Even though the first day of fall was at the end of September and temperatures have cooled, sometimes it feels like the seasons don’t really change until the end of Daylight Saving Time.
And it’s here! Daylight Saving Time ended on Sunday, which means it’s now getting dark an hour earlier in the day. The upside? It will be light out earlier in the morning. As farmers, an earlier sunrise is something we certainly appreciate!
In the growing and festival seasons, our days start at 4:30 AM. After some much-needed coffee, we head out by about 6:15 AM and huddle with our staff to start on any projects for the day and check on the animals.
In the winter off-season, we start our work days closer to 7:00 AM. But in December and January, it’s still awfully dark out!
So how do we keep ourselves motivated to get up and at ‘em in the cold, dark fall or winter mornings?
Here are a few tricks of the trade to keep you going with a fall morning routine.
Decide What You Want to Accomplish
There are thousands of ways you could set up your morning routine, but only you know what will best serve you.
For some, the morning routine could include journaling, reading the news, running, and coffee. For others, it may be meditation, yoga, walking the dog, and coffee. And still others may prefer prayer, a quick tidy of the house, a note of gratitude, and coffee.
But when you’re designing your routine, try to include:
- Something that gets you moving
- Something that helps you find calm
- Something fun
- Coffee (Okay, we’re a little biased. It doesn’t have to include coffee.)
The point of a morning routine is the routine! And that routine can include any steps that will help you to start the day on the right foot. Putting your routine on autopilot will help you to stick with it through the long chilly fall and winter mornings.
Go to Bed
A good morning routine starts with getting enough sleep. Getting up at 4:30 AM is never going to work long term if you’re not getting enough rest.
If you need a solid 8 hours and you want to wake up at 6:00 AM, you have to go lights out no later than 10:00 PM! That means nestling down to sleep at 10:00 PM, not laying down for 45 minutes of reading or Instagram scrolling!
Pick your wake-up time, and work back from there. If it helps, set an alarm on your phone for 30-minutes before bed as a reminder to start getting ready for sleep.
Make a Plan
When we do our team huddle at 6:15 AM, we’re not exactly at our most perky. So the day before, we’ll create a to-do list. That way, we can give instruction to the staff without having to think too much!
This helps us avoid wasting everyone’s time while we try to remember what the day’s priorities are.
At the end of your day, make the to-do list for tomorrow. This will help you jump right into your tasks while the early morning brain fog is still clearing.
Pick Your Non-Negotiables
You never know what a day will throw at you, and it’s easy to get bogged down in things that seem urgent but aren’t actually that important.
Take a minute each morning to choose your one, two, or three most important things, and make sure you accomplish those. For us, the #1 thing that absolutely must be done every day is feeding the animals. Rain, snow, or hurricane — the animals have to eat!
Create Before You Consume
This goes for anyone, whether or not you’re “creative.” Phones and email are the morning routine killers! So make a strict rule — no checking email or social media until the morning routine is complete.
If you’re easily tempted, see if you can lock yourself out of these apps until a certain time. Many smartphones allow you to limit your app access, and it can be a morning lifesaver!
Let There Be Light!
One of the hardest parts about sticking to a morning routine is facing the cold dark morning while you’re still bundled up in your bed.
Instead of relying on your willpower to turn on that bedside lamp, turn to the power of technology. With a smart plug, you can turn your lamp into an automatic wake-up machine. Just plug it into a standard wall outlet, and then plug your lamp into the smart plug. Then, you can use an app to set up an automatic on/off time.
Exposure to light can affect your natural circadian rhythm and help your body to accept that it’s time to get up.
Another easy trick to get yourself up — put your alarm clock on the other side of the room. You must get up to turn it off. And once you’re up, you’re less likely to fall back into bed.
Warm Up The House
It’s certainly easier to spring out of bed in the morning when the house is at a comfortable temperature. If you like to sleep in a cool house, it makes it that much harder to get out of bed in the morning.
Many modern thermostats let you program them to change temps on a pre-set schedule. Adjust your thermostat’s schedule for fall to make sure the house warms up before you have to get up.
Fall into your Routine
Using a little technology and a little planning, you can work out a morning routine that will help you stay positive and productive through these cooler months. And it will set you up for success for the real test — winter!
To learn more about life on the farm, come see us this weekend (11/7 and 11/8) or next weekend (11/14 and 11/15) for the last two weekends of our Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch!