I have two personalities. My night self and my morning self.
Sometimes we don’t get along.
When my night self decides to stay up a little later, my morning self isn’t too happy.
My night self goes to sleep thinking about all of the great and productive things I’m going to do in the morning.
But sometimes my morning self wakes up thinking my night self is an over-achiever and I should go back to sleep.
Sound familiar? Here is how I am able to combat my morning self and get stuff done…
My Morning Ritual
My day begins at 5am, as I
roll spring out of bed and make my way to the computer.
I write for an hour and then I’m off to the gym.
When I get to the gym, I lift weights for an hour. (while listening to a great audiobook or podcast, of course)
Then I get my daily hour of cardio, either with my squadron or on my own.
After that, I head back home, work on my blog for about half an hour before getting ready and heading off to work.
But it wasn’t always like this…
How I Became a Morning Person
I decided one day that I wanted to be a morning person. I woke up earlier than I ever had before.
I had the most productive morning of my entire life, so then the next day I woke up and did it again, right? Nope.
I let my morning self defeat me the following day. That’s when I realized that I have to learn how to deal with the morning me, by planning ahead the night before.
My night self was all about the things I was going to accomplish in the morning, but my morning self thought my night self was crazy and expected too much. I would wake up thinking about the mountain of tasks I planned to do. It was intimidating.
Eventually, all of that changed and I started waking up consistently and energetically. Every morning.
Here are some things that I started doing:
- Sleeping 7 hours (minimum) each night
- Drinking water as soon as I wake up
- Having a ritual at night to wind down
- Rewarding myself for waking up daily
- Only drinking caffeine before noon
I know this is where most people would say something about the importance of breakfast, but since I subscribe to the intermittent fasting philosophy, I don’t eat breakfast…at least, not until lunchtime.
It’s important to eat high quality, real food. However, many studies are starting to show that when you eat makes very little difference.
How to Perfect Your Mornings
I used to sleep until noon. I wasn’t always a morning person.
It is possible to “become a morning person”. You just have to take it one step at a time.
Here are some ways to deal with the morning you:
- Commit to One Thing: The idea behind this is that you commit to doing just one thing that gets you out of bed, like brushing your teeth or drinking a glass of water. After that, you can go right back to bed. However, once you are up and thinking clearly, you will usually stay up.
- Think About One Thing: Stay in the “one-thing” mindset. As soon as you wake up, you’re mind is flooded with everything you have to do all day. That’s not very motivating for the morning you. Take it one step at a time. By the time you get to the other things, you’ll be wide awake.
- Schedule a Nap Later: It’s much easier to get out of bed when you know you can take a nap later on. Naps are actually used by some of the most productive people in history, including Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison and John F. Kennedy. So don’t feel lazy, it’s productive!
- Plan Your Mornings: You’re more likely to wake up if you prepare the night before. Set out your clothes, setup your coffee for easy preparation, write a to-do list…these are just a few of the ways you can plan your morning. Remember, a productive morning starts the night before.
- Drink Some Water: The morning is the most important time to hydrate your body, because you just went 7 or 8 hours with no water! And water is the most important thing we put into our body, which makes it a great start to the day. After drinking a large glass, you may not even need coffee.
- Stop Hitting Snooze: The snooze button is our first opportunity to practice discipline or procrastination. Don’t start your day with procrastination. Once your morning self gets out of bed, you’ll realize those 9 minutes weren’t worth it. Why not, just buy an alarm clock without a snooze?
While we’re talking about alarm clocks, you could always try this:
The Key to Habit Building
If you’re used to waking up at noon and you decide to start getting up at 5am, that shouldn’t happen in one day.
That’s a 7 hour difference! And making that change instantly can guarantee failure.
The key positive habit building is starting small and increasing gradually.
Try waking up 30 minutes earlier, each day, for a few days. If you find that you’re very tired that way, just start cutting back by 5 minute increments.
Make small changes. Build habits gradually and you will stick with them.
It’s also much easier to get up when you have a blueprint for your life, like this one.