Mornings. Most people dread waking up. It's hard. It's painful even. But studies have shown again and again that "Morning people" tend to have more productive days. I have found when waking up early that my entire day is different than if I crawl out of bed ten minutes before I need to leave for work. I sluggishly move throughout my day in hopes of it going fast enough for me to get back to my bed.
But when I finally taught myself to be a morning person, I learned that I enjoyed my days more. I felt that my days were more fulfilling and productive. Below are 9 steps to become a morning person.
1. Start the night before.
It has been proven that if you can get a small jump-start to your morning the evening before the easier it will be to get up. Every night I brew my morning tea and put it in my water bottle in the fridge (I drink a blueberry green tea that helps jump start my metabolism with giving the energy boost of the green tea). I pack my lunch for work, pack my husband's lunch, and clean up what I can. When you go to bed knowing that these things are already completed, you tend to sleep better. Fifteen minutes the night before can immensely improve your morning routine.
2. Set your alarm. Use incremental training to reset your body clock.
This was huge for me. I wanted to be up one hour earlier than normal. But setting that alarm just seemed depressing. So instead, I used four weeks to incrementally change my bodies internal clock. The first day was the hardest, but I set my alarm for 7:25 instead of 7:30. The way your mind sees it, you are only missing out on those five minutes. At first I did this for three days, not wanting to rush something I wanted to stick. Throughout the rest of the month every two or three days I set the alarm for five minutes sooner. When I finally hit the 6:30 mark, I was able to get out of bed easier than if I had immediately dropped that hour.
3. Go to sleep.
I know. This one is hard. There are nights when I lay awake willing myself to go to sleep. Some struggle from insomnia, some just don't want to miss their favorite shows. As someone who lives in the Eastern time zone, I understand the struggle of The Walking Dead coming on at 9 pm. But this is all proven. Getting a good nights rest impacts your body tremendously. Not only are you more alert the next day, it also can positively affect your health. Your skin looks better, your digestive system is on a better schedule, your body has a chance to heal from the previous day's events. Even stress is reduced. If you plan on waking up an hour earlier, make sure to compensate with at least a bedtime set for a half hour earlier. If you struggle to fall asleep there are a ton of natural remedies. I like to use lavender essential oil, melatonin, or sleepy time tea. I have also found that a five minute yoga session (involving mostly child's pose) puts me into a relaxed state.
4. Have a morning routine.
Having a morning routine is essential in being a productive morning person. This will be unique to you. My morning routine involves brushing my teeth the second I wake up. This helps me feel more prepared to start the rest of my day. I then grab my water bottle with my morning tea (that I prepared the night before). I like to also do a quick 15 minute workout. There is this fantastic app called 8Fit. It contains a ton of plans for a quick, effective workout. Within ten minutes I've done a nice workout and if I have time will do one of the yoga sessions. I then shower and get dressed. If you shower at nighttime, that is totally fine too. I just find it helps jolt me awake and wash off any sweat from my workout. After getting dressed and fixing my hair, I find I still have about 30 minutes left before I need to even start thinking about work.
5. Eat breakfast.
There is a reason your mom always said it was the most important meal of the day. As someone with a genetically slow metabolism, it is important for me to take extra steps to counteract the effects of it. Breakfast is somewhat of a ritual to every person. Some like sweet, some need something salty. I'm pretty plain. Two eggs, a slice of toast, and either a banana or yogurt. But really any breakfast is better than no breakfast.
6. Do a small devotional.
This one is another more personal step that I put into my routine. This could be absolutely anything whether you practice religion or not. It is my five minutes in the morning where I work on myself. Usually I like to do this while eating breakfast so I can tackle two birds with one stone. I know of people who take two minutes just to look in the mirror and say something positive. Maybe it's reading one scripture, or a chapter in a book. This time if for you to feel centered and calm before your hectic day begins.
7. Make a list for your day.
This has been huge for me. One thing I always remember that this list is things I would LIKE to get accomplished in my day. If I don't accomplish everything I don't beat myself up, I just add it to the next day. This could include little things like "set the garbage out" or "clean the toilet". Big things are allowed on the list too. This is your list. Something you can look to as a plan for your day. When I first started I barely finished anything on my daily list at all. But my small victories helped me later on to have the bigger victories.
8. Begin the rest of your day.
At this point you are ready to tackle everything on your list. Don't give up on your new routine. Being a morning person is rewarding. My days have never been more productive.