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VERONIKA NESVEROVA

Pharmacist, PhD in protein biochemistry

On snoozing and honouring one’s decisions

I am having a great struggle with getting up in the morning these days.

Every evening when I set my alarm, I make a decision about what time I should get up the next day, it’s usually 7 am, so not too bad. But when my alarm rings almost instantaneously I push the snooze button, curl up closer to my boyfriend, appreciate how nicely warm and soft it is under the blanket.

Sometimes I snooze once or twice, then get up. Usually when I have a meeting in the morning where I must go. But when I don’t have anything or when I have decided the previous evening that I should get up a little earlier to get something done at home before going to work, that’s when the troubles arise. I’m able to hit the snooze button many times. Is that really a problem? Depends if it feels like a problem to you and for me it absolutely does.

There are many pieces of advice I could give to myself and to you if you have the same problem: like keep your alarm off your reach so that you have to get up, this is a brutal one. The internet is full of reason why you shouldn’t hit the snooze button: you’ll get more tired, feel guilty, start your day with failure. But I am going to dig a little bit deeper, as I like to do these days. Credits for this go as usually to Brooke Castillo.

Imagine this situation:

You have a meeting with your colleague at 9am. 9 am it is but you are not there, and your colleague is calling. “I’ll be there in 10 minutes!” you say. At 9.10, your colleague is calling again. “I just need another 10 minutes!” you say, feeling sorry but not sorry. 9.20 hits and your colleague is calling again, of course. “Give me 10 more minutes, I just need a tiny bit more sleep!”

Ridiculous, isn’t it? I’d never ever EVER voluntarily do this to my colleague! I’m really trying to be in time on meetings that I have scheduled with other people. So why am I doing it to myself? Why do I treat other people with more respect than myself?

I asked my boyfriend his opinion this morning and what he said is probably the core of the issue. He said: “It’s easy to make changes to your plans when it’s just yourself.” Just myself. Just. Clearly I don’t value my own decision, no matter how small, equally as decisions that I have made together with other people. Sure, rescheduling meetings with other people is more complicated and it sucks, but why doesn’t it suck equally to reschedule one’s own plans? Or maybe it does and we just don’t see it? I do believe that is the case.

How do you value yourself?

Honouring one’s own decisions is in my opinion a very important personal quality. Because it’s through honouring our decisions that we can drive change, that we build new habits, that we get stuff done, that we work on living the lives we want to live. It’s through honouring my decisions that I’m able to keep exercising regularly. It’s through keeping my word to myself that I am able to avoid extra sugar. Any new habit, anything that we want to start or stop doing in our lives REQUIRES that we honour our own decision.

If you have a long-term problem with getting up, if you have decided to not eat candy but still can’t help it when a friend brings some, if you have decided not to check social media during working hours but then you allow yourself a short peek anyways… You should probably give it more thought and start noticing how you honour your own decisions and how you value yourself. If we all honoured our decisions we would all be healthy and fit, there would be no cheating on our partners and nobody would ever complain about social media.

Back to my snoozing problem, here is my plan:

Prove myself that I value myself. Make decisions (and honour them) about going to bed early enough. Make decisions about getting up that are realistic as I know that I need 8 hours of sleep to feel great during the day. Allow myself to snooze one time as I cannot think of a better start of the day other than some cosy cuddling while giving it a conscious thought of appreciation that there is this wonderful person sleeping next to me every night. The second time the alarm rings – I will just get up immediately. No more thinking, the decision has been made by myself, for myself, the evening before so that I don’t have to make the decision at that moment when my decision-making machinery is weakened. All I have to do is to trust the yesterday’s Veronika and honour her decisions.

What’s your stand on this? Do you have troubles getting up in the morning? Do you also honour decisions that involve other people much more easily that decisions which involve just yourself?

(People with smaller children, hope you had a good laugh on this article, keep on doing the great job you are doing!)