So, mornings suck. Fact. I can scientifically prove it. Do you know that annoying, “Bleep…Bleep…Bleep!” sound your alarm clock makes? That’s because they’re self-censoring. Even the alarm clock is pissed off that it’s awake. Did you hit the snooze button? In five minutes, your alarm clock is cussing you out again. So stop hitting the snooze button, and kick your morning off right with these tricks.

#1 Take a moment when you first wake up to adjust your attitude for the day- If you’re
like most people, you spend the first few minutes of your day lying in bed praying that your alarm going off was really just a nightmare. While this technique does have its merits, try this instead: Review what tasks have to get accomplished that day. Prioritize them, and visualize yourself accomplishing them. Take a moment to consciously adjust your attitude for the day. If you start the day off thinking it’s going to suck (which is easy to do when you’re still tired), you’ll spend the next half of your day trying to get out of that mindset. Now think of a time when you woke up knowing you had something really great to look forward to that day. Waking up to the alarm was actually exciting, wasn’t it? So start your day off by actually putting the effort in to get excited to get up and accomplishing the things that you want to get done that day.

(Helpful hint: Schedule something into each day that you’ll look forward to. That makes this a lot easier.)

#2 Fill the tank right- A killer breakfast smoothie gets you up and gets your engines running on all cylinders. I highly recommend getting a handheld blender stick. I’ve got the Cuisinart one, which is awesome because it’s easy to clean (hey Cuisinart, feel like sending me some free products for the endorsement? Anybody? Beuller?). Anyway, here’s a great recipe to try: 1 ½ -cup(ish) of vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop organic peanut butter, ½ of a banana, 1 leaf kale (don’t worry, you won’t taste it), 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (seriously companies, send me free stuff to advertise here. I’m totally open to bribery.), and 2 spoonful’s of vanilla Greek yogurt. Blend that stuff up with your nifty little hand blender. Go, right now. I’ll wait.

Did you do it? Boom! Was I right or what? That recipe has everything you need to crush the day until lunch. Carbs? Check. Vitamins and minerals? Thanks kale. Protein? Check, check, and double check. Think that it’s too much of a pain to make this in the morning? Here’s a tip: Fill an ice cube tray with Greek yogurt. Now you have premeasured scoops of yogurt that won’t water down your morning goodness. Pre-cut the kale and bananas, and have them measured out in plastic baggies together. Do a week’s worth at a time, and just stick them in the freezer. Now all you have to do is empty a plastic baggie into your blender, pop in a few ice cubes, and add the peanut butter, protein powder and milk.

#3 Wake your entire body up- Yoga. Yeah, I preach it. That’s because it’s good for every part of you. It increases flexibility, total body conditioning, and you can’t help but feel more relaxed and energetic once you do it. Try beginning by doing 10 sun salutations first thing when you wake up. If you do it for a week straight, you’re never going to want to quit.

That’s all it takes. About 3 minutes to get in the right mindset for the day, 2 minutes to make yourself a great breakfast smoothie, and ten minutes of yoga. Try this for a week straight and see if you ever want to set your alarm clock for the last minute again.

By Clayton Pollack

His name is Clayton. He likes long walks on the beach, the way the grass smells after it rains… Oh, sorry, wrong profile. Clay grew up in Wisconsin, spending most of his formative years studying mixed martial arts and wrestling. He joined the Army when he turned 18. He was trained in communication systems at Ft. Gordon, GA, went through Airborne school in Ft. Benning, GA, and was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC, with 4th Psychological Operations Group. He served his first tour in Iraq in 05-06, and his second during the Surge from 07-08. When he left active duty, he took a job as a military contractor in VA, and joined the National Guard. He spent his time in the guard with Maryland’s 1-158 Cav LRS-C (Long Range Surveillance Company). His duties in the military included satellite and radio communications, Psychological Operations, and hand to hand combat instructor. Clay also got married during his time in VA. He and his wife moved back to Wisconsin to start a family, and now have a beautiful daughter and son. He went back to school and earned his degree as a registered nurse, and got his certification in sports nutrition. He is now working towards his Bachelor's, with a long term goal of becoming an emergency surgical Physician's Assistant. He spends his free time playing with his kids, exercising, trail running, competing in triathlons and obstacle course races, and learning new skills from interesting projects he finds. Clayton subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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