If you’re looking for some practical, easy to follow, steps to becoming a “morning person”, you’ve come to the right place. I have never enjoyed waking up early. Well, I take that back. I like BEING up early. I don’t like the process of getting out of my warm cozy bed in order to actually be up. I’m a night owl and I enjoy those late night hours when I can spend time with my husband and the kids are (finally!) in bed asleep. But here’s what happened: nap-time ceased to exist in our home. That magical, golden, 2 hour block of time that I was guaranteed every afternoon for the last 5 years, has officially come to a close. *pause for a moment of silence in honor of the beloved nap time*
You will never feel more like an introvert than when you have tiny people in your business ALL. DAY. LONG. I need some ME time in the worst possible way. So to the early mornings I go! My kids wake up any where between 6:30 am and 7:30. So for me to get a decent chunk of time in the morning, I need to get up at 5 am. It’s been 5:40 for this past week, but I’ve realized I’m not getting enough time. It’s totally worth it to me to lose a little sleep and I’ll tell you why down below.
Why Become a Morning Person?
Why become a morning person? Great question. I would have asked the same thing just a few short months ago. Sleeping in is great! Except that it takes a while to wake up in the morning. You can feel sluggish and rushed and irritable if you have to start your day as soon as your eyes open. My kids hit the ground running every single day. So ready or not, here they come! Wouldn’t you rather not be rushing around getting ready in the few moments you have before rushing out the door every morning? Maybe you’re skipping breakfast or grabbing it on the way. It’s probably not the most nutritious then and those few dollars on the daily add up quickly! Maybe waking up earlier could work for you. Here’s a quick list of some benefits to getting up a little earlier each day:
Benefits of Being A Morning Person
- Add time to your day! Who doesn’t feel like they need more hours in a day? What if you just added one more hour to each day by getting up an hour earlier? That’s 7 extra hours a week, 365 hours a year, 3,650 hours in 10 years. Think of what you could accomplish in that amount of time!
- Start your day slowly and quietly. This is a major motivator for me. I wake up slow. I need a moment to acclimate myself to the world before I have to start functioning in it. “Coffee before talkie” is definitely my morning slogan.
- Become healthier! When you put your daily workout first in your day, you’re much more likely to get it done. You feel better due to endorphins and you can feel proud of yourself for getting it out of the way. Plus it kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day – even while sitting at your desk!
- Control your calendar. When you get small tasks out of the way first thing in the morning, you free up the later part of your day to do other things! Now instead of hitting the gym after work, you can spend time with friends or family, pursue another hobby, or just relax! It’s so easy to want to push the hard things to end of the day. But when we do that, we lessen the likelihood of them getting done at all. We are at our brightest and best first thing in the morning.
- Better quality of sleep. Having a regular sleep routine is so good for your body. It regulates your sleep and helps you feel more rested.
- Better mental health. Studies show that people who wake up earlier are more positive and energetic. The first hour of your day can set the tone for the whole rest of your day. When you don’t have to start your day stressed and rushed, you’ll find yourself more peaceful and ready to tackle whatever the day may bring in stride.
- You get to see the sun rise. There’s something so hopeful and refreshing about a sunrise each morning. It never fails to happen. There’s something very reassuring about that.
Now How Do We Do It?
Ok, we get that waking up early is a really good thing. But the real question is how do we do it? If you’re anything like me, you’ve made these resolutions before. You resolve to wake up earlier and then just keep hitting that snooze button. Maybe you’re such a deep sleeper, you don’t hear the alarm at all! My excuse used to be, “well, my kids already wake up so early. If I want any time to myself, I’m gonna have to wake up at like…5 am!!” So that’s what I do.
What are your excuses and reasons why it hasn’t worked in the past? Think about what those things are and address them one by one. Find ways to overcome them. Here are some practical steps that may address some of the issues you find in trying to develop this new habit.
1. Make a Decision
The first thing you have to do is just decide to do it. That may seem like an obvious “duh”, but it’s true. You can’t just think, “oh that would be nice.” or “maybe I’ll do that sometime.” It has to be an “I’m doing this!” kind of decision. Don’t wait for Monday morning or after this event or that season of time. Just start. You’ll always find some kind of reason why some other time would be better. But the best thing to do is to start now – while your resolve is fresh!
Decide how much time you need and what you’ll do with that time. For me, I’ve chosen three things:
- Devotions & coffee
- Shower & get ready for the day
Just getting those few things out of the way first thing in the morning is a total game changer. I’m in a much better mood when my kids wake up and I’m ready to face whatever the day might bring. Plus, when these things become a lifestyle and habit for you, you’ll start reaping the benefits without ever counting the cost. Instead of working out just to “get fit”, I do it because it’s part of my morning routine. In the process of making it a daily habit, I’ll reap the benefit of being more fit!
Maybe you’ll choose to read or plan your day or get some small household tasks done. Whatever it is you choose to do with your time, decide it ahead of time and make a plan to accomplish it.
2. Decide Why It’s Worth it To You
I’ve watched other people on social media, getting up early and working out or having that first cup of coffee with the sunrise. Although I wished that could be me, I didn’t desire to make it my reality. I hadn’t figured out why it would be worth it to me to sacrifice my perceived comfort of sleeping longer.
So why would it be worth it to you to get up early? Choose something from the list of benefits up above. For me, my biggest motivation is just to have some uninterrupted time to myself. I value that so much! It’s essential to my survival and my mental health. Bonuses to that are my health and fitness level. It’s been a goal for the last 5 years to get back in “pre-baby” shape. It’s going to happen! I’m making sure of that. Also, having time to really focus in and hear from God. Thinking takes quiet time for reflection. It’s difficult to get that with preschoolers needing you every 5 seconds. My mornings are becoming so sacred to me.
3. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To
This is another one that has helped me immensely. I look forward to my cup of coffee every morning. It’s even better when I can sit in silence and drink it all in one sitting! It has such a calming effect even as the caffeine perks me up and helps get me going. I also look forward to the satisfaction I get from a completed workout. Plus the adrenaline rush of getting that heart rate up is such a great way to start the day!
Maybe for you it could be a special breakfast you have every morning or a podcast to listen to. Maybe you just want to take a relaxing bubble bath at the start of your day instead of at the end or on the weekend. Whatever it may be for you, find something that you can look forward to each morning that will help get you up and out of the bed.
When I was in college, my friend Lisa got me up every weekday morning at 6 am to go to the gym. I would NOT have done it without her. There were days I didn’t even want to do it with her waking me up, but knowing someone else was involved forced me out of bed. Most of those mornings are a blur now, (haha!) but I’m sure I wasn’t always the nicest person to be around at that hour of the morning. In spite of my resistance, the accountability she provided for me helped keep me consistent for a good 6 weeks or more. Maybe there’s a friend or spouse you can wake up with or meet at the gym. Especially if you’re a more extroverted person, this can be a great way to make sure you get up early.
Use social media for accountability! Be that annoying person that posts a workout selfie every day if that helps you. It will make you feel good and it will inspire others to do the same. Haters gonna hate, so don’t worry about the people who do find that annoying. They can stay cranky while you get fit and healthy and accomplish all your dreams and goals.
This is maybe an obvious step, but still very important and essential for your success. Whatever you can do to prepare for your morning the night before, do that. Prepare the coffee so all you have to is press a button to start it brewing. Lay out your clothes or pack your gym bag. I make sure to choose my workout for the next day and go ahead and load it into my DVD player, or have it ready to play in my YouTube viewing history. Set your books, pens, notebooks, Bible, and any other materials you’ll need on the table or next to the couch. Having everything ready to go makes it easy to get started when you’re groggy in the morning.
In addition to preparing everything you’ll need, prepare yourself mentally. It’s a mind battle in the morning when that alarm goes off. You’ll think of all sorts of reasons not to get out of bed. You’ve done that before, haven’t you? Make a decision and stick to it. Prove it to yourself and to others around you that you can and will do what you say you will.
It takes 21 days to create a habit. So why don’t we start there. Commit to doing it for 21 days, no questions asked, no inner negotiations. Be disciplined in developing this habit and it will serve you in such incredible ways. One of my favorite teachers of success, John C. Maxwell says it best when he says, “If you want to change your life, change something you do daily.” So make this simple change and watch your life change for the better.