I hear it all the time: studies show that early risers are more successful, more productive, live healthier and happier lives…the list goes on and on. Good for them, I used to think. I like my sleep too much to change my ways. For a long time I had simply accepted the fact that mornings weren’t my thing, but when a sudden change in schedule forced me to begin working out in the early hours before work, I got to work at reinventing my morning routine to make sure it was as productive as possible.
In doing so I realized that there may be more truth to these claims than I had originally thought. Becoming a morning person doesn’t happen over night; I would say that it took the better part of 3 months for me to truly get a handle on things, and it took a lot of trial and error in order to find what works for me. There are a few things I’ve learned that I think are good takeaway for anyone trying to revamp their morning routines and kick start their productivity. Try them all or try just a few and see how you feel, hopefully you will find yourself reaping the benefits of early rising as well!
Figure Out What Is & Isn’t Working For You
I moved my workouts to the morning because more often than not I was coming up with excuses to skip it in the afternoons. Things would come up and that was the first thing to go, but if I do it right when I wake up then there is no excuse. I love to cook myself a really delicious breakfast every morning too, but every time I did, I had almost no time left over to make my lunch. So, I started prepping my lunches the night before to save on some time. Identify those things you’re willing to part with and those you are not, then make adjustments. Moving things around and making some sacrifices can improve the efficiency of your mornings tremendously!
Determine Your Habits (Good and Bad)
One of my worst habits is spending a half hour or more laying in bed first thing in the morning and looking through social media instead of getting up and starting the day. Spend too long looking at silly memes and I end up rushing to finish everything I need to do before work, and that wasn’t working for me.
Take a look at your current routine and think about your tendencies. As soon as I figured out I my bad habit of looking at my phone, I started plugging it in on the other side of my room so that I had to get up from my bed to shut my alarm off. Having that extra half hour lets me meal prep or fit in a full workout. It’s all a matter of prioritizing. Correcting those habits no matter how small can make a big difference!
Make Healthy Choices
Most people I talk to are running so short on time in the mornings that they reach for a less healthy option for breakfast, or they skimp out on self care. Simple things like drinking a bottle of water before breakfast or taking time to stretch are small things that can improve your mood and your health, and the morning can be a great time to dedicate time just for yourself.
I have a morning skin care routine and a night time one, and I make sure to set a proper time aside for both. You might also try taking a daily vitamin each morning, or practicing yoga/meditation first thing to clear your mind and promote healthy thoughts. Whatever it may be, I find the mornings are the perfect time to put more focus onto you and your health.
Build a Solid (Realistic) Routine You Can Stick To
The first few weeks of trying to become a morning person were…messy. I forgot to do some things, had a few missteps and I definitely wasn’t glowing and energized like I had hoped. I had to figure out how to make the most of the time I had, move things around and fine tune things before I found a routine I was comfortable with and I started to reap those benefits. As time went on it simply became a part of my day, and my internal alarm clock started to wake me up earlier all on its own. Now I feel worse if I sleep in and don’t get my workout in or a full breakfast. Waking up at 6 every morning isn’t hard for me anymore, it’s routine!
Time Saving Suggestions:
- Prepare meals the night before (breakfasts or packed lunches) to prevent you from reaching for unhealthy quick options.
- Lay out work clothes the night before.
- Wear your workout clothes to bed so you can jump up and go.
- Leave your phone on the other side of the room/away from your bed
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier to save room for delays or set backs
My Morning Routine
6:00am – Alarm goes off
6:15am-6:45am – Workout (at gym or at home)
7:00am – Shower
7:15am – Make breakfast/prep lunch (if I didn’t the night before)
7:45am – Brush teeth/skincare routine, get dressed, dry my hair, apply makeup etc.
8:10am – Me time. Drink water, check emails & social media, pack my bag for work
8:35am – Leave for work!