What you want your mornings to look like: Phone goes off at 6am, you gleefully switch it off, chuck back the covers, and spring out of bed, fling open curtains and window and take a deep, satisfying, breath of fresh air. It’s a new day and new opportunities await.
What your mornings really look like: Phone screeching at 6am, your left arm slithers under your pillow to hit the snooze button. Just an extra 30 minutes. That’s all you need. 6:30am, alarm goes off again. 7:00am, 7:30am, 7:31am, 7:32am. If you don’t get up now you’ll look like Shrek after a hard night on the Jägermeisters and you don’t want that, do you? You hug your covers as if to say ‘farewell my love’ before grudgingly letting go, after the fifth time of trying to convince yourself. New day, now where’s the coffee I need to function.
I was certainly the latter for the first 23 years of my life and I’d come to the conclusion that I just wasn’t a morning person. Maybe I should just stay up later and get up later? Only, that left me missing the feeling of seizing the day and feeling productive.
Then I said enough was enough, I want to become a morning person so I’ll train myself to be just that. After researching the people who wake up early with what seems to be no effort at all I began to see correlations which formed the first four tips below, and just in case these aren’t enough, I’ve added in a few more to help you on your way to becoming a morning person just like me.
You need a compelling reason.
If you’re flying out to the Caribbean tomorrow and need to be at the airport for 4am, suddenly getting up in the morning isn’t so hard. Why? Because the thought of missing your plane isn’t worth the risk. That is an extreme example but what should be learnt from it is that you need a compelling reason to wake up. And that’s where step two comes into play.
A vision for the future.
The people who are best at waking up energised in the morning are those who feel like they are on a mission. Because they are. Whether it be a lifetime goal of getting humans to habitat Mars with Elon Musk or a long term goal like having a happy and healthy family, this vision needs to be very compelling and something that you actually want to achieve, that drives you out of bed rather than drags you out kicking and screaming for five more minutes.
Three core challenges.
Having a vision and compelling reason is great but that won’t make you get up every single morning. To solidify that you need reasons because you’re not suddenly going to become a morning person unless you have a reason to get out of bed.
Before hitting the sack make a list of three big tasks you need to get done the following day that you are fully committed to doing and have set a time scale for. Make it so that you can’t complete these tasks unless you get up at X o’clock.
Know your body.
How many hours sleep do you need so you can function properly? Let’s say you need seven to eight hours and want to wake up at 5:30am, then understand you need to go to sleep by 9:30/10:30pm. To become a morning person you need to make it a lifestyle and depriving yourself of sleep will only work for a week or two so make sure you understand what your body needs.
Put your alarm on the other side of the room.
If your alarm is under your pillow you’ll turn it off and go back to sleep without even realising it. Putting your alarm at the other end of the room will make you get out of bed, or better yet, hide it under a cupboard so you have to engage your brain to find it. This way you’re already up and moving.
Still not enough? Put a glass of water on the floor between you and your alarm, this way you can’t just wander over to it, you actually have to watch your step.
Only set one alarm.
Don’t set four to five alarms thinking that you’ll get infuriated and that’ll be enough to wake you. All that setting more than one alarm does is get you into the habit of turning it off, snoozing it, and going back to sleep. Set one alarm so you know that it’s your only call to get straight out of bed.
It still takes willpower.
Even with all the advice in the world it’s still going to take willpower for you become a morning person. Your mornings won’t be like that first analogy I gave at the start of this post (sadly) because it doesn’t happen like that, or if it does then it’s for the minority. You’ll still have that inclination to fall back to sleep but what steps one to three do is help cement a powerful desire and need to have to get up earlier than normal. Then steps four to six are practical advice to physically give you momentum.
We all want to get up early in the mornings but it’s the same for a lot of things, we all want six pack abs and a dream job, but what separates those who achieve it to those who just dream about it is consistent hard work and effort.
If you feel an extra boost of motivation will help in the morning I’ve created 30 Days of Motivation. Every morning you’ll be sent a short motivating or inspiring video to help you get out of bed and kick start your day.
Ryan Lindsey aka The Fitness Hippie is an online personal trainer dedicated to helping people live the best life possible. Across all of his social media he has tons of free resources to teach people how to cook healthy, train effectively, and reach their lifestyle goals.