Waking up is one of the hardest things to do no matter what time of the year it is. However, in the longer, darker, winter months, waking up can literally seem like an impossible task.
Winter morning are always dark, and when your alarm jolts you awake and you attempt to open your eyes enough in order to hit snooze, it can be easy to think about calling into work sick and staying in bed all day. Most mornings you'll end up doing this four or five times - and then suddenly you're late for work.
Not only do we have to contend with darkness, but another obstacle we have to battle with when waking up is the fact that our phones are usually in, or next to, our beds. This means we are given the opportunity to stay in our warm duvets and peruse the internet, rather than face the cold light of day. If you're anything like me, you will have checked Twitter, Facebook and Instagram before you have even uttered a word to anyone.
But it doesn't have to be like this. With a little bit of determination, your mornings could be a lot more proactive and less miserable. According to ex-Navy Seal, Jock Willink, the more time you spend faffing around before rising, the worse it's going to be.
Willink was the former commander of US Navy SEAL Team 3 Task Unit Bruiser - the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War - and during an interview with Business Insider to promote his new book, Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual, he explained that a slow start in the morning will sabotage the rest of your day.
"Don't think in the morning," Willink said. "That's a big mistake that people make. They wake up in the morning, and they start thinking."
Willink wakes up at 04:30 am every day, but rather than moping around in his bed and wallowing in self-pity, the former commander gets up and puts on the clothes he prepared the night before.
Further to his clothing preparation, Willink also makes a to-do list, meaning that he doesn't spend time worrying about what he will and won't do that day.
Once awake, he heads straight down to his gym in the garage and works out. According to Willink, this allows him to wake up his mind and body in an intense fashion and he claims that by the time that people are waking up and starting to think, he is already done with his morning routine.
"Don't think," Willink reiterated. "Just execute the plan. The plan is the alarm clock goes off, you get up, you go work out. Get some."
No doubt Willink is more than likely on to something, as there is plenty of research to suggest that snoozing your alarm does more damage than good in the morning. However, telling people not to think is a bit ridiculous. We all think, Willick, you can't just shut off your brain I'm afraid.