So you’re interested in becoming a morning person?
Let me just say this up front – if you hate waking up early and yet you’re here trying to find out how to ‘become’ a morning person, read no further. This post isn’t for you.
I’m a huge believer in working with what you’ve got. And if loathing mornings is what you’ve got, then why fight it? Why not focus on making more of those night-time hours when you actually enjoy being awake? Why not embrace the fact you function better later in the day? If you hate mornings – becoming a morning person shouldn’t be your goal (it’s nowhere near as glamorous as it sounds).
But I digress.
I’m one of these mysterious ‘morning people’ and I’m here to share how I do it. This post is for people who love the idea of becoming a morning person and are really suited to it too, they just struggle to get there. And this post is about waking up earlier than you ‘need’ to so that you can get a few amazing things done before your day ‘starts’ (like doing some exercise, reading a book, meditating, journalling or just relaxing with a giant mug of coffee and a few of your favourite blogs).
So if that’s you, here are my tips!
Update: Since publishing this blog post, I’ve filmed two Youtube videos that will really help you become a morning person – the first is on the secret to waking up early and the second is on how to get to sleep early. Make sure you watch these if you want to become a morning person and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you find them helpful – I post new videos everyday!
1. Believe you’re capable of becoming a morning person
There’s something really interesting about the whole ‘morning person’ thing – everyone wants to be one and yet everyone boasts about the fact they aren’t.
If you want to be start becoming a morning person but you always tell anyone who’ll listen how much you hate mornings and that you’d marry your bed if you could – are you really surprised you struggle to wake up early? Every time you say that you hate mornings and just can’t wake up early (whether it’s to yourself or to someone else) you’re setting yourself up for failure.
You have to believe you’re capable of becoming a morning person to be one.
And how can you believe that you’re capable of becoming a morning person? Firstly, stop saying that you’re not one (if you hear yourself saying you’re not a morning person you’re definitely going to believe it). And start looking for evidence that you can be a morning person – think of those times you have been able to wake up early, those times you enjoyed not having to be rushed in the morning, how amazing you felt when you went to the gym before work.
Becoming a morning person is possible, you just have to believe it is.
There’s also an amazing podcast episode by Brooke Castillo called ‘Change and Your Brain’ (you can listen to it here) that is literally life-changing (I could probably repeat this episode to you word-for-word because I’ve listened to it that many times). I highly recommend any of her podcast episodes actually – I’m so obsessed.
2. Have a damn good reason to get out of bed
The first step to becoming a morning person is waking up a little earlier than you ‘need’ to and that’s really what this post is about – once
you’ve mastered you’re usually able to wake up when your alarm goes off, the rest is a piece of cake.
Firstly, if you’re trying to wake up early because you ‘feel like you should’ (or because you know a lot of other people that do it) I’m really not surprised you’re struggling. When your alarm goes off in the morning you’re faced with two options: to wake up or to keep sleeping. And if you love your bed and you have no compelling reason to leave your bed – then why the hell would you?
You need a damn good reason to cut short your time in that glorious bed of yours.
The reason I wake up earlier than I ‘need’ to (usually between 5 and 5:30am on a weekday) is because I know I feel better when I do. I know that exercising in the morning puts me in the best possible mindset for the day and that it also makes it easier to make healthy food choices (most of the time). And I know that while snoozing my alarm might feel pretty damn good in the moment, it also makes me feel super lazy and leads to an obscene amount of laziness throughout the rest of the day.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some mornings that I really just want to hit the snooze button and roll back into bed. These days will happen, even if you’re adamant on becoming a morning person. And it’s on these days that you need a damn good reason to get out of bed.
On Monday morning this week I really didn’t want to get out of bed to go to the gym to do my Kayla Itsines BBG workout (I’m up to week 4). But I got out of bed because this is the third time I’m attempting Kayla’s guide and the first two times I gave up around the 4 week mark, and I’m sure as hell not letting that happen again. So I got up and went to the gym because I had a damn good reason to.
3. Choose your alarm time wisely
Sometimes we can get a little over-ambitious when it comes to planning what our ‘perfect’ lives are going to look like.
We can just imagine the ‘perfect’ version of ourselves jumping out of bed when that 5am alarm goes off, putting her runners and perfectly-coordinated Lululemon outfit on and heading out the door. Then she’d come home, shower and get dressed in an amazing outfit, with her make-up rivalling only that of her favourite Youtuber. She’d have a super healthy, instagram-worthy breakfast and head off to work without having to rush (probably reading a book on the way to work too).
But when we’re planning what the ‘perfect’ version of ourselves would do, we tend to forget the struggle that will come with wanting to change our habits so suddenly. And we forget that it’s not going to be easy to wake up one hour earlier than we usually do, let alone two.
I’ve definitely struggled when it comes to choosing the right alarm time. I always want to set it a little too early. And when that super early alarm goes off it’s such a radical change that I snooze my alarm and end up waking up at the time I normally would. But instead, if I set my alarm early (but not too early) then I have a lot better chance of waking up when it goes off because it’s not a huge change but more of an incremental one.
So even though you may have amazing plans for your morning routine, don’t set your alarm too early (you still want to be physically capable of waking up when it goes off).
4. Go to bed early
I have to include this because going to bed early is super helpful if you want to wake up early, but I’m not going to go on about it because I’m sure you already know this. But seriously just think about it, it makes sense – go to bed earlier, wake up earlier.
And if you really don’t want to go to bed early then don’t. It’s ok if you’re not a morning person, you don’t need to force yourself to be one just because you think you ‘should’. Focus on making those night-time hours more meaningful rather than dragging your ass out of bed early every morning (and hating it). Work with what you’ve got. Go with what you’re already good at.
5. Help yourself (and don’t set multiple alarms)
If you seriously want to start becoming a morning person, my final piece of advice is to help yourself.
As soon as you wake up – open the blinds, make the bed, wash your face, get dressed, have a giant glass of water. Do anything you can think of that will signal to your brain and your body that the day has begun (my favourite way to wake myself up is to wash my face because it means I’m in the bathroom which means I’m not in my bed – this is progress).
Another way to help yourself is not to set multiple alarms.
I used to be in a really bad habit when it came to this (but my boyfriend Steve hated it so much that he made me stop). Setting 6 alarms at 5 minute intervals is not a clever way to wake yourself up, even if you think it is. You know that there are more alarms coming so there’s no compelling reason to get out of bed when that first alarm goes off. Not only that, your last half hour of precious sleep will be disturbed, restless sleep and you’ll feel even more tired throughout the day.
I still actually set multiple alarms, but I set 5-10 of them at one minute intervals. That means I have to snooze my alarm 5-10 times within 10 minutes if I really want to stay asleep and that’s rarely going to happen. Another trick is just to set one alarm – you know there are no more alarms coming so you’re going to feel a lore more compelled to wake up when that first alarm goes off.
6. Be kind to yourself
And finally, know that even ‘morning people’ struggle to get up early sometimes (well, I certainly do). If you snooze your alarm one morning, don’t let that be evidence that you’re not a morning person – let that be evidence that you’re human. Be kind to yourself and know that there will be some mornings when it’s a huge struggle and that’s ok, you can try again the next day.
Do you want to become a morning person?
Have you been struggling to become a morning person? Or do you have any advice for those people who are? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear from you!
I adore this, thank you for reminding people to be gentle with themselves. I try to make a 6am workout a few days a week, which is easy for me. A coworker has tried to work out at 6 am but then is always ready to drop by the time I see her at 9. It’s really whatever works for you! I love the stillness of the morning. How peaceful it is when I first get up, and then you get to watch the world kind of wake up around me. All great tips for keeping a morning routine!
You’re right, it really is so true that it’s different for everyone and I think it’s so important to pay attention to what works for ourselves as individuals rather than what works for the people we look up to/are trying to emulate.
I also love the stillness of the morning and being up before everyone else and I especially love not being rushed and getting to do some things before work that I like doing – I find if I don’t make that time at the beginning of the day it’s a lot harder to fit it in at the end.
Thanks so much for your comment!
These are wonderful tips for a soon-to-be morning person!
I’m already such a morning person, it’s remarkable — thank goodness I take after my dad in that department! (My mom could lay in bed all day long, if she had the option.) Now that I’m in my own apartment (+ my non-morning person boyfriend), I find that I can finally begin to hone in on my morning routine. It almost always involves tea, oatmeal, and catching up on all my social media accounts and fellow blogs before squeezing in a workout.
Not setting multiple alarms is a great rule, and one I’d actually never heard of. I usually set two alarms, 15 minutes apart, but I’ll have to just stick with the earlier one and see how it pans out for me! 🙂
Jessica // http://www.jessicarmyers.com
Thanks so much for sharing and that’s awesome that you can start to settle into a morning routine and really make the most of the fact you’re a morning person!
I’d love to hear how you go with not setting multiple alarms, especially if you were almost always waking up on that second alarm 🙂
I used to think I wasn’t a morning person at all, because I always struggled to get up early. The truth is that when I go to bed earlier, mornings aren’t as difficult. I’m really trying to readjust from my summer hours to going to bed earlier since I now have school and work and can’t sleep in. I love the idea of working with what you’ve got because that’s so important! I owe you an email btw!
I’ve definitely found the same thing with getting to bed earlier – it’s hard to get out of bed earlier than you ‘need’ to in the morning if you haven’t given yourself the chance to get enough sleep! I find that when my boyfriend’s home it’s easy to get to bed early because he likes doing it but if I’m going to bed by myself I sometimes just like staying up late – it’s something I’m trying to work on because I do prefer the morning hours
Looking forward to your email 🙂
For my internship this summer I had to wake up at 5:30am every morning to catch the 6:15am train so I could get to work at 8:00am…
Needless to say it has not been fun, and I am looking forward to the day where I don’t have to wake up before the sun rises!
I think this past four months has definitely adjusted me to waking up at a decent time naturally, waking for 6:30 is no problem now! (I see it as sleeping in!)
These are all great points, especially getting to bed earlier! It helps a lot.
Thanks so much for your comment!
It’s funny how quickly our bodies can adjust to a new sleeping routine and I think it’s great because it means we can ‘train’ ourselves into almost any routine we want, as long as we do it consistently. And, as I’m sure you’ll agree, the longer you do it the easier it gets because it becomes a habit.
Though it can be annoying when you just want to sleep in and your body doesn’t haha
Loved this post. I am a morning person. I love mornings. There’s something magical about mornings and having time to do whatever you desire and feel like doing. & the world outside is still asleep. It’s just so beautiful. I do, however, sleep in sometimes because my boyfriend is the opposite so usually I cuddle with him on the weekends, and I enjoy it as much as my “normal” morning. It’s all about having the morning that makes you happy 🙂
I do exactly the same thing haha I love mornings and being up early but if it’s the weekend and my boyfriend’s still asleep too I love just spending the morning cuddling haha it’s so good! I totally agree – it’s definitely all about having the morning that makes you happy!
Kayla is my favvvvvv. I love being up early and ready for the day. I’d much rather have an extra ten minutes because I woke up at 6 than a super rushed hour from 7-8. Love these tips!
Have you done Kayla’s BBG? I love her so much haha I find what she’s done with her business and the way she respects her ‘followers’ so inspiring 🙂
Thanks so much for your comment!
I’ve started it a couple times but haven’t gotten alllllll the way through haha. I’d just rather run but I do love her workouts. And agree! She’s great on social media.
it really is challenging to get the whole way through isn’t it! I’m on my third attempt and just did the first workout of week 5 yesterday – so determined to finish it this time though!
I’m also trying to adjust myself to wake up earlier, but it is HARD. I think I am one of those people who are just naturally wired to be awake later. I may try the idea to set multiple alarms a minute apart, though. Anytime I HAVE gotten up earlier in the past, I was much happier the rest of the day.
Hey Martina 🙂
It is hard to adjust to waking up earlier! I think the most helpful things are going to sleep earlier and really having a good reason that you want to get up early – sometimes I find that writing that reason as the ‘label’ on my alarm clock (I use my iPhone as my alarm) is really helpful. Sometimes I’ll just write something like ‘remember you really want to go to the gym and get into a routine’ or something that I know will motivate me haha it really helps to see that pop up when you feel like snoozing your alarm!
I actually like mornings. I go to bed early so I do not have much trouble getting up early. I also prefer to work/study in the morning, I feel “fresher” and I get many more things done. I guess what I am not is an evening person since I like to stay in later in the day 😉
Thanks so much for your comment 🙂 I definitely feel fresher in the morning too – it’s just really nice to do the things you really love doing as soon as you wake up so you always have time to do them!
I’ve learned to love mornings (actually, one of your old posts helped me a lot, so thank you!!) and I really enjoy waking up early in order to have a relaxed start of the day + more time for myself, without rushing out of the door in a bad mood. It’s still really hard for me to exercise in the morning… I get extremely lazy even though I know how good it makes me feel afterwards. I guess I just need to find a little routine that keeps me motivated 🙂 x
I’m so happy to hear that one of my posts help you to make the most of the mornings! It’s so nice not to be rushed in the morning and to have that time for yourself (especially if you’re an introvert like me haha). I think you’re totally right – you just have to find a little routine that keeps you interested and that you really enjoy (and don’t just do purely because you feel like you ‘should’)
Hey Sam, you just reminded me of a lot of things. Its been a struggle waking up early, with my job going into late hours of the night actually make it that way. That’s not an excuse actually. I feel motivated to take some steps. I love mornings. I remembered a day I woke up by 4am, did my devotions, exercised and all through the day it looked like time was gained. I will take that up.Shut down every distraction around me and make it happen. Thanks a lot for this.
Thanks so much for your comment! You’re definitely right about that feeling that you have so much more time in the day when you wake up early. Even though I like to sleep in on the weekend sometimes, I always feel like I’m wasting so much of the day (and then once I’m finally awake I find I have barely any motivation to make the most of what’s left of the day).
And it’s great that you realise that while it is made difficult by your working hours, it still is an excuse. You don’t need to wake up hours before your normal waking time, even just 15 minutes can be enough to change your morning into something really positive.
Great tips! Very practical and honest. I’m not much of a morning person–I’m very much a night owl but I’ve always wanted to be more of a morning person because of all the benefits it offers. I’ve found when I wake up earlier I have time to: exercise, get a head start on the day, eat a proper breakfast and not skip it (so I’m not overeating throughout the day), read, relax with a cup of coffee and organize my day. I like the point you make of drinking a glass of water when you wake up–I read a Pinterest post that said this helps keep you inspired and gives you a fresh start. You can feel so productive when you wake up early!
I am NOT trying to be a morning person but I have to say this was written in such a way that it made me think twice. For those who do want to be I will recommend this post because it has a very positive vibe and its soooo down to earth, it feels like a conversation. You’re amazing! Now let’s see if you can come up with a post for night hawks. LOL
http://www.hardlyfocused.com – let’s make libraries of ourselves.
Very cool! It’s be a struggle for me but I have found I set my alarm a bit earlier every couple of weeks, sometimes months until I am at my desired wake up time. Thanks for sharing! xx
Chloe – http://www.soulandsparkle.com
Such great tips! And a lovely read!! xoxo
I love everything you have to say here, especially the part about telling yourself you can be a morning person. Mindset is everything!!!
I’m an on and off morning person and I find these tips both helpful and inspiring. I have recently decided not to put up with my laziness anymore and to actually do things with my life. What is said about having a damn good reason to get out of bed is so true! My reason is my well- being and happiness and lately it’s been enough for me to pull myself from the warm embrace of my down comforter.
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