Operation Early Bird: How To Become A Morning Person

become a morning person

Sometime last week I rolled out of bed 10 minutes before I had to leave like I always do. The thought crossed my mind: “God is definitely real. No way I could have woke up at 6:30 for 2 years straight if not… Morning is the enemy.” So I tweeted it.

Little did I know that this idea would nest inside me and  grow into something bigger.

I believe that God really did help me on the mission because I never actually decided I wanted to become a morning person. He helped me even when I didn’t want to help myself. Now that I think about it, I believe it’s possible to change your mind and do anything you think up…

So, I’ve decided to become a morning person. (When I say morning person, I don’t mean someone who is awake and spunky and energized. I mean just wakes up early. I’m sorry, but I still hate talking to people the first couple hours of the day. I’m not ready to work on that one yet…)

Mr. Night Owl

For 25 years, it has been my M.O. to rock the late night and then sleep every last second I could before I had to leave for school/work. I love staying up late. It’s a real thrill for me to pull and all-nighter. There’s just something about being the last one awake that I enjoy. I always told myself I was a night owl and NOT a morning person. While that might be true, I decided that if I really believe I’m capable of doing anything, becoming a morning person was something I had to do. If I learned anything from running a marathon, it’s that there is some real power in mental strength and ability.

I realized that I have never given being a morning person a chance. I have always just accepted that it was easier for me to stay up and sleep late. So what if I convinced myself and believed that I could get up early? The thought had never crossed my mind until last week. A good friend referred me to this amazing article by Michael Hyatt that confirmed my thoughts.

So I went for it.

Today marks the 5th day in a row I’ve got up at 6am. I love it. I never realized how much stress I put on myself by waking up only minutes before I have to leave. If I’m late to work, every slow driver, red light, empty gas light, and snowy road makes me mad. It’s not their fault, it’s mine for being late. Now that I’m up early, I leave with plenty of time to be able to just turn on the tunes, flip on cruise control, and enjoy the drive, no matter how slow or delayed. I’ve also noticed an increase in gratitude, spirituality, and overall happiness because I use some of that early morning time to pray, read scriptures, and reflect on life.

How To Change

So how do I do it? I realized that there were reasons that I didn’t get up early even if I woke up to my alarm. The first day I tried getting up early, I woke up at 6, and then got right back in bed. You need to find and write out the reasons you don’t get up so you can eliminate them.

For me the 3 big things were:

  1. I had nothing to do
  2. I was cold and my bed was so warm
  3. It was more comfortable to be asleep

To battle number 1 I started giving myself things to read in the scriptures the night before. I also decided to use that time to write, whether on this blog or for my book. I bought some breakfast foods that I like to cook and I make that to stay awake as well. There are hundreds of things you can do. I know a ton of people like to exercise or read a book or study. It just depends on who you are and what you like. The important thing is deciding what you’re going to do the night before or it will be that much easier to get back in bed and go back to sleep.

Number 2 and 3 were pretty similar to me. As soon as I get up now I throw on a sweatshirt and turn the heater up a little. Even just hearing the sound of the heater warms me up. I also know it’s important to get out of my comfort zone. Being a little uncomfortable in the mornings is a small price to pay for the benefits it has brought about. This was more of a mental problem. I had to realize I needed to be ok with being a little uncomfortable if it meant progressing my life. In the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t THAT uncomfortable. It’s all in my head. So I told it to get out.

Once I jumped past those obstacles, waking up has been a lot easier. I also use a sleep app that wakes me up slowly to a chill song. That is SO much more enjoyable than a loud buzzer. Just my preference though. It also helps if I flip on some music right as I wake up. It makes me feel like I’m supposed to be awake.

Ultimately, I have seen instant results from this and that’s most of the reason I have the motivation to keep doing it. If you want to become a morning person, you can. In my 25 years of life, I never thought I’d be here, at 6 am, writing a blog post about how awesome it is to wake up early. But we’re seriously capable of doing anything we set our minds to.

If you’re looking for less stress, more spirituality, and a happier attitude, I would definitely suggest giving the morning routine a shot. Let me know if you do this or end up trying it. I’d love to have more people to relate with along the way!

  • http://twitter.com/SpencerVail Spencer Vail

    I’ve been thinking about doing something like this for awhile now…. but never was sure if I really wanted to commit to it. I just get almost all of my productive work done from 9pm-2am-ish. What time have you been going to bed in order to wake up at 6?

    • http://everythingbraden.com/ Braden Thompson

      Thinking about committing is the hardest part. Once you do it and find things you do during that time, you’ll miss them if you stop. I already feel like I miss out on things if I was to let myself sleep in. I was surprised at how fast that changed for me. I try to get to bet as close to 11 as I can. If I go to bed around 12 I’m still fine when I wake up.

      Let me know if you do it. I’ve just changed my study habits (when I have them.. haha) to get done sooner and start earlier. Still have about the same amount of time but I’m less stressed in the mornings because I’ve already been up and feel more ready to tackle the day than if I stayed up late and slept right up until class and rushed out the door.

  • http://AspiringCreativity.com/ Dannon Loveland

    You continue to inspire me! What “sleep app” do you use?

    • http://everythingbraden.com/ Braden Thompson

      It’s called Sleep Cycle. It monitors your sleep patterns and you give it a time that you want to be awake and it will wake you up sometime before that when you are at your lightest sleep so it’s not as much of a shock. I like to wake up and look at my cycles and how well it says I slept which is another thing that gets me awake faster.

  • Andrea Jardine

    love it! I’ve been getting up at 5 am for six weeks now & it has changed my life! For real.

    • http://everythingbraden.com/ Braden Thompson

      That’s rad! Good for you. I’ve been thinking about moving earlier to 5:30 or 5. Even waking up at 6 I would like a little more time to do stuff.

  • Travis Chambers

    This is %100 true. Early morning and early sleeping is such a huge contributor to quality of life. I never have had the willpower to wake up early until I had a baby. I cheated in this way. Finally I had motivation to go to be super early so I could get up early before the baby and have me time. I also cheated in breaking the late-wake up cycle by pounding half a can of Guyaki Yerba Mate the first three mornings. After those three mornings, my body was programmed and I’ve woken up early at least 4 days every week for the last three weeks. I either lift weights or run when I wake up, it has made all the difference in my health, happiness, spiritually, balanced attitude, kindness, validation, self-worth, lowered stress, self-actualization and empowerment in other things. The benefits have been overwhelming. I wished I would have learned this years ago. Scientifically, humans are actually designed to go to sleep later and later. There is a slight offset between the natural human circadian rhythm and the 24 hour cycle of civilized time. Waking up early has given me the most control over this offset because I am naturally more fatigued towards 10pm, whereas I used to start fatiguing at 2am, it would get later and later, I would crash and waste a whole weekend, get sick and start over again. Those days are no longer!
    Getting older may have something to do with it as well. My body has officially stopped growing, being 25 or older means my body has less development to do every night. Even so, I get an hour more of sleep every night now on average.
    Great post B, loved reading this.

    • http://everythingbraden.com/ Braden Thompson

      I still have to get up somewhat early for work but I still try to get up a little earlier to get that extra prep time in for the day. Makes a huge difference for sure! Glad you’re converted to the early morning routine :)