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So you weren’t born a morning person; that doesn’t mean you can’t become one. Even if your past attempts to love the wee hours of the morning have failed, you should keep trying until you finally have a breakthrough.
Before you attempt to become a morning person, you need to know one thing: even the most dedicated and energetic of early birds will struggle from time to time, hit snooze, and miss the sunrise. This is normal, and one rough morning doesn’t mean you should give up. You wouldn’t give up on making brownies after a few bad batches, would you?
Lay the Groundwork
When it comes to waking up early, you stand a better chance by doing the necessary tasks the night before. This means preparing the coffee and setting a delay timer before hitting the hay so the aroma helps drag you from your warm bed, packing meals, prepping breakfast the night before if necessary, and setting an alarm you’ll wake up to. Having those smaller things done ahead of time makes the morning less painful and unpleasant.
You’d be surprised at what a little pot of coffee can do. There’s nothing quite as nice as waking up to a fresh cup of coffee and nothing as brutal as standing, sleepy eyed, while waiting for one to brew.
Go to Sleep
Now, you have to keep in mind that the first few nights of going to bed earlier will be difficult. The first week or so of early alarms will also be hard, but both will become easier with repetition. Don’t stay up until midnight and expect to jump out of bed at 5 a.m. Falling asleep an earlier hour isn’t impossible though. You don’t have to lay there for hours praying for sleep to find you. There are quite a few tricks you can use to fall asleep earlier.
In my experience, I’ve found that the best combination to conk out within minutes is lavender pillow spray, a magnesium supplement, and a bubble bath with a eucalyptus and lavender oil. Baths lower your body temperature and signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, so take a bath 30 minutes before you want to catch some z’s.
A tablespoon or so of either lavender oil or eucalyptus in your bath water helps you relax even further. Right after you get out of the bath, take a magnesium supplement. This also helps you relax, and within 30 minutes, you’ll become sleepy. The lavender pillow spray is a bonus – the scent helps you drift off faster.
If that’s not really your thing, you can also try out some sleep aids—although be aware, they can cause drowsiness in the morning and make waking up more difficult.
Start the Day With Purpose
After nailing down your bedtime routine, you can start the fun stuff: a morning routine. Ask yourself why you want to become a morning person, and what do you want to use those extra morning hours for?
You have two options here:
Become a morning person in order to do the things you love first.
Become a morning person in order to do the things you don’t love first.
Write down a list of the things you would like to do in the morning, and then decide which ones are the most important.
Some possibilities are:
Time with a loved one or pet
As the day goes on and life gets busier, it becomes easy to skip on projects, hobbies, and pleasurable activities in order to finish more work. That’s no way to live though, and you’ll quickly find yourself burned out. Waking up early to dedicate that time to whatever you want to do is the best way to not throw off the rest of your day and responsibilities. Since the world is so quiet in the early morning, you can tackle whatever you want, free of distractions.
The second route mentioned might seem counter-intuitive, but I assure you there’s real power in marking off your most dreaded tasks early in the day. Procrastination most often stems from not wanting to do something, and that leads to stress and anxiety until the task is done. This can quickly ruin what should be a good day. By completing your least enjoyable or most dreaded tasks first thing in the morning, you actually improve the quality of the rest of your day. Having those tasks done is liberating and puts you in a better mood to do the things that you do enjoy.
Rinse and Repeat
This is the key to becoming a morning person. Just keep at it every day, even if you wake up a little late or don’t get to all of the things you wanted to do. You won’t make early mornings habitual if you don’t repeat the process every single day. So chin up and charge on, my friend. Glorious early mornings await you.