look forward to Thursdays because that is “shake day” for me. It’s also funny to note how easy it is to change our experience of even unpleasant behaviors by adding in the right source of influence.

My inner scientist came upon another solution that has worked well for me. I notice that you’ve tried motivation strategies like affirmations. I discovered that you don’t need more motivation if you make it easier to follow through. For example, I realized I dreaded the treadmill because I tended to start my run as fast as I could to get it over with sooner. So I changed my workout to start with a pleasant walk, then a slow run. Just allowing myself to enjoy the first few minutes while I warm up changed how I felt about getting started. If you decrease difficulty, you don’t need as much motivation. Perhaps you could schedule something pleasant and easy to do first thing in the morning. For example, you could read a chapter of a book you enjoy.

I hope these ideas spark something useful to you. Don’t worry that your plan isn’t working yet. Turn bad days into good data by telling yourself, “That strategy was insufficient. Now I know I need an additional or different source of influence to accomplish my goal.” Check out Change Anything for lots of easy ideas. If you continue to approach it like a scientist, you’ll crack the code for sure.

And for the rest of you who have conquered the snooze button, feel free to comment on this article with your ideas as well!

Best wishes,
Joseph

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Joseph Grenny

Joseph Grenny is a New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and leading social scientist for business performance. For thirty years, Joseph has delivered engaging keynotes at major conferences including the HSM World Business Forum at Radio City Music Hall. Joseph’s work has been translated into twenty-eight languages, is available in thirty-six countries, and has generated results for three hundred of the Fortune 500. read more

68 thoughts on “Conquering the Snooze Button”

  1. I agree with Joseph about making it easier on yourself. In the spirit of making things easier, you should also consider something else: what do you *really* want? Is it wake up early? Or is it to get done as much as possible in your day, since you say you don’t get enough done?

    These two goals not necessarily aligned. For example, if I slept 7 hours (my personal required minimum), the snooze button will not be an issue, I will get up because I am not tired, and it is just boring to stay in bed when I have many interesting things lined up for the day. But if I try going to bed, don’t fall asleep immediately, don’t get 7 hours of sleep, then of course it will be difficult to resist the snooze button. Plus, being sleepy during the day will not help you achieve your personal development goals!

    There are at least two things to look at here: insomnia and sleep phase issues. I have had to deal with both of them in the past to conquer my snooze button habit.

    Are you able to fall asleep within 30 minutes of your current bedtime? If not, you need to look into good sleep hygiene and a variety of techniques that exist for dealing with insomnia.

    Second, are you actually able to move your going to sleep time earlier, and still fall asleep within 30 minutes? If not, your sleep phase is shifted. It is possible to move it backwards a bit, but it is not easy. Then you get to ask yourself as to whether it is important. For example, is there anything special about doing your growth and development tasks in the morning? Can you do them later during the day?

    I had both of those problems. First, I had to address insomnia issues. But even with a lot of discipline and the best treatment available, it turned out that it is simply not possible for me to go to bed before 1:30 in the morning, and this means 8:30 wake up time. I still achieve my goals effectively, because I clarified what is important for me. First, I need to get enough sleep to be productive. Second, even though my job allows flexible hours, it is important in me to be in the office at the times when I can talk and solve problems in person with other co-workers.

    Once this was clear, I worked out a compromise solution. I use every tool I can to ensure that I go to sleep no later than 1:30 (and yes, I am an extreme case, and it is difficult for me to achieve that; my body really wants to make it 4am if left to its own devices). Then I carefully work my schedule so that I make maximum use of daytime hours to collaborate with co-workers, and schedule solitary things for late evenings. This way I achieve my real goal: staying productive and getting things done.

  2. The Clocky Alarm Clock wakes me up right away every time. I don’t use the wheels anymore – just the alarm is ridiculous enough to make my brain tell me to get up minutes before it! I have one old-school “standard” alarm that goes off in the headboard with a “buzz-buzz-buzz” which I turn off right away. At the same time, my radio alarm goes off with NPR one room away from me – I don’t turn this off – I let it stay on the whole time I’m preparing for work. My Clocky Alarm Clock is ready to start whining at me from two rooms away in the living room. After my first alarm goes off, I get ripped from dream world. I start vaguely listening to NPR for 1-2 minutes before my brain tells itself “if you don’t get up now – that R2D2 in the living room will start being ridiculous!” I have only resisted long enough for the Clocky to go off three times and I haven’t slept after Clocky sounded in the last 3 weeks! I go through a bunch of steps, but it may be easier for you to just use Clocky – I hope this helps! http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/clocky-alarm-clocks

  3. When I had trouble getting up on time, I moved the alarm clock to a part of the room that forced me to get out of bed and shut it off. Once my feet were on the floor, it was much easier to keep moving at that point.

  4. I have always lived by the standard – “Give GOD the first amd the best – that will allow Him to bless the rest” – I set two alarms to get up each day at 4:20am and jump up – shower – get the coffee going – sit down and give God my first of the day – that way this will allow Him to make everything else fall in to place – does not mean that everything will go perfectly – you just be faithful of giving God the first and He will work out the rest.

  5. Move the alarm clock to the other side of the room. In order to snooze, you you will have to get out of bed and walk to the other side of the room. By the time you get back to bed, what’s the point? You are already awake, might as well stay up.

  6. You write, “Perhaps you could schedule something pleasant and easy to do first thing in the morning” and I have to respond that that technique works for me without my realizing why. Here’s what I’ve been doing.
    I’m currently really taken with playing Words with Friends. So when my alarm goes off (it happens to be my smart phone) I hit the snooze as usual but then open up Words on the phone and start playing my turn on the several games I have running. Seems to wake up my brain enough so that when the alarm sounds again, I’m ready to get up!

  7. I found that by moving the alarm clock across the room it cured my snooze habit. Once I’m on my feet I figure I may as well stay there.

  8. I had the same problem years ago. I bought an annoyingly loud alarm clock and set it on the dresser across the room. It was so loud I couldn’t ignore it so I had to get up to shut it off. Once up, you broke your cozy feeling and I got up. Of course if you have others in the room it might not work so well.

  9. There are a few things that really helped me get going in the morning.
    One of them, I discovered while staying at a hotel. It was an iHome alarm clock. It has an adjustable snooze timer that you can set from 1 minute to 28 minutes instead of the typical 9 minutes. I set it for 5 minutes, and it works great. At 9 minutes, I’d be sound asleep again! It also ramps-up the music slowly to gradually wake you, making it more pleasant.
    The second thing is to try to get to bed at the same time each night. No more staying up til 1am and “sleeping-in” on the weekends. I found no benefit to this at all and it only impaired my ability to wake-up on-time Monday thru Wednesday.
    The third thing was to set the alarm for the same time each day – including weekends. This, along with getting to bed at the same time each night, will allow your body to get into a rhythm. After a while, you’ll find that you’re waking right before the alarm comes on.
    I’ve had a professional sleep study done for sleep apnea and their study found that I am in my most deep sleep from 4am to 6:30am. If I can get up at 5:45am without an issue, I’m sure these items will help out.
    Good luck.

  10. I found that giving myself a reward worked really well. I keep a book that I want to read on my elipse and the only time I allow myself to read the book is when I am exercising in the morning. I look forward to getting my exercise started so that I can delve into the book again. In fact, I have to watch the clock so that I don’t spend too much time exercising!

  11. Steve Pavlina has interesting and working method: Take the brain out of the equation. From http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/04/how-to-get-up-right-away-when-your-alarm-goes-off/

    “Practice getting up as soon as your alarm goes off. That’s right — practice. But don’t do it in the morning. Do it during the day when you’re wide awake. … Set your alarm for a few minutes ahead. Lie down in bed just like you would if you were sleeping, and close your eyes. … Now when your alarm goes off, turn it off as fast as you can. Then take a deep breath to fully inflate your lungs, and stretch your limbs out in all directions for a couple seconds… Now shake yourself off, restore the pre-waking conditions, return to bed, reset your alarm, and repeat. Do this over and over and over until it becomes so automatic that you run through the whole ritual without thinking about it. If you have to subvocalize any of the steps (i.e. if you hear a mental voice coaching you on what to do), you’re not there yet. …”

  12. I used to be able to get up and run/exercise. It gets tougher as you get older. My suggestion: set the thermostat for a cooler temperature for when you sleep. You become more alert when you wake up and it is easier to get out of bed. I believe that firemen use this same trick.

  13. Check with your inner scientist. Is your true goal to get up early or start your day with a planned schedule or both? Then check you energy level at night or at the end of your workday. Maybe the best way to achieve your goal is to schedule the last 30 minutes of your workday to plan for tomorrow or at the end of your day. You can always plan something for first thing in the morning that you’ll want to get started early. And if the best way you can think of starting your day is to enjoy that “sleep mode feeling” then really enjoy it.

  14. I have my alarm clock on my dresser across the room so I am not tempted to hit the snooze. Once I’m up to turn it off, I go right to the shower. And so the day begins.

  15. Dear Joe,
    Thanks so much for your article. Did you have me in mind?? Who told you? Seriously, though, I decided yesterday that I was going to get here early today because I too cannot seem to complete everything on my daily to-do list at work. I am practicing the “tough-love” strategy. I have bargained enough and I just need to follow-through. I have my 2012 goals posted to my board in my office and really intend to stick with it to make the lifestyle changes that I need to for success on many fronts. Thanks again! Have a great day.
    Clarissa

  16. Have a gentle clock radio by your bed, set 10 minutes before you have to get up. Then put your real alarm clock in the bathroom. You have to go in there to turn it off–you might as well stay.

  17. The easiest way to learn to get up when the alarm clock goes off is to put the alarm clock on the other side of the room so that you have to get to up shut it off. This worked very well for me when I was 19, had to get up at 4 a.m. to be to work by 4:45, but I was routinely out the night before to way too late.

    Today, many years later, I usually wake up before the alarm, which is right next to me on my nightstand. Getting up is not an issue for me (nor is exercising, provided the weather is good, as I ride a bicycle as my primary form of exercise).

  18. Turn on a light. This works especially well to simulate daylight and keep you from falling back into a comfortable slumber. When I truly have to wake up early, I’ll turn a light on, hit snooze once, and am often able to get up the next time my alarm goes off.

    If it’s a matter of not being able to wake up, try going to bed a little earlier. 15 minutes can do wonders!

  19. It’s completely possible that “Snooze Button” is not a morning person. I’m not — I don’t actually begin to really “function” until about 8 or 9 AM. So, if you’re not a morning person, why torture yourself? On weekdays, I exercise as soon as I get home from work. Health clubs tend to be very crowded at that hour, so I have a good treadmill, weights, etc. I also have a DVD and a wireless headset. In addition to exercising, the time is my “private” time. Unless you have to exercise in the morning, why not consider another time slot? (Note: I cook ahead and my husband also cooks, which makes my exercise timeslot workable). Good luck!

  20. I have an free alarm app on my android phone that can be configured to require math problems in order to snooze or dismiss the alarm and can be adjusted in difficult and number of problems required. Works for me.

  21. If you have a hard time starting early, take time in the evening to plan out your next day. This will allow you to meet your goal of having a well planned day and allow you to sleep a little longer.

  22. the main reason people have trouble getting up is that they are not getting enough sleep. You need to go to bed earlier and keep moving your bedtime up until you are able to wake up naturally.

  23. Dear Snooze Button,

    Oh how much I love my snooze button and still use it every day. What has worked for me is to use my iPhone and set two alarms. I set the first alarm is go off 30 minutes prior to me needing to get up. I set it on the “harp” sound. It is nice and soothing and gently wakes me up and I hit the snooze button every 8 minutes. The second alarm is set for the time that I need to get up. This one is a very intrusive sound like the “horn” or “alarm” sound. When the second alarm goes off then I know I need to get up and then I do. This works well for me. I also use Joseph’s trick on making the exercise that I do more enjoyable so I look forward to it. Another option is to put an additional alarm clock on the other side of the room and set it for when you need to get up. By very fact that it is on the other side of the room…you have to get up to turn it off. I would also suggest keeping your normal alarm next to your bed so you can still hit the snooze button. The thought is if you love to hit the snooze button then don’t try to stop something that you enjoy…just make it to where it works better for you.

  24. I’ve lived with myself for almost six decades and know myself pretty well. I am hard-wired for nighttime hours. As a child, this made school tough. Most of my working years were very pleasant due to the fact that my working hours were between 4:00 PM and 1:00 AM. For the last ten years I’ve had a job that, although I love it, requires me to start my work day before dawn. Ideally, I should be getting into bed for the night just about the time of day I am at my peak of alertness and clarity. The only thing that motivates me to get up at the hour that I do, is not wanting to lose my job or disappoint people I love working with and who depend on me to be there at that ungodly hour. I’m not seeing the daily snooze-button-dance ending any time soon. Think this can’t be? Check this:
    http://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep/101/in-synch-with-your-bodys-clock.aspx

  25. Eating lightly at night and going to bed just a half hour earlier made all the difference for me.

  26. I taught myself to hate the sound my alarm makes. My goal is to turn it off as quickly as possible and that I really don’t want to hear it again. That has been enough to motivate me to get out of bed. I have also come to appreciate the quiet time in the morning before my family gets up. I have made that my reward for getting up early and not hitting the snooze button.

  27. I am deeply in love with my snooze alarm also and I get a bit cranky if I have to just pop right out of bed. What I did to make myself get up on time is set the alarm 15 min earlier and allow myself 2 snoozes and I know I have to get up on the third. This gives me the time to wake up, open my mind, prepare for the day and get up with a smile on my face. (alright sometimes it is just a little smile, but I feel a whole lot better with my 15 min prep time.)

  28. I don’t think there’s a motivated person on this planet who hasn’t dealt with the same issue. My solution was to be brutally honest with myself, in that I’ve come to realize that a good night’s sleep (a solid eight hours) is far more important to me than getting up early to exercise. I’ve also realized that working out on a treadmill makes me feel like a hamster on a wheel, in a cage. Do you have a flexible work schedule? I like to exercise outdoors, so in the summer, I go into work later and walk/run while it’s cool outside. In the winter, I reverse the process.

  29. I found that moving the alarm clock to a spot that requires more movement to shut it off, or hit the snooze button, got me out of my warm spot and closer to having my feet on the floor. A friend of mine actually moved it across the room! Even negative motivation can work…

  30. You could try enticing yourself with a tasty morning treat, like a glass of not-from-concentrate orange juice, or something else that appeals to you. Of course, only reward yourself with the treat when you get up the first time your alarm goes off.

  31. The trick for me was to not think…just do. Some time ago I decided I had to do something about my fitness. After 18 months of false starts I finally got it: as soon as I arrived home from work I went immediately to my room, quickly got changed, and then right back out the door for a short jog. I didn’t check the mail, I didn’t stop to talk with my wife, I didn’t ask questions, I didn’t think…I just went from point a to b to c to my goal. 3 years later I’ve run a Boston qualifying marathon, and what was once a chore is now a habit and a joy.

  32. I teach clinical staff at a hospital so I often have to be up at 5 a.m. so I can be at work by 6:30 for class. My strategy is to set my alarm about 15 mins ahead of my time to get up. When the alarm goes off I turn on the radio. I listen to the radio while I sit in bed doing gentle stretching – shoulder and neck rolls, waist twists, etc until the news is finished. This is a nice easy way to start my day and helps me get going without stress in the a.m. I really miss it when I skip it. Hope this helps !

  33. Hello everyone!
    I can relate. I was a big-time snoozer. When the new year came, I decided that was it! And I haven’t looked back. I added two elements to my morning routine. I picked things that were important to me and that would bring me positive results in the long run.
    The first thing is I go to the kitchen to make my coffee. This allowed me to stop going to buy a coffee every morning as I go to work. I save money everyday.
    The second thing is, while my coffee is being brewed (Tassimo… quick and efficient), I do pushups. Fitness is a passion of mine. I workout after work. I get my pushups out of the way in the morning, that way, I don’t need to them in the evening. Plus, I downloaded an app to push myself, and I’m seeing results in my muscle definition. Those pushups wake me up real good, even more than the cafeine!
    All the best!
    Caroline

  34. I have the same problem with exercise in the morning. I get up okay with the alarm, then I have breakfast and read the paper, that morphs into checking my email both of which can drag on until its time to shower, making me miss my only opportunity of the day to exercise.

    I’ll have to try thinking of a motivation that will work, maybe keeping my reward in the exercise room.

    The problem with the good book idea is that you have find another good book once you finished one. For me that could take days or weeks which knocks me out of the exercise habit.

  35. Getting a dog might not help you get more work done but it will certainly get you up in the morning. My dog usually leaves me alone until my alarm rings when she comes to the bed and sticks her nose in my face to be pet and whines until I get up. Might sound annoying but it’s tough to not enjoy having a furry friend so excited to start the day with you.

  36. My 13 yr old lab barks 15 minutes before the alarm goes off. There is absolutely no way to ignore a dog whose muzzle is right next to your ear. She learned to get on the bed and bark at me if I dared to turn over.

  37. Thanks for the ideas to a problem I also need to resolve. and more thanks for all the other helpful tips you have given.

  38. Get a cat!! I’m only half kidding. There is no snooze alarm on a cat who wants breakfast, and if you feed the cat same time every day, s/he will not let you sleep past then. We have four cats, and 7AM is about all we get, even on weekends. They are amazingly accurate, within 10-15 minutes. I don’t know who taught them how to tell time!

  39. I happened upon Steve Pavlina’s website years ago and although he has opinions on a lot things I may or may not agree with, he also has really good “how to” techniques to offer. One that stands out for me is “How to get up right away when your alarm goes off”. Either Goggle his name or this title and you’ll see what I mean…I hope it helps.

  40. For my i-Phone I found an app called “Sleep Cycle”. This app cost 99 cents and is so worth it. It wakes you during the correct phase of the sleep cycle so it is much easier to wake up. I highly recommend it!!

  41. @BDK

    Ephisians 5: 14-16a

    This is why it is said:

    “Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

    Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise , making the most of every opportunity

  42. What great ideas! It looks like Source 6 (structural changes – moving clocks, getting quieter/louder/funner ones) is the most common tactic. But I enjoyed reading other creative ones (get a dog, create a couple of meaningful/rewarding “get up” ritual, etc.). You could write a book with the ideas you’ve all shared. How about we do it? 43 co-authors?

  43. Sadly, this snooze junkie was able to go back to bed after turning off alarms in the bedroom (one beside the bed, one across the room) and one in the bathroom, each set 10 mins apart. I finally realized that my energy levels are higher at night, so I do a lot of my high-focus work at night. I may still try the reward system to get up earlier than I do now, as it will allow me to exercise in the morning and spend the early evening with my husband (how’s that for motivation!).

  44. Try a judo twist. As soon as the alarm turns on, throw the blanket away and get out of your bed. don’t let your brain think whether to sleep for 5 minutes more or 10 minutes more or an hour more..whats the point..

  45. Key phrase from article: “If you decrease difficulty, you don’t need as much motivation.” Great suggestion, thanks!

  46. Punishment has worked for me! For many years, I met my personal trainer at the gym at 4 AM. I made an agreement to pay $50 if I was even 1 second late (by her watch) to being in place and ready to go. I only ever paid once, and that was years after I started.

  47. “send the anti-charity money to me”
    HAHAHAH now i’m the loudest person on my block (laughing) and it’s past midnight!

  48. i just was referring this article to a friend and realized how it coincides with a general concept of “stalking your ego” from carlos castaneda’s don juan book series. i’m no expert, but i think it captures the essence of what we’re trying to do, which is basically catch ourselves even before the act is committed. i think it require brutal candor in communicating with oneself.
    my two cents.

  49. What has worked for me is not to focus on the pain of getting up early.
    Focus on how good you feel after you get up early to do what ever it is you want to do. For me doing early morning exercise I find painful but my motivation to do it comes from how I feel every day after I have done it.
    On those difficult mornings I also look back on the days I have missed and how disappointed I was at not doing the work out. But focusing on the up side of how I feel once completing the morning activity has proven my key motivator to get up and do it again every day.

  50. If waking up were only that easy – my clock IS on the other side of the room and I also use a daylight clock. It just takes me a long time to wake up and be functional – and this doesn’t really matter how long I have slept. I go through the same thing if I take a nap during the day – takes me an hour or so to wake up. The brain is just not in gear, so none of the motivational stuff works. Might try the clocky thing.

  51. I struggled big time with getting up in the mornings for the first 40 years of my life. (I had one job where I was ontime just 3 times in almost 3 years!) I made some major dietary changes for another reason, and as a side effect, I found myself waking up in the morning and really wanting to get moving. It was a life changing experience, and I wish I had happened upon it sooner…..I am just a lot happier and easier to be around now. (Sorry to my ex-wife!)

  52. I’ve tried moving my iPhone (which is my alarm clock) across the room to force me out of bed to turn it off. I have found the lure of sleep to be so powerful that I will get up, go across the room, hit snooze, and promptly get back in bed. BUT, I wonder if it would be more influential to put the phone right next to my shower, so I would be forced to walk to the shower to turn it off. Maybe standing right in front of the shower would be enough to lure me in…

  53. I started last Thursday with this as a goal and I have not hit the snooze! My secret? Snoozing = no coffee. That for me is a high motivator!

  54. I do fine at getting up early until the spring time change. Any advice on how I can beat this. It’s kicking me!

  55. Love the comments/ideas! I’m a natural late evening/night person living in a world of morning people. My two kids are the same, so mornings are brutal at our house! I have been known (after staying up way “too late”) to sleep for 20 minutes while an alarm is going next to my head, or to turn it off and later not remember it. We currently have 3 alarms every morning. Some of these tips might help me.

  56. @Kaye Chandler
    One secret about day time naps: adults have a 1.5-hour sleep cycle. If you sleep thru a whole cycle, you wake up groggy, plus it disrupts your sleep pattern that night. Set an alarm for 45 minutes when you nap, you will be woken mid-cycle, much more alert, and it doesn’t cause insomnia that night.
    One more thing about having a hard time waking, for everyone. Do you snore? If so, have a physician evaluate you/order a sleep-study, because a primary symptom of sleep apnea is difficulty waking,fatigue,sleepiness.

  57. I have always struggled here..now that I am 41 and my father just had Triple-byPass and a bunch of work on his heart, I am motivated. Now that I have been doing it for a couple of weeks, I can say that the diet change and amount of sleep are the two main factors. I’m also a night owl, so to prevent staying up too late, I make it a goal to go to be by 11:15 instead of midnight. My diet changes include NO MORE MCD’s for BREAKFAST…now I have a yogurt in the morning and an orange at 10am then a good lunch, a few almonds or apple at 3 and one-plate at dinner with nothing after 7pm. I also am starting to move some weights around in the basement and the kids are getting into it too. I’m feeling more energetic every day and my clothes fit better. I have not lost much weight, but my shape is changing from round to not-so-round. 🙂

  58. When I find myself lying in bed later than I should, I remind myself that I’ll wish I had those minutes back later. Then when I find myself late or rushing to get out the door, I make note of how much time I wish I had. It’s always equal to the time I lingered in bed.

  59. I found that using my i-pod with a small speaker near my bed works well. (My i-pod has an alarm feature included with the clock it has.) I tend to wake up easier when I set it to some soothing zen-like/new age music. I also often use my mobile phone’s alarm setting as an alternative; I’ve set it to a calming bell option and it slowly gets louder the longer it rings. Either are wonderful ways to wake up and much better than the ring of a regular alarm.

    I also find I sleep better with the ceiling fan on, it seems to feel more refreshing when I wake up. I am a night owl and while I always like to sleep in, these two things help me get up and get going when I have morning appointments.

  60. One thing that helped me in the past was getting a programmable thermostat & setting it raise to a higher temperature about 15 minutes before I want to get up. You could do the same thing with a heating blanket and a timer. Becoming hot makes lying in bed really unpleasant for me, and by the time it cools down I’m wide awake.

    I’ve always thought that if I recorded a message to myself as to why I should get up instead of enjoying a little more sleep, and have that be my alarm clock it would break through all the excuses I make so easily when half asleep. I’ve never tried it though.

  61. Try Snooze Minutes app to fight the snooze button 🙂

    The idea of the app is to charge a user with real money (once sign up bonus minutes are over) for every snooze he/she makes. It’s very simple – if you wake up on time – you don’t spend a penny, but once you hit the snooze — you lose!

    Snooze Minutes is free and available on the App Store at: https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/id548341369

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