Five Reasons I Became a Morning Person
Hold the presses, friends. I have something HUGE to admit. It isn’t something I thought I’d ever say, but here I am about to say it…I think I’m a morning person.
I’m not a wee hours in the morning person, but I’ve fallen in love with that beautiful time somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.
For all of those I’m-never-going-to-be-a-morning-person people out there, just like me two weeks ago, let me share my transformation story.
Overview of the Early Morning Experiment
It all began with The Life Jar – an experiment I’m leading myself through to transform my words to actions. You can read more about it here, but the gist is I wrote on slips of paper over 40 things I want to try. Periodically, I’ll draw one out of the jar and complete the task.
The first one I pulled from the jar was “Wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. everyday for two weeks.” There I was, committingto something I’d always wanted but never had the discipline to actually initiate.
Morning Person Experiment – Week One
Week one was exciting.
I embarked on this new life change with determination to learn and grow. I didn’t struggle with turning
off my alarm and rising from bed. Instead, I’d sneak out of bed, stay in my pjs (most mornings), make a cup of coffee and decide what activities I’d want to complete. The house was extra quiet, and I was alone with my thoughts.
Each morning was pregnant with opportunity, and I felt an immense sense of productivity. By the time 9:30 a.m. (the time I used to wake up) rolled around, I had already completed all the things I dreamed about doing when I was a late sleeper.
So what did I do with my time? I spent a lot of it reading my new favorite self-help book, You Are a Badass, processing what I learned and journaling about it (which I’ll share later). I attended morning yoga classes, went to the beach, stayed on top of the news and completed chores around the house.
The first week was joyful and easy. I felt like I was floating in the clouds, full of that energy that only comes when you try something new. Even though I was ready for bed by 10:00 p.m. every night, I thought, “Well this is a piece of cake. Why haven’t I been doing this for longer?”
And then week two rolled around…
Morning Person Experiment – Week Two
The beginning of the week was still exciting. I’d still slink out of bed, make a cup of coffee and decide how I wanted to spend my time.
The only problem was, getting out of bed between 6:30 to 7:00 a.m. proved nearly impossible. The waking hour looked more like 7:30 a.m, or maybe a little later. Each morning this happened, a tinge of disappointment ensued, but I tried to maintain perspective.I was still waking up TWO HOURS before I normally would, so I’ve definitely made progress.
So what did I do with my time during week two? I spent a lot of it perusing social media; some of it reading, journaling, and reorganizing my blog / working on posts for it; and none of it attending yoga or cleaning.
Week two was NOT a bust, but I didn’t have those morning butterflies. My rose colored glasses had begun to dim. I still enjoyed these mornings but the newness started to fade. I spent too many mornings talking myself out of feeling guilty for failing to wake up in line with my goal, so I’d resort to perusing social media.
Five Reasons to Become a Morning Person
Although this experience was much easier to maintain than I’d expected, I learned some valuable lessons about myself and the benefits of early mornings.
- Encouraged relaxation. Before I started waking up early, I would roll out of bed and immediately start working. I would work through the entire day without defined purpose, jumping from one task to the next, trying to prove that my day was worth it. However, most day-time tasks are work related, which left no time for things I want to do. Further, I work from home, so once my work tasks begin, I don’t leave the house sometimes for the rest of the day. By having time in the morning to either complete a task or get out of the house and explore, my antsy energy feels much calmer. I can release my energy in the morning, relaxing into my tasks at home and at work. One day I even took a nap! If you know me, you know that is HUGE.
- Increased productivity throughout the day. You may be thinking, you just said it helps you relax. Now you’re saying it helps improve your productivity? And my response is wholeheartedly YES! Productivity increases because I actually have the time to think about what needs to be completed during the day. I am able to make a plan and have a concrete understanding of my day. From here, I am able to relax and do whatever I want in the morning until I start work at 9:30 a.m. And when I actually start work, I have a plan. No more do I have to frantically start working, jumping from one task to another. Nope, by taking a few minutes in the morning to sip on some coffee, make a plan for my work and decide on what would make me fulfilled during my morning hours, I am able to cultivate a more productive day overall.
- Improved overall mood. Because most of my mornings I spend at least a few minutes journaling and reflecting on myself and why I do the things that I do, I am able to release a lot of feelings. I try to think (and even journal) a few things for which I am thankful every morning. Some of these include the sun, my best friend, yoga in the park, time to reflect, learning about myself, my husband, my silly, little snuggly cats, COFFEE, my apartment and all its outdoor seating options, my comfy couch, hot water for a shower, and the list could go on. By creating space to reflect on gratitude and life’s little blessing, I noticed (for the most part…this woman isn’t perfect) that my mood improves most days.
- Strengthened my passion. More time in the morning means more time to focus on the things you love. For me, that’s writing. I rarely give myself time to sit down and spill out my thoughts. I talk about how much I love to write and how much it means to me, but actions speak louder than words. My actions said I loved to write small posts on social media or text my friends and family. That was about the extent of my writing practice. However, I discovered that a fresh mind in the morning is the best time for me to write. I don’t have as many daily distractions and usually wake up with something to say. These morning hours have proven so useful for pursuing my passion for writing.
- Enhanced nightly sleeps. This final lesson was the most unexpected. I’m someone who has a hard time falling asleep, unless you put a movie on and I get cozy on the couch, then I’m out cold. Otherwise, I suffer from intense FOMO and never really want the day to end. However, with two more hours of awake time in my system, falling asleep has been so easy. By the time 10:30 pm roles around (and sometimes earlier), I want nothing more than to curl up in my cozy bed and fall asleep. Once I actually do lay my head down, I’m out, dreaming about what I’ll do in the morning.
The ultimate question from this is experiment is this: Should I return to hitting snooze on this new morning routine or keep it up?
At this point, I plan to maintain the early morning wake up call. Although, the time will probably look more like 7:00 to 7:30 a.m. instead of 6:30 a.m. I just can’t seem to bring myself to get out of bed before that. It’s still a vast improvement than before. Either way, I’ll let you know how it goes.
I am excited to see how this continued productivity feeds into my goals in the coming year. Are you a morning person? What is your favorite thing about the mornings?
And now on to the next experiment…stay tuned!