I’ll be the first to admit, I have never been a morning person. I’ve always worked really well late at night and it usually takes me a good half hour to come close to resembling a human being in the morning. Until recently.
Maybe because it’s winter, maybe because I’m getting older, but I’ve been much more tired after 5 p.m., even if I got a full eight hours the night before. I’ve tried everything I can think of – changing my diet, being more organized, exercising, going to bed earlier- and I’ve only found one thing that seems to work for me – trying to convince myself I’m a morning person.
Seems counterintuitive, right? I’m more tired in the evening, so waking up earlier is the answer? For me, it is. (Note: not everyone works the same.) When I wake up early, my day usually goes one of two ways:
- Wake up, go to the gym, shower, eat breakfast, head in to work, head home, make dinner, do some other work, relax and go to bed, or
- Wake up, shower, do some work, eat breakfast, go to work, go to the gym, go home, make dinner, relax and go to bed.
On those days I just can’t drag myself out of bed, my day goes one way: hit snooze until the absolute last possible minute, rush to get ready, go to work, dread everything, go to bed, repeat tomorrow.
Who wants to be caught in this vicious circle of doom and dread day after day? I certainly didn’t want to anymore!
At first, it was difficult. I couldn’t get to bed early enough, I couldn’t force myself out of bed, I couldn’t get motivated. But once I got up and going a couple days in a row, I started feeling better all day long and settled into a really good rhythm for me. Not only do I feel more productive and less distracted, I’m actually getting more done each day and feeling happier.
If you’re looking to try to train yourself to be a morning person, there are a few important things to keep in mind.
It’s a process.
Don’t expect a change literally overnight. It’s going to take a little getting used to to train your body to alter its sleep schedule.
Set a schedule or plan.
Making a plan for the next day will give you a reason to get up and get moving. I take a few minutes and jot down goals for the next day before bed and share some of them with someone else.
Get up and moving.
The best way I’ve found to get going in the morning is to plan to go to the gym. I go at least a couple mornings a week and working up a sweat first thing in the morning keeps me motivated all day long. Other days, I get up, stretch and shower before getting down to work.
How do you work best?