Gökotta.

Gokotta (noun): The Swedish word for rising early in the morning to hear the birds sing or to appreciate nature.


Mornings are the most beautiful part of my day. They are always peaceful, silent, and calm. This morning I woke up before dawn to watch a gorgeous Lake Superior sunrise. It was only 17 degrees at 7:16am by the lake, but I was able to embrace the cold as a reminder that I am alive, happy, and healthy.
I very much used to be a night owl -- staying awake until 2am and waking up the next day at 11am or noon. I feel like this was an unhealthy habit for my body for several reasons: I wasn't able to make the most out of my day, I was usually more tired throughout the afternoon, I would put off side projects or was never able to get things done, and I always felt as if I was in a rush.
I've found that waking up early has its benefits. Here are just a few:
1. Greet the day.
Once I'm up, I am able to recite my intentions for that day. Intentions are small promises that you make to yourself -- like small goals. My intentions are inspired by the Dalai Lama: ”Every day, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.'"

2. Amazing start.
I used to have the terrible habit of hitting my snooze button several times before rolling out of bed. I'd be running late, be frustrated that I was running so behind schedule, and come into work barely awake and cranky. 
Now that I wake up a little extra early, I am able to get so much more done before I head to work. I come in on time fully awake and in a happy mood that lasts the entire day.

3. Quiet. 
Self explanatory. Mornings are the calm before the storm (i.e., my usually very hectic workdays.) 

4. Breakfast.
The most important meal of the day. If you take the time to prepare something that is filling, your body feels sated until lunchtime and you are less likely to reach for foods that are unhealthy.

6. Exercise. 
When I wake up, I feel a burst on energy that lasts for 2 or 3 hours, which I try to utilize. I find that this is the best time for me to exercise. I usually like doing yoga, or when it's warmer outside I prefer running. 

48 comments

  1. Waking up early definitely has its pros. I like to watch sunrise and enjoy the quietness of the day also I seem to do a lot when I have an early start :)

    www.elabellaworld.com

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  2. I am such a horrible morning person! However, once I get out of bed I definitely don't regret it!
    I found that a major reason I couldn't bear to get up in the morning was a lack of B12- and since I've been taking that I feel much more energetic and ready.

    Thank you for sharing these pros, I think it's important to 'greet the day' in order to make the most of it :)

    www.lindseyginge.com

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    1. Ahhh vitamin B12 is an excellent suggestion! I used to take B vitamins in the past -- apparently they have a crazy amount of benefits.

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  3. 'Gokotta' is a new word introduction for me, what a lovely translation! I love your suggestion of getting up a little earlier than usual so best to prepare for the day - wise words! :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice
    x

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  4. I'm definitely a morning person, though it's by choice haha. I find that I get a lot more done if I wake up early, so yeah. I like going to the gym in the mornings too! But it's only because my gym is full of meathead guys that can squat like, 300 pounds and I'm a scrawny girl that can only do 100. So I don't like to work out with a bunch of people around me, hahaha!

    becky ♡ star violet

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    1. I know what you mean green bean -- I hate going to the gym with a ton of dudes trying to get "swole." I've been trying to incorporate more at-home workouts because I hate being around other people when I'm tryna get my fitness on

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  5. You have such a great morning routine. I like the idea of waking earlier as it allows for preparation for a more organized day.

    Keisha xo
    The Chrysalis Gal

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    1. It has helped in just about every other facet of my life as well!

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  6. I don't often wake up and have early mornings- I'm a night person and I hate it. However I really want to try and wake up as early as you did- there is so much beauty to the morning!


    Georgia Jade | The Weekend Attic

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  7. I really enjoyed this post, it made me feel calm just reading it! I used to be more of a night person as well, but then this year, I opted to take an earlier class at school, so I've adjusted to getting up at 6am regularly. It definitely makes you feel very productive and happier!

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

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    1. Doesn't it though? And waking up earlier helps me go to bed at a decent time as well. I just end up with all around more energy!

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  8. You've described the perfect morning! I would love to be able to do these things, I just really love sleeping in and than I find myself without time! I've been planning to start exercising and eating healthier in the morning for a long time and you've really inspired me to try harder! Also, the fact that you set your daily goals every morning is so useful! Thanks for sharing! x

    clumsyagenda.blogspot.com

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  9. I wish I could do this on my mornings as most of the time my morning is just one big rush. I will however endeavor to do this on my weekend mornings.Xx


    eLLa
    every LiTTLE thing07

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  10. I love waking up to exercise, too!

    Kisses from the Philippines!
    - Seyra
    www.pavementsarerunways.com

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  11. Thanks for sharing, it was a delight to read, I'm definitely a night owl but I'm going to try wake earlier because of these tips
    Arya
    http://anythingandeverything.weebly.com/

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  12. I would love to be one of those people which exercising and being active, comes naturally to them! Unfortunately I am super super lazy, and would happily spend most of my days lying in my couch with a cuppa.

    Check out my blog <3 | ANASOFIACHIC
    @anasofiachic

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  13. I love mornings too♥♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  14. Hi Alex! Thanks for dropping by my blog The Scream of SILENCE blog. I am a fan of your Instagram feed. I also love your tips in this article. You're so cool. I hope I could read more of your posts. I'm ~dying~ to see some more of your creativity.


    I love exercising too.

    XX Michelle

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    1. Hey Michelle! Thanks for your really thoughtful comment -- I'm following you as well now, so I cant wait to see more of your posts as well!
      Hope you have a wonderful start to your week :)

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  15. I used to not appreciate mornings and sleep in whenever I could (ex-night owl here), but now I wouldn't even dream missing the mornings! There's just something so special and peaceful about the first few hours of your day <3
    xxx
    She Will Be

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    1. Mornings have come to be my favorite part of my day :)
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

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  16. I have become such a morning person, you have a great routine. I definitely want to take more advantage of my time during the morning.

    Zeynab
    The Beauty Load

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    1. I would have to say that becoming more of an early riser has transcended into every other facet of my life as well :)

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  17. This is really stunning dear! Hope you have an awesome new week.

    xoxo;
    STYLEFORMANKIND.COM
    Facebook
    Bloglovin

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    1. Thanks! You as well :)
      Hope you're staying warm in your corner of the world!

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  18. Such a beautiful image! I love getting up early for the quiet - I can get so much done before anyone else is out of bed, a bit like a head start on the day I guess :) x

    Viva Epernay | Penhaligon's Giveaway

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I definitely agree with you -- I always feel 10x more productive first thing in the morning!

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  19. beautiful pictures ! I love this type of post also because I love photography .I am such a morning person regardless if in the week or weekends.
    I am following you now (No7) please follow back.


    http://allornothing-blog.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Yay thanks, Marie! Photography is something that I've very recently picked up as a hobby but I've really come to enjoy it.
      Following you now as well :)

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  20. I used to be like you, always running late because I would stay in bed long after the alarm clock rang, and I have been waking up earlier, such a great decision because it's true your mood is affected and the entire day benefits from that !

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion blog

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    1. Agreed!
      And if you start off every day on the right foot, this sets the tone for your entire life :)
      I honestly think I've benefited all-around from waking up extra early.

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  21. Alexandra, I love your posts so much. Everything you write is so relevant to me:) I usually wake up about 7:45 - 8 AM, which is quite late, because I start working at 9 AM. So I don't have much time to do something other than have a breakfast:) I totally agree about the benefits you listed. I should try waking up earlier again:) Have an amazing week ahead!

    Yuliannova

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    1. Thanks Yulia! You always have the nicest, most thoughtful comments in the world :)
      Ahh you're totally right -- 7:45-8 seems so late for me! I don't know how you do it, I'm always so pokey in the morning!

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  22. Beautiful post and photos!
    leavingericafootprints.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks! It was a gorgeous sunrise in person :)

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  23. I think it's nice to get up a little earlier in the morning as I like to relax before I start the day properly :)

    Rebecca Coco

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    1. Agreed! It makes my day go by so much more smoothly.

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  24. great routine!! :D love these images!

    Have a great week!
    Animated Confessions

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    1. Thanks! It's easy to take pictures of a Lake Superior sunrise... the lake itself is so beautiful!

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  25. These sounds very helpful for mornings. I need to try and get in some prayer and goals for myself each morning to make my day go smoother.
    Rachel xo
    Garay Treasures

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    1. It was honestly really difficult to start a routine, but I'm glad that I started. Mornings are now my favorite part of my day.

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  26. The way we start our mornings can often have a bearing on how the rest of the day will go. You've really cultivated an incredible routine for yourself and it must give you so much peace and energy. And gosh is that sunrise over Lake Superior stunning! I exercise in the morning but you're definitely inspiring me to do even more now. Hope you had a lovely weekend Alexandra. Thanks for your lovely comments!

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