11 Ways To Be a Morning Person When You’re Not Naturally
There have been PLENTY of mornings where that alarm has gone off after what feels like minutes after my head has hit the pillow. I shit you not, just last week, my alarm went off and I had to sit up on the side of the bed and give my face a quick slap because I thought I was dreaming.
I currently work in a bakery, which means my alarm is going off by 2:30 in the morning. Can you believe?! I hardly can most days either.
Not everyone is a morning person; I didn't used to be one and throughout my middle and high school years, you wouldn’t catch me awake before 8-9AM unless I HAD to be.
However, I have consistently worked to force myself to be a morning person. Now, you won’t catch me sleeping past 5:30AM, even on a day off.
What’s so great about being a morning person?
Almost everything, I think. You can get shit done around the house, or work or run errands before pretty much everyone else. By noon, you’ll have a full day of work under your belt.
Some people are more productive early in the morning — it’s hard not to be. You have the house or the office to yourself, no distractions, no kids running around, no one to sidetrack you. Just you and the quiet and plenty of time to get all those things you need to do done.
The wee hours of the morning are the times I thrive now.
so, how do you become a morning person?
Over the years I have honed in on this skill and made it as easy and pleasurable as I can. Here are some of my personal faves.
Make your coffee the night before
Even better if you have a coffee pot where you can set a timer to start brewing. I go as far as to set out my cup, spoon and sugar jar on the counter.
Give yourself enough time
I fucking hate being rushed anyway, so I give myself plenty of time to get up and going in the morning — even if it means getting up at 2:20am rather than 2:30am. If you’re trying to train yourself to wake up earlier, at least make it a pleasant experience for yourself. It doesn’t do you any good to hear your alarm go off and immediately feel rushed. If you’re waking up earlier to make it to the gym, for example, give yourself enough time to get dressed, actually wake up and not being completely fresh out of bed.
Set your clothes out the night before
This goes for office clothes, regular work clothes, and workout clothes if you’re trying to squeeze in an early workout. Again, the easier you make it for yourself, the more likely you are to succeed. If you wear professional clothes to work, invest in a hanging rack where you can hang your outfit for the next morning without getting any wrinkles in it.
Write your goals down + put ‘em where you’ll see them
The first place I head in the morning is the bathroom to get ready for the day, so I have a piece of paper on the countertop with my goals for the next 6 months written on it. That way, it’s the first thing I see in the morning and reminds me why I’m up at the ass-crack of dawn. It’s also the last thing I see before bed and I can recap my day while I’m standing there brushing my teeth and thinking about if I did the things I needed to that day to get me one step closer to those goals. Giving yourself that reminder first thing in the morning and last thing before you set your alarm for the next morning can be a great motivator.
Get your lunch + meals ready
I pack what I can the night before and leave the sandwich assembling for the morning (no one likes a soggy sandwich). The less you have to do while you’re half asleep, the more enjoyable the experience will become for you. Everyone knows how shitty it feels to be running out of the door feeling like you forgot something. Set yourself up for success!
Wake up early, even on your days off
Okay, stay with me here. I sure as shit am not getting up at 2:30 on a Saturday morning when I don’t have to be at work. BUT, I will set an alarm for 5:30 or 6, just to make sure I’m keeping myself to some sort of regularity. Obviously, if you’re exhausted and need that extra sleep, by all means let yourself sleep in. I have found I enjoy waking up early on my days off now as well as it lets me get all the things I need to get done by 8-9am and I have the rest of the day to do as I please.
Set more alarms
You can always try harder. If you’re already struggling with waking up earlier, give yourself more opportunities to succeed. I have ten alarms, one that goes off every minute from 2:20-2:30am. I am (now!) up by the first alarm, but it took me awhile to get there. If you have to get through 8 of those alarms, that’s okay — you’ll still have given yourself enough time to not be rushing and stressed out before you have to leave.
Invest in a great mattress, pillow and blanket
I will NEVER understand why people skimp on these things! I have seen people who are way too old, who work too hard that have shitty mattresses and scratchy blankets and 10 year old pillows. For fuck’s sake, spend some money and get yourself stuff that makes you feel good when you lay down and doesn’t leave your back aching in the morning. And, it doesn’t need to be a fortune anymore to get a very nice bed — I got one of those vacuum-sealed beds from Amazon that was shipped to my front door and it is amazing and cost me less that $300 for a King! Sleep, and good sleep at that, is so crucial to how we feel all day, everyday.
Do what you can to improve it.
It’s okay to nap. In fact, naps a great for you! I nap regularly and I don’t know how I would function without them. The trick is to find the balance between napping and feeling well-rested and napping too soon to bed-time and then not being tired enough to get to sleep when it’s time to.
Get up 15 minutes earlier, incrementally
This was HUGE for me as I tried to become a morning person. I am all about doing little improvements incrementally rather than trying to change habits overnight. I spent weeks and months bumping my alarm time back by 10-15 minutes. Spend a few days at that new time until you have adjusted and then bump it back another 15 minutes and repeat until you’re to the early time you’re after.
Make your to-do list the night before
Just like you are preparing for the following morning by making coffee and laying out your clothes, write down your to-do list the night before. I find, I always have some trouble getting to sleep if I have too much on my mind and it helps me immensely to write things down so I don’t worry about forgetting stuff.
This is also great for staying on track with your goals as I find the day gets away from me before I have a chance to reflect on what I want and need to accomplish that day. Make it a routine. Get a journal and quickly (but, thoughtfully) write down a few things which are priorities and you’ll start that early morning with focus.
don’t forget your night-time routine
This is equally as important as what happens when your alarm goes off early. Establishing a regular night-time routine has been key for me. Let me give you my night-time routine (the night before an early alarm) as an example:
7-7:30pm — The TV is off and I am getting all those things I talked about ready for the following morning (coffee, putting my clothes out, getting lunch ready).
By 8PM — Bed-time routine (wash face, brush teeth) and I’ll either read or work on my computer for 20 minutes or so.
8:30PM — Lights out
It’s simple and it gives me enough time to wind down from the day and get everything ready for the following morning. I am still working on getting to bed earlier and would ideally like to be IN bed by 7pm, so I can actually get eight hours of sleep (getting closer every month). I typically don’t get home until about 6:30-7PM, so it’s been an adjustment period to get a night-time routine that works well!
Make going to bed an enjoyable experience
Also, I LOVE going to bed. I like everything about it and I have made getting ready for bed more of a joy as I have made it a priority to have a cozy bed, pillow and comforter. I purchased pajamas which are very comfortable and let me tell ya, when you climb into bed after a long day, with a long day ahead of you the following morning — those things feel a hundred times better.
Do yourself a favor and make going to sleep more enjoyable than just falling into bed out of pure exhaustion to just wake up and do the same thing over again.
And here’s your kick in the ass:
Making excuses will get you nowhere. If you want to workout, but don’t have time after work…if you have aspirations of starting your own online business but don’t have the gumption to set your alarm an hour earlier to work on it before you head to your 9-5…then you don’t want it badly enough.
Set your sights high, set your alarm back and fucking get after those goals, girlfriend.
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