Today CCIQ returns with a special guest post by Eric Lunsford of Coffee & Warm Showers, which I had to have the instant I read it. Because it’s so urgently true, and a great way to kick things back off.
There’s something about the snooze button that’s comforting. Your life is turned upside down (or at least it seems like that in your current sleep-deprived stupor) when you go from dreamy quietness to an abrupt awakening of beeps, alarms, or any other version of digital screaming. But that snooze button, with just one push, makes it all go away.
The problem with the snooze button is that it makes us dependent. When you first change your wakeup routine, you may not even need to hit the snooze button. You get up on time because you don’t want to miss an important meeting, be late to the new job, or (God forbid) you’re just excited to be up. But as time goes on, you can used to the snooze routine. You start to plan on hitting the snooze button. “Just 7 more minutes and I’ll get up…”
Before you know it, you’re pressing the snooze button 4 or 5 times before you eventually muster up the strength to step out of your slumber and get the day started.
Unfortunately, this is life for the majority of us. Not necessarily that we hit the snooze button on our alarms, but that we hit the snooze button on our lives. Many of us have this same mentality when it comes to living our lives the way we want and doing what we were meant to do.
We wake up every day knowing we should be chasing our dreams, but we hit “snooze” instead.
“Just a few more months and I’ll really do it.”
“I’ll do it eventually, I just need to prepare myself more.”
“I’m just not feeling it today. Maybe tomorrow…”
The mentality that right now is not a good time or that you’re just not ready will never allow you to progress. Sometimes you have to understand that it may be hard to take that first step, but eventually it gets better. Eventually you start to “wake up” and realize your true potential. Start living your life the way you want to live it.
Luckily, we can learn some things from how we wake up in the morning and apply those same concepts to our lives. What strategies do you use to make sure you don’t hit that snooze button? I’ve got a few ideas:
1. Make not “waking up” on time risky.
If you have an early morning meeting with the execs, you’ll likely set your alarm for a little earlier and make damn sure you don’t hit that snooze button. Same goes with your life. If you realize what’s possible if you chase your dreams, it becomes risky to not chase after them. If you don’t “get up” now and start doing something about it, you’re just wasting precious time—living your life for someone else’s goals.
2. Make your “alarm” super painful.
I have an alarm that sounds like a bird chirping. It’s super peaceful and almost induces sleep. Now, if I changed it to a recording of my mom yelling at me to wake up…I’d wake the hell up. Make changes to your lifestyle that make it painful if you don’t start now to achieve your dreams. Find an accountabila-buddy to keep you on track no matter how busy or hard it gets.
3. Create your own Christmas morning.
Remember when you were a kid and you’d wake up around 4:30 on Christmas morning like you were on crack? Any other day of the year, you’d probably have to be pried from the bed by your mom or dad, but not Christmas morning.
Working toward a life you want is exciting! When you take steps to finally live this life, you create a sense of excitement. You’ll want to keep going without distractions or wasted time. Taking big chances and making progress isn’t so hard when it’s the reason you get out of bed in the morning (literally and figuratively.)
4. Get enough “sleep.”
It’s commonsense, right? The earlier I go to bed, the earlier I can wake up without being super tired. When you’re passionate about something, it’s tempting to focus on it all the time. I mean, that’s what you’re passionate about, right? But it’s important to spend time on other things too. Allow yourself to think about different things and spend time with others. If you get burnt out working on your passion 110% all the time, you’re bound to fall back into your slumber. Make it a habit to schedule time for new activities, tasks, and people.
Hitting the snooze button on life is habit-building, just like hitting the snooze button on your alarm clock. As long as we keep hitting that button, we’re telling ourselves it’s okay to wake up a little later. But what could you do with the extra time in the morning? What could you do with the extra time in your life?
Get started today. No more hitting that button. Here’s to choosing and not snoozing.
Eric Lunsford writes at his blog Coffee & Warm Showers, where he has one goal: to help others wake up their true selves and transform into the person they’ve always wanted to be.
Image: Tony Alter / Flickr
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