Morning people used to annoy me. When someone told me they got up at 5:30 a.m. to get a jump start on their day I would think to myself: Why get up early and greet the day when you could lay in bed and sleep? or I would say to them? “Why drag yourself out of bed to workout when you have the whole rest of the day to do that?”
Personally, I had a hard time making it to early morning classes when I was in college. It seemed so hard to get up, get ready, and be at class by 9:00 a.m. Once I got married and began working full time, I managed to get up and be at work by 8:00 a.m. but I hated it. On the weekends I would sleep as late as my schedule allowed to “make up” for having to get up so early during the week.
And once the children started coming along, I slept as late as I could (which wasn’t very late) because I had often been up throughout the night with them. I honestly thought I would never, ever be a morning person.
However, all that changed in March of 1997. I had a small baby and I weighed 305 pounds. I was tired of trying every diet known to man and failing at them. I was tired of not being able to walk more than 300 feet without getting winded. I was tired of feeling unorganized and out of control with my food choices. In short, I was just plain tired.
One morning in March of 1997 I got up at 5:30 a.m., put on my white Keds tennis shoes, and walked out the door. It’s not too far off to say that morning changed my life. I exercised for the first time in years that day. I deliberately woke up before the sun came up in order to change my life.
Was it easy to switch from being a late night person to an early morning person? No. At first it was really difficult because I was so incredibly sleepy and tired during the day. But after a couple of weeks, I began to feel that I had more energy in the morning than I did late at night. After a few months, I was sold on the benefits of being an early bird. And all these years later – I am still a morning person.
I get more done throughout the day when I get up early. I feel more organized and on top of things. I seem to have more time for the kids, and I get my workouts done first thing. Those things alone make getting up early worth it for me.
But what if you are like I used to be and find it hard to get up and get going? What if you really want to start your day earlier but have a hard time making it happen? Here are six ideas to help you get up earlier and not hate every minute of it!
1. Get Adequate Sleep – This is pretty obvious but it is easier to get up early if you get enough sleep. If you go to bed at 1:00 a.m. you are going to find it hard to get up at 5:30 a.m.!
2. Shift Slowly – I shifted my internal clock all at once, but you may find it easier to gradually shift yourself into an early morning person. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier every few days until you are able to get up early without feeling like you are going to die.
3. Have Something to Do – If you don’t have a reason to get up, you will find it easy to turn over and go back to sleep. Plan on meeting a friend for a workout to keep yourself accountable.
4. Eat and Drink Smart – Watch your food and beverage intake during the late afternoon and early evening. If you are too full you may find it hard to go to bed earlier and drinking a ton of beverages in the early evening may cause you to wake up many times during the night to use the restroom.
5. Keep the Same Schedule on the Weekend – I find keeping roughly the same waking schedule on the weekends helps me be consistent during the week. If I lounge in bed until 8:30 a.m. on the weekend, by the time Monday comes around, I have to force myself to get up.
6. Just Do It – If you’ve always wanted to be a morning person the only person stopping you is yourself! Just set the alarm, skip the snooze button, and get up. It’s what worked for me.
Are you a morning person? Did you have to work at becoming one or have you always been like that? Do you benefit from being an early bird? Diane