Experts say that it can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks up to months to form a new habit–it really depends on the person. For me, it took about 2-3 weeks to adjust to my new sleep schedule and morning routine. It may seem daunting and unachievable at first, but once your brain catches up on your new rhythm, waking up early will become second nature.
1. Find a Reason to Wake Up Early
The ultimate reason I made the switch was that I started a new job that forced me to be out the door at 8:15 a.m. in order to make my 40-minute commute. But then I got tired of rushing in the morning because it stressed me out.
I also realized that by waking up earlier I could use my time more productively and actually enjoy breakfast, pack a nice lunch, and most importantly clear my mind and think about what I would like to achieve that day.
Now I use my time in the morning to work on my blog and find myself way more creative in the A.M. especially when it comes to writing my blog posts. Plus I love how quiet it is…no one is going to bother me.
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The major point I took away from it is the bit on implementation intentions, which is basically an “if-then plan” that helps habit and behavior modification. Studies show that people are more likely to follow through with an intention to do something (i.e. wake up or exercise) if they form the intention to do it when they encounter a cue (i.e. your alarm).
2. Learn to Go to Bed Early
Waking up earlier probably means that you need to go to bed earlier since most of us prefer to have 7-8 hours of sleep to function. I started to go to sleep around midnight (normally would be up until 1 or 2 am) and increasingly began to go to bed a little earlier each night, until I was able to habitually lie down in my bed around 10:00 p.m. and pass out around 11 p.m. This is definitely a lifestyle change that will take some time to get used to.
*Pro-Tip: Try going to sleep 15 minutes earlier each night
3. Create a Night Routine
Having a routine before bed will trick your body to shift into sleep mode. Once 9:30 rolls around the switch in my brain turns on that it’s time to get ready for bed. My night routine consists of removing my makeup and cleansing my face, brushing my teeth, doing some yoga, lying down, writing in my journal, and planning for the next day. I also try to squeeze some reading in if I’m not too tired.
*Pro-Tip: Set a time when you stop getting on social media which helps fight against distractions and filling your mind with things you don’t need to think about before bed. Mine is after 10 pm.
4. Drink Water When You Wake Up
After a long night’s sleep, your body needs hydration. I always keep a bottle of water on my nightstand so I can grab it after I wake up or if I’m thirsty during the night. When my alarm goes off my brain is triggered to physically sit up and reach for my water. Drinking water is a great natural energy booster and forcing yourself to sit up will help you to feel more awake and avoid the snooze button.
5. Set Intentions For the Day
Create things to look forward to in the morning when your alarm goes off. It can be a new workout, a yoga class, or even a cup of coffee. The night before I like to write my to-do list and goals in my planner, which will help cue your brain to get moving after your alarm goes off. Having something you intend to do when your alarm goes off will make getting out of bed so much easier.
*Pro-Tip: Try adding a mantra to your morning by taking a couple of minutes to quietly repeat a positive phrase to yourself. You’ll be surprised at how effective something so simple as repeating “Today will be a great day” or “I am grateful for _____” can do for the soul.
6. Create a Morning Routine
Having a routine in the morning will help you get in gear and avoid the stress of rushing before you head out the door. After I wake up and brush my teeth and wash my face I’ll practice 15-20 minutes of yoga, get dressed, pack my lunch, and make breakfast. If I end up with the extra time I’ll make myself some tea and read a book, catch up on blogs, or squeeze a quick photo sesh in before work. On my days off I really like to enjoy my mornings before I work out or dive into what needs to be done for the day.
7. Make Your Bed
I never used to make my bed because I “didn’t have time.” Then I realized this was a stupid excuse because it honestly takes a minute to do. It’s such a powerful habit to adopt that will grant you a sense of accomplishment every morning and make you a happier person. Plus I love coming home to a room free of clutter!
It’s All Up To You
The ultimate reason I was able to become a morning person was that I truly wanted to change my lifestyle. If you’re willing to commit, you’ll be able to fight through the first few painful mornings to allow your body to adjust. It’ll get easier I SWEAR.
Instead of telling yourself “I’m just going to lie here 15 more minutes,” remind yourself of the positives that will come out of those extra 15 minutes you waste doing nothing. Remember your purpose. Think about your goals. You’ll get more done and feel 100% more positive about life.
What’s holding you back the most from becoming a morning person?
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