I haven’t always been a morning person, but when I had to become one in college, it changed everything for me- in the best way possible! When I was in college I had a scholarship for dance, and with that scholarship came early call times for training and workouts. We had to be at the gym by 5:30am to start, and I have to admit, I hated waking up at 5am at first. It took everything in me to pull myself out of bed, especially since I was staying up so late doing homework or hanging out with people. I was used to dance practice being after school in the afternoon growing up, but now there was training in the morning and dance practice at night. It took me a few weeks to get into the routine, but after I found the system that worked for me, it was the best I had ever felt in my life. It was like I found a new me! After a few weeks of this routine, I couldn’t imagine my days being any other way. I felt like the best version of myself and had so much energy. By the time 8-8:30am rolled around, I had already had an amazing workout, showered, got ready for the day, had breakfast, did my morning reading, and was ready for class. I felt so productive already, that it poured into every other part of my day. I somehow had all the time in the world to get everything done that I needed to, fit in the “fun” things as well, and felt so fit and healthy. I’ve stuck to waking up early since then, and haven’t looked back!
If you’re looking to make some changes in your routine to fit everything in that you’re wanting to accomplish, or maybe just try something new, I’m going to share my top 5 tips that have worked for me! I know not everyone is a morning person, that’s not when they function best (Dylan says he’s his most creative and productive late at night) but if you think being a morning person would help you, you’ll find that if you can stick to getting to bed and waking up around the same time everyday, your body clock will get in sync and you won’t have to pull yourself out of bed anymore. It just naturally happens over time and you’ll start to feel amazing!
1. Use an alarm that makes you physically get out of bed and switch on your body + brain
My favorite alarm app is called “Kiwake”. Within the app, you choose which days you want to wake up early, what time, what alarm sound you want, and your “cooldown time” which is the time you have from when the alarm goes off until you need to start doing the “wake-up process”. The wake-up process involves body, brain and motivation steps. When you first setup the alarm, you take a picture of an object in a room far away from your bedroom. When the alarm goes off, the first step with the “body” process is getting out of bed and taking a photo of the object you used to setup the alarm (and it uses GPS to tell if you actually got out of bed). This helps wake your body up and start moving. The next step is the “brain” process. They have mini game segments within the app that you choose, and you have to play the game until you get all the answers right (typically 30 seconds). This helps wake up your brain. The next and final step is the “Motivation” process. When setting up the alarm initially, you write down all the reasons why you’re doing this. Whether it’s to start working out, create some “me” time before your kids get up, start a side business you want to make time for before your other job, whatever it may be, you write down these motivators. When you reach this step you have to check them off in the app. It’s a great way to start the day reminding yourself of your goals. By the time you get through these steps, usually 1-2 minutes, you’ll definitely be awake and ready for the day.
2. Layout your workout clothes and outfit for the next day the night before
If you’ve read any self-help type of book, you’ve heard that “decision fatigue” is a real thing. This is why Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every single day, so he didn’t have to think about what to wear every morning. I don’t wear the same thing every day like he did, but what helps me not have to “decide” on this every morning, saving my decisions for more important things, is setting out my clothes the night before. I set out my workout clothes, shoes and any tech that I use (airpods, apple watch etc) in the bathroom so that once I’m done with my alarm work, I can go straight there and change, which is one step closer to working out. I also lay out my outfit, shoes and jewelry so that after my workout and shower, I simply get dressed. No standing at my closet deciding what I’ll wear for 30 minutes. Even though I work from home, I’ve found that I’m so much more productive if I get dressed into real clothes (no comfy clothes), put on some simple makeup and make my hair look nice (could be curled or a simple top bun).
3. Create a nightly routine that you look forward to
Morning routines get a lot of hype, and they should, they’re important! But having a wind down nightly routine, in my opinion, is just as important. The only way you will feel energized and ready to take on the day in the morning is if your body is getting the deep sleep that it needs at night. You know how much sleep you need, whether it be 7, 8 or 9 hours, so work backwards. If you want to wake up at 6am and you need 8 hours of sleep, you should be asleep by 10PM (they say it takes about 15 minutes to actually fall asleep once you lay down so having your “head hit the pillow” by 9:45 would be ideal). I like to start my nightly routine about 30 minutes or so before I want to go to sleep. My nightly routine consists of moisturizing with coconut oil so my skin can gets the hydration it needs while I sleep, drinking a calming tea (my favorite is Pukka “night time”) and reading a book so I naturally doze off while reading. They say a fiction book is best, because if you’re reading a non-fiction book, your brain starts to think about everything you want to work on and do, whereas fiction stories help you lull yourself to sleep. My phone automatically turns to the “night shift” mode, where the screen color is as warm as it can go, as soon as the sun sets. This helps so that if I do have to look at my phone before bed, the blue light isn’t hurting my eyes or “waking me up”, but I try to not look at my phone after I’ve started my nightly routine. Another tip would be getting warmer light bulbs for your bedroom. The warm light helps create a cozy mood and produce melatonin in your body.
4. Wear an eye mask and ear plugs
For me, this started in college and has helped in a lot of different scenarios. I’m a really light sleeper, so if I hear something, or there’s even a little bit of light coming through the blinds, I toss and turn all night and don’t get deep sleep. I always use the Sleep Master mask and ear plugs. I can’t hear or see a thing since it fits perfectly around my nose and covers my ears on top of the ear plugs. It’s the perfect solution to a spouse who snores, a roommate who is up late or on a different schedule, noisy neighbors, or street lights pouring in the window. I can’t recommend it enough! I wake up in the morning and haven’t moved since I fell asleep.
5. Create a morning routine that you look forward to
Everyone’s morning routine is different depending on whether they have children or need to be at work early, but even a 5-10 minute routine to get you in sync with the day helps so much. I love to wake up, put on my workout clothes and workout for 30-40 minutes right away, shower when I’m done working out, head downstairs to make a healthy breakfast and read/journal for 15 minutes before getting into my “most important tasks” for the day first. It took a little time to figure out what works best for me, so try a few different options and see what sticks.
If you’ve been wanting to switch up your morning routine or become a morning person and stick to it, I hope this post has helped! And if there’s anyone in your life that might benefit from reading this, make sure to share with them! xo
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