Don’t you love it when you’ve had breakfast, done half your To Do list and realize it’s only 11 am?
It feels amazing to jump start the day early, especially if you’re at a typical 9 to 5 job where productivity in morning hours is crucial. Getting up early can also mean a more focused day of mindful decisions in general. When you’re up early with time to review your day’s schedule and have a sit-down breakfast, you can plan accordingly and avoid unneeded time loss and costs (like rushing through the drive through, starved, for an expensive latte and muffin).
Many of us want to be that early bird that gets the worm, but find forcing oneself out of a warm, cozy bed first thing hard. With the right tips though? Totally doable.
A once self-proclaimed night owl, here’s how I became a morning person.
Make it a Consistent Habit
Scientific studies show it takes about 66 days to form a new habit, so make sure to wake up early consistently. It’s easy to become a morning person when early rising is a habit.
Ease into a New Sleep Cycle
Start by easing into the new wake up time. If you normally get up at 8:30 am and want to be a 6:30 am starter, wake up 15 minutes earlier every two days. In 16 days, just over 2 weeks, you’ll have sneakily started adjusting to rising with the sun.
Turn off Bright Screens 2 Hours Before Bed
I used to binge watch on Netflix until midnight and have difficulty falling asleep. Why? Light from screens sends signals to your brain to stay awake, so power down TVs and laptops 2 – 3 hours before bed for a more rested night; you’ll become a morning person in no time.
Wake up with Daylight
As discussed in the point above, light affects your brain, so utilize it to your advantage. Instead of making your room a dark cave, open the blinds to fill the room with morning light. Your body is biologically programmed to respond to light and will naturally wake with the sunrise.
Hitting the snooze once can lead to snoozing for an hour, and not even a well rested hour at that. I now throw off the covers after the very FIRST alarm. An easy way to ensure this?
Move Your Alarm Clock out of Arm’s Distance
Snoozing in bed isn’t an option when you have to get up and walk several feet away to turn off your alarm. Once out of bed, it’s easy to acknowledge your day has begun and stay on track to becoming a morning person.
Reset Your Alarm’s Sound
I used to wake up to blaring bells that had me jumping and unnerved. Now, I open my eyes to epic Lord of the Rings music, as if I’m getting up to save Middle Earth each day. Find a tune that makes you as happy to wake up.
Craft a Morning Ritual
When you have an enjoyable morning routine, it makes getting out of bed far more pleasant. Instead of hiding my face under the covers like I used to, I now wake up and:
- Drink a large glass of cold water
- Go for a 20 – 40 minute morning jog
- Take a quick, invigorating shower
- Eat a healthy breakfast (like scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast, blueberry wheat pancakes or yogurt with fruit and granola, which are far healthier & cheaper than the fast food breakfast sandwich I used to grab on the go.)
If you’re someone who loves coffee, make it an event. Sip your latte. Read the morning paper. These 10 extra minutes will make the world of difference throughout the day.
Sneak in Morning Exercise
Exercise offers natural energy and other benefits to help make you a morning person, such as:
- Enhancing blood flow that carries oxygen to muscle tissues and improves the efficiency of your cardiovascular system. (When your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, you body has more energy for other things…like checking emails and running errands.)
- Releasing endorphins that stimulate a positive, euphoric feeling.
- Reducing stress & relieving anxiety.
- Increasing the metabolism.
- Promoting a better nightly sleep (to have you more rested and re-energized the next day).
If you don’t have time for the morning jog I do (or simply dislike jogging, no offense taken), try awesome free workout videos on Youtube. My top recommends? This intense 7 minute full-body, fat burning cardio workout and 25 minute Home MMA Workout.
Maximize the Most Important Hours
Behavioral scientist Dan Ariely says our most productive time period are the 2 hours just after we become fully awake. By getting up early and maximizing these two hours, it sets a productive, successful tone for the rest of my day. And who knows, once you’ve adjusted to becoming a morning person, for yours, too.