Few things have had more impact on my writing than becoming a morning person. In my last post, I shared how I used to think I was a born night owl and would never change. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong. I love mornings now! It wasn’t easy, but if I can do it, I know anyone can. (Ask my poor mother who had to resort to waking me up in stages for school… Sorry, Mom.) Here’s what made it stick for me:
1. Start the day with things you really love.
Give yourself something to look forward to, first thing. I make a really delicious cup of coffee. (I splurge on the good beans now, because they’re still way cheaper than hitting the drive-thru every morning. And I have time to enjoy it!) I feed the pets, step out with them to feel the morning air, then come back in and settle down to do some writing. It’s luxurious to ease into the day, rather than hitting the ground running because I’ve punched the snooze button multiple times. How many people can say they begin the day having a coffee with their imaginary friends?
2. Set a time schedule and follow it faithfully — even on the weekends.
I know, you’ve earned a lie-in after waking up early during the week. But I found I felt more lethargic when I slept later. It was harder to get back on board Monday morning, too. On weekends I woke at my usual time, I had more energy and felt better overall. So I kept my alarm set at five-thirty every day. Eventually, though, I found myself waking up naturally about five minutes before the alarm sounded. This was a miracle! Me!? Waking up without an alarm? I still can’t believe it.
3. Eat breakfast within 30 min of waking up.
I have a light breakfast of kefir or a smoothie, then pack a midmorning snack to take with me. (Which I have plenty of time to do instead of hitting the drive-thru again!) I’ve also read good things about making breakfast the biggest meal of the day. I may try to start that, but for now, my easy, delicious breakfast drinks work really well for me. I know it’s helped me watch my weight, too.
4. Exercise a little within 10 min of waking up.
This could be stretching or yoga, or walking the dog around the neighborhood. You don’t have to knock yourself out with heavy cardio or a complicated, hour-long choreography. The point is to get moving a bit so you don’t sink back into snooze-mode. Don’t go from bed to sofa. A true morning person gets moving.
5. Set up your morning the night before.
I’m a big believer in setting up a launch pad for the next day. Basically, I look at the forecast and lay out the clothes I want to wear. Then I put anything I want to take with me in a designated tote bag by the door. That’s it. But the tote bag has to be in its place! Otherwise, I’ll forget everything. When I get an idea for the next day, I’ll just drop whatever supplies I’ll need into the tote bag. Easy. Plus, by laying out my entire outfit, I’ll know ahead of time if a piece I’d like to wear is in the dirty clothes or needs ironed, etc. No last-minute surprises; no trying to remember everything I need to leave the house.
Trust me, I know how difficult it is to change a habit. But if I can evolve into a morning person, I sincerely believe that anyone can. Try these steps and let me know how it goes! If you’ve already made the switch, what did you discover worked for you?