I used to be a snoozer – you know, someone who presses the snooze button on the alarm clock when it’s time to wake up?

Each day that I did that (it used to be everyday!), I would wake up feeling less than happy with myself. The mornings would feel rushed, and the day would feel the same way. Even though I knew that I operated best in the morning, I did not give myself permission to optimize that gift.

That all changed one day, overnight, a couple of years ago.

I was chatting with a patient, a fellow morning-person, a fellow morning-walker. I was lamenting how I wished I could wake up earlier so that I could get more things done: walk longer, and feel more prepared for the day.

She asked why I was not already doing it.

I told her about my snoozing-habit.

She didn’t have empathy for me, at all, actually. Instead she said:

“Kit, it’s really easy!”

“Really? How?” I inquired.

“You just move your alarm clock far away, so that you have to get out of bed. If you do that, you probably won’t snooze it!”

My mind was blown. How did I not think to do this before?

As they say, the rest is history.

Literally, that ONE advice changed my life. I started my new habit that very evening by putting my alarm on my dresser – a few steps away from my bed. I set it for 5am, and boom, at 5am the next day, it rang and I got out of bed to turn it off.

I did not snooze it.

I did not go back to bed.

It made me feel so empowered, this little change that I did! I had an extra hour or so that morning, and I felt like I conquered the world.

Since then I have added to this morning routine, and I have to say that my life is so much better for it. I wake up even earlier now, and I get even more productive, and focused. I start each day feeling already accomplished, and well-planned. Here’s a sample of my morning routine:

  1. Wake up early without snoozing.
  2. Drink a glass of room temperature water with lemon juice.
  3. Write in my journal (a list of 5 things I am grateful for, I call it my ‘Gratitude Five’).
  4. Create my Task list for the morning, prioritizing what needs to get done first (lunches, laundry, dishes, sometimes if I have time, I make dinners, too).
  5. Exercise
  6. Walk the dog for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Come home to an awake house (kids and husband), greet them and ready to “start” my productive day, no matter how busy it is promising to be.


Without realizing it, what I end up accomplishing each day with my morning routine can be thought of as:

Gratitude (the journal), Clarity (the Task List), Self-care (lemon water and exercise), and Family (all those chores!). And it all happens before 7am!

I am convinced that because of my morning routine, I am able to focus on both my personal and professional life with as little sense of overwhelm and stress as possible. Some days are harder than others, of course, but I make sure to show up daily. Each day that I don’t snooze the alarm, I am a happier, more productive person. And that is a wonderful pay-off.

What is the ONE thing that can help you feel less overwhelmed? It does not have to happen in the morning. And it does not have to look anything like mine. I would love to hear it!

In good health,

Kit Yoon