Can you train yourself to be a morning person?
The answer is yes!! Yes, you can!!
No joke, friends. I used to be a serious night owl. I would stay up all hours of the night, fall into bed in the wee hours of the morning, start my workday around mid-day, and work straight up until (and usually way past) The Bachelor.
But, over the course of several months, I was able to quit ALL OF THAT and become a morning person!! (AND LIKE IT!!)
Wanna know more? I bet you do!! 🙃
WHY I BECAME A MORNING PERSON
As I already mentioned, I was a serious night owl for many years. It started back when I worked retail and continued when I started working from home and working for myself. I was stuck in this awful pattern of going-to-bed-late-and-getting-up-late that I couldn’t seem to break.
I tried to quit several times, but it never stuck.
It took me a while, but I eventually figured a few things out:
- I LOVE my sleep 😍 and require at least 7-8 hours of it to be a fully conscious, energetic human (and not a total grouch. #truth)
- The later I went to bed, the later I slept, the less productive I felt.
- The longer it took me to find my productivity sweet spot or productivity zone (aka the time during the day when I feel most productive), the crankier I got because I was working when I really didn’t want to be (like when The Bachelor was on).
Being a night owl was putting a serious crimp in my productivity style.
I knew things had to change.
So I decided to get serious and change them!!
HOW I BECAME A MORNING PERSON (THE 15-MINUTE TIP THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING)
After realizing that quitting cold turkey was just not happening… I made the decision to make the change from night owl to morning person gradually.
I knew the end result was for me to wake up earlier and actually get out of bed, but I knew I needed that goal to be more specific if I wanted to make it happen. So I made the end goal to wake up and actually get out of bed between 6 and 6:30am. (I’ll explain why I have a 30-minute window for that in a minute.)
Next, I set gradual weekly goals. Each week, I vowed to get up 15 minutes earlier than the week before and get up at that same time every. single. day. (Habits don’t become routine if you don’t do them consistently.) So each week, I moved my alarm up by 15 minutes.
It looked a little something like this:
- Week 1—9:00am
- Week 2—8:45am
- Week 3—8:30am
- Week 4—8:15am
- Week 5—8:00am
- Week 6—7:45am
- Week 7—7:30am
- Week 8—7:15am
- Week 9—7:00am
- Week 10—6:45am
- Week 11—6:30am
- Week 12—6:15am
- Week 13—6:00am
This might seem slow and redundant, but I promise you, it worked like a charm!!
And here’s why:
Instead of trying to FORCE myself to get out of bed right off the bat at a MUCH earlier hour, I GRADUALLY got myself used to it. This was a MUCH gentler approach than quitting cold turkey, which honestly was about as pleasant as someone pouring a bucket of ice water over my head. #shudders
I actually used an app called Sleep Cycle, which tracks your sleep patterns, to help me accomplish this goal. The app uses sound analysis to identify your sleep states by tracking your movements in bed. It then uses a “wake up phase” (30 minutes by default) that ends at your desired wake up time.
I set my wake up phase between 6 and 6:30am and almost always found myself waking gently, happily, and energetically at around 6:15am. It literally CHANGED MY LIFE!! These days, I wake up NATURALLY during that timeframe, which still blows my mind.
The next thing I did was change my bedtime.
(I promise this isn’t as childish as it sounds!!) I simply made a hard rule to be in bed between 10 and 11pm every. single. night. Remember, I love my sleep and need at least 7-8 hours to function like a normal person (as do most people).
But, in order to get up earlier, get up happier, and avoid hitting the snooze button every morning, I had to go to bed earlier. So I got serious about both my evening and bedtime routines and started putting myself to bed by 11:00pm every single night.
The best part?
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t miss out on anything by going to bed between 10 and 11:00pm!! I didn’t lose valuable working hours because I gained them back in the morning. In fact, I gained hours that were INFINITELY MORE VALUABLE to my workday because I was alert, productive, and not the least bit cranky.
It was a HUGE win in my book!!
The last thing I did was experiment with various morning routines.
I tried all sorts of things before settling on a routine that has (no lie!!) done WONDERS for my mood, my productivity, and everything in between!!
Honestly, friends. My days start off better, I’m happier, and I’m more productive than EVER!!
And you can be, too!!
Related Post: How to Jumpstart Your Productivity in the Morning
HOW TO BECOME A MORNING PERSON (THE EXACT STEP-BY-STEP I RECOMMEND)
Come up with a meaningful goal for WHY you want to become a morning person. You MUST have a tangible, meaningful reason or you’ll have no incentive to follow through.
For me, it was that I didn’t want to be stuck in that go-to-bed-late-get-up-late pattern anymore. It was bringing me down and making me feel unproductive. For you, it might be fitting in that morning sweat sesh you love so much, or enjoying your coffee and the peace and quiet before your kids get up, or taking the dog for a walk, or meditating, or spending time with a good book.
Whatever your why is, know it, so you can accomplish it!!
Determine what time you want to wake up and actually get out of bed.
For me, it was no later than 6:30am. But it might be earlier or later for you.
Either way, set that end goal before moving on to step three!!
Create gradual weekly goals by moving up your wake up time by 15 minutes. (Refer to my example above if you need inspiration.) Vow to get up at that time every. single. day. for all seven days.
Remember, habits don’t become routine if you don’t do them consistently!!
Find the right alarm for you. While I highly recommend using the Sleep Cycle app and the gradual approach to getting up earlier, I realize some people will prefer a hard and fast approach. Here are a few other highly rated apps you can try:
Alarmy – Wake Up Alarm Clock: In order to dismiss or turn off the alarm, this app requires you to either take a photo of a designated space in your house (like the kitchen or bathroom), shake your phone vigorously, solve a math problem, or play a memory game. The alarm starts off soft and gets louder the longer you wait or take to do the thing.
Alarm Clock for Me – Wake Up!: This app has similar features to Alarmy, plus you can create your own wake-up playlist, fall asleep to your favorite songs or white noise, check live weather conditions, and more.
Loud Alarm Clock – the LOUDEST: This alarm is perfect if you’re a sound or heavy sleeper as it’s the loudest alarm clock in the app store!! It also plays random sounds each morning so you can’t get used to one song or sound in particular. Other features include fun voices like Stewie or Hermione that motivate you to wake up if you keep snoozing.
If you’d rather not use an app, that’s totally fine!! But I do recommend you do the following:
- If you’re a repeat snooze button offender, put your phone on the other side of the room or in another room so you have to physically get up to shut it off.
- Use funny sayings or affirmations as your alarm labels or titles. (“Come on, get up!” you say. “Time to start another day!” #namethatDisneymovie)
- Change the sound of your alarm to HAND CLAPPING so you get all the recognition you deserve when you get up on time!!
Set and keep an earlier bedtime.
Remember, in order to get up earlier, you have to go to bed earlier. I promise you won’t lose out on valuable work (or even life) hours because you’ll be gaining them back in the morning and they’ll be a million times better!!
Experiment with your morning routine.
Figure out what makes you feel happy, healthy, and seriously productive!
WHY YOU SHOULD BECOME A MORNING PERSON
Let’s do a little recap, shall we?
As I see it…
Here are the benefits of becoming a morning person:
- Because mornings are for getting stuff done!!
- There’s no need to rush in the mornings!!
- You get more time for yourself.
- People tend to be more productive as well as creative in the mornings.
- You get more hours of sunlight.
- You’ll feel happier!!
- And you’ll notice a serious boost in your overall productivity!!
I would also like to add that I’ve used this same exact process whenever I fall off the early morning wagon. I’m currently going through it right now because getting up at 6am this past winter was EXCRUCIATING. But with signs of spring all around, I’m dying to get back to it.
I’m telling you: this step-by-step and 15-minute tip WORK!! That’s why I’m sharing them with you!! 🥰
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