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Welcome to Episode 16 everyone! I’m so excited that you’re here with me today. I can’t believe that the podcast is 15 weeks old already?! Remember when you first had a baby and you would say, “He’s 10 weeks.” I feel like I’m doing that with the podcast because it feels a little bit like I’ve had a baby. It’s super fun and exciting so I’m so happy that you’re here with me. I’m recording this on the day before Easter actually, and this is the day where we normally have a big neighborhood Easter party and an egg hunt for the kids, but of course because we’re in the middle of this pandemic, we can’t do that this year. But I have some amazing neighbors and friends and last night they dropped off Easter baskets and hid Easter eggs in the yards of all of the neighbors so that the kids would wake up in the morning and get to have their Easter egg hunt. It just reminds me of all the good that is still happening in the world right now even while there are still bad things happening. I’m so filled with gratitude for these relationships that I have and for the connections that I have.
I feel so much love and so connected to the people in my life even though I can’t hang out with them in person right now, and I just wanted to mention that if you want to feel this way too, if you’re feeling really disconnected and really lonely, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to Episode 13 called Disconnection Shame, where I teach you all about how to create the connection for yourself anytime you want and it doesn’t require anybody else to be in your physical presence.
So that was a little side story, but I’m just so filled with gratitude and love today and I wanted to share a little bit of that with you.
Let’s dive into today’s topic. I’m going to teach you about the snooze button. Now, this might sound like a little bit of a strange topic for this podcast, but it’s super relevant and I want to tell you why. If you’re in the habit of the snooze button (and don’t feel ashamed, this is a habit that I struggled with for years), you’re in the right place today. We are going to dive into why we press the snooze button and how to break that habit so we can jump out of bed and get on with our days.
So what does this habit really mean?
It’s really a symptom and sign of not following through with your plan. The behavior that has you pressing the snooze button is the same behavior that is causing you to not follow through on other areas in your life. Maybe it’s not following through with your plan to go for a walk, or to practice yoga, or to stop working when you say you’re going to. It’s all the same. So that’s why it’s super relevant to this podcast and I wanted to teach you about it today.
What is the first thing to recognize when breaking this habit?
You need to know why you hit the snooze button. Now a lot of you are going to automatically respond to this question with the answer of, “It’s because I’m lazy.” That is actually NOT the truth. That is not why you hit the snooze button. I want you to think about when you’re in bed in the morning and your alarm goes off. You are in a place that is the ultimate in safety and comfort, right? You’re in your bed, you’re snuggled in your covers, you’re warm, you’re safe. Nothing can get to you there. Your brain wants nothing more than to keep you safe and comfortable. That’s exactly what it’s designed to do. It’s designed to keep you safe and comfortable so it makes sense that we want to stay in the bed because that’s where our brains want us to stay.
Now that we have realized that, the first thing I want you to do is to start paying attention to the thoughts that are going through your brain in the morning when the alarm goes off. You don’t even have to worry about trying to not hit the snooze button for a few days. For these first few days, all I want you to do is notice the sentences or the phrases in your brain as your alarm goes off and you’re hitting the snooze button. They’re going to sound pretty true, right? So that’s why it might be hard to recognize them as thoughts in your mind. Let me give you a few of mine to give you an idea of what they could look like.
+ I don’t want to get up.
+ I’m too tired.
+ I’ll just give myself one more snooze.
+ I can still get everything done.
+ It’s not a big deal.
+ I deserve the extra rest.
Right? So look at the flavor of all of those thoughts. If that’s what I’m thinking, of course I’m not feeling motivated to get up. I am giving myself the escape button to stay in bed and hit the snooze button again. This is one of the most important things to go through when you’re trying to break this habit. What goes through your mind? What do you notice? What are those thoughts?
We first have to gain awareness before we can make any change. When you find those thoughts or those phrases, see if those are the same things that are happening in your mind when you look at your plan for the day and you want to push it off or do something else. The flavor of that thought is probably very, very similar because this is just another example of not following through with your plan.
So after you have a little bit of awareness the next step to breaking this habit is a process of reprograming your brain to override those safety thoughts that your brain is offering to you. So the best way to do this is to find a thought that helps you get up. That thought has to be something that creates determination, commitment, motivation, or maybe even excitement.
If you can find a thought that you can believe in that moment that creates that emotional energy for you, those feelings will fuel you to get out of bed.
Let me give you an example: You probably don’t hit the snooze button 10 times when you’re getting up to go on vacation or to get up to go do something that you find really fun. You’re probably excited to get up and you’re ready for that day. I want you to notice what’s different in that situation. How does it compare to our normal, everyday routine. Your thoughts and your feelings about getting up are fueled very differently in those two situations.
Now on the other end of the spectrum, if you have someone waiting for you, you normally won’t let them down? This is why so many people talk about how accountability is a great thing.
When you’re starting to create a new habit, the reason is that we typically don’t want to let other people down. We’re totally fine with letting ourselves down, but when it comes to somebody else, we don’t want to let them down. So the thoughts that we have about that situation, fuels us to get up. It’s not necessarily the accountability itself. I think that’s a really important distinction here because if you don’t have an accountability partner, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do this or you can’t solve this problem for yourself. You can be your own accountability partner by finding the kind of thoughts that you’d be thinking if you had another human waiting for you. If you knew that your best friend was coming to pick you up for lunch, you wouldn’t stay in the comfort of the bed, right? You’d get up.
The reason for this is because you’re thinking differently about it. That’s the most important point. If it’s for someone else, we’re all in, and we’ll figure it out. We’ll override that comfort and get up every single day, right? The idea is to translate that same thought pattern and that same emotional energy to being incredibly committed to yourself and to your plan that you made for yourself. You are your own accountability. You wouldn’t miss an appointment with yourself no matter what. So find the thinking, the phrases, and the emotional energy that you’re experiencing in those other situations and translate that to your normal every day Tuesday.
Here’s another way to break this habit:
The second best way to stop hitting the snooze button is to break the ‘getting out of bed’ process into micro-steps. This is the exact same process that I teach on how to schedule your time. We break it down into micro-steps, right? We assign a time value to each one of those micro-steps. I want you to think about getting up in the morning as a project as well, and think about all of the micro-steps you have to do to get yourself up out of bed instead of pressing the snooze button.
What does your ‘getting our of bed’ process look like? Maybe it looks like this:
1. Turn off the alarm.
2. Take covers off.
3. Sit up.
4. Put feet on the ground.
5. Stand up.
6. Walk to the bathroom and brush teeth.
So you kind of get the idea, right? I want you to think about your morning routine and break it down into the micro steps that are required for you to turn the alarm off. It’s so much easier to tackle a mini step instead of this bigger idea of getting up. It’s going to be easier for you to tackle the thoughts that are trying to keep you in the safety and the comfort of the bed when you just tell yourself, “Oh, I don’t have to get up. All I have to do is turn off the alarm.” Then you say to yourself, “All I have to do is throw the covers off.” The mini steps are so much easier to tackle than the bigger idea of getting out of bed. Once you’re that far, if you’re standing up and moving towards your bathroom, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to go climb back in bed, right? You’ll be thinking, “Okay, I’m already up. I might as well just get started with my day.” This is the point where you’ve kind of overcome that primitive safety, comfort brain so it’s easy to keep moving forward.
There is one more technique that you can practice when trying to over come the snooze button. Here it is:
The Snooze Jar. This is the same exact idea that I taught you in the episode about overcoming procrastination. This is the exact same thing. For this practice, you’re going to have a jar by your bedside and next to that jar you’ll have a pile of beans (or beads, coins, whatever!) The beans are outside of the jar. My husband and I did this for a while and it literally changed everything for us. We were not hitting the snooze button. We were getting up.
Before we get into how “The Snooze Jar” works, here’s the other thing that I want you to recognize. Changing a habit is harder at the very beginning, right? So once you overcome the old habit and you have the programming in your mind for the new habit, it becomes automatic. It becomes your new default. Right now your default is to hit the button. You may have done it so many times that you’re not even really conscious of doing it. You may just automatically hit snooze. That’s what I found myself doing. You have to bring it back into your conscious brain before you can change the programming and create the new habit
Here’s how “The Snooze Jar” works:
It’s just like the swear jar, right? So what we’re doing is we’re rewarding you and your brain so that every time you get up out of bed, instead of hitting the snooze button, you get to put a bean in the jar. I love the jar idea because it’s such a great visual representation of you following through on what you told yourself you would do every single time you get a bean in the jar. That means you got up. That means you followed your plan for your morning routine. Instead of starting your day with disappointment in yourself because you didn’t do your morning routine, you get to have yourself fueled and feel so proud of yourself for the fact that you followed through on this plan that you made for yourself
Every single time that you get up and you don’t press the snooze button, a bean goes in the jar and you’ll notice the beans in the jar will start to accumulate. Your brain is like, “Oh yeah! We like putting the bean in the jar more than we like the safety and the comfort of the bed.” It gets easier and easier the more that you practice it, but you have to commit to it. By practicing this you’re going to get up at the time you planned.
Your relationship with your snooze button is really revealing your relationship with yourself. It’s exactly the same habit as not following through with your plan. You make a plan for yourself and there’s a reason why you made that plan. So when you don’t follow through with it, you show yourself that you don’t trust yourself.
I want to encourage you this week to try these techniques. If you are wanting to break this habit, I know you have the capability to do so, but if you want more help in diving into this work, all you need to do is click here to schedule your FREE Scheduling Strategy Session. This is a one-on-one call where we’ll dive into the root of why you’re too busy and overwhelmed. I’ll help you get really clear on what you want in your schedule and your life, and then I’m going to map out the exact steps you need to take to get there.
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Until next time, have a beautiful, unbusy week!