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Published on January 3, 2020

How to Become a Morning Person (If You’re a Night Owl)

How to Become a Morning Person (If You’re a Night Owl)

There are plenty who credit a large portion of their success to being a morning person. Yet, if you were not lucky enough to be born a morning person, you may be wondering how to become one. You could even be a “morning-person skeptic” who believes you accomplish your best work in the evening, so you can’t understand all the commotion around being a morning person.

Whether you have been unsuccessfully trying to become a morning person or you just want to experiment with it, this article is for you.

The Challenge to Becoming a Morning Person

Let’s start with the basics, why is it so hard to become a morning person?

Not Getting Enough Sleep

When you don’t feel like you have enough time to accomplish your goals, you feel as though sleeping is a luxury you cannot afford. The truth is, getting the proper amount of sleep can be the foundation of your success.

Numerous studies have found a lack of sleep increases the likelihood of someone developing serious medical conditions. These conditions include, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.[1] In order for you to have the best chance of becoming a morning person, you need to give yourself about eight hours of sleep.

If you are sleeping less than eight hours a night and having difficulty waking up in the morning, then waking up is not the problem. Your problem is you are not getting enough sleep each night. Your body is simply trying to ensure you get the proper amount of rest to live a healthy life.

If you want to wake up at 4am, then you need to be in bed by 8pm. Likewise, if waking up at 6am is your goal, then you need to be counting sheep by 10pm.

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Most people who have difficulty becoming a morning person are going to sleep at midnight and trying to wake up at 5am. While I can appreciate the hustle, five-hours of sleep is not going to cut it.

Whatever time you want to wake up, you need to count back eight-hours to determine the time you need to go to sleep.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is something many struggle with when attempting to become a morning person. You want to get this under control before it leads to health problems in the future. You do not want to be someone who sacrifices their health to build wealth and then spend their wealth to buy back their health.

Feeling Not Accomplishing Enough for the Day

Like any change, the hardest part is getting started. If you are ready to become a morning person, then you must be ready to go to sleep without “everything” being done.

One of the hardest things a night person has to deal with is the idea of going to sleep without accomplishing enough. You lay awake at night wondering if you could have done more with your day. You consider whether you can salvage a less than stellar day with some late night heroics.

Instead of asking yourself what you can do to salvage your day, ask yourself “what can you do to have a day that doesn’t need to be salvaged?”

The best thing you can do to ensure you have an amazing day is to become a morning person. As simple as it sounds, studies show that morning people are happier, more productive, healthier, perform better in school, and their employers think more highly of their work.[2] I could keep going, but I think you get the point.

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The key takeaway is if you want to accomplish your goals, your best chance of doing so is by becoming a morning person. The way you start your day is often going to be a sign of how your day is going to go.

If you have a lack of discipline and push snooze several times, you are going to have a lack of discipline throughout the day. On the other hand, if you accomplish two big goals before 10am, you have already set yourself up to have a great day.

Becoming a morning person allows you to start your day the way you want. You can use this time to invest in improving yourself. Whether you use your morning time to exercise, meditate, or clean your house, you are going to be in a better mental space than someone waking up with only enough time to get ready to leave the house.

If someone wakes up feeling rushed and pressed for time, they are likely to go through their day feeling rushed and pressed for time. When someone exercises and makes healthy decisions in the morning, they are more likely to make healthy decisions throughout their day. That is why it is essential you learn how to become a morning person, so you can live your best life.

Getting Ready to Become a Morning Person

Are you ready to become a morning person? Good. Like any transformation, you want to make it as easy as possible to change your habits.

There are two ways to accomplish this feat. You make the new habits you want in your life easy to integrate, while at the same time making the old habits you are quitting difficult to continue.

For example, if you need to stop pushing snooze, then move the alarm clock out of reach. The farther you must walk, the more likely you are to stay awake. If you leave the alarm clock within arm’s reach of your bed, you may turn the alarm off in your sleep (been there, done that).

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Another way to help wake yourself up in the morning is to do something you love first. This can help you to feel excited about waking up and it can get the juices flowing. If you enjoy movement, start your morning with a brisk walk or a short exercise session. If you are someone who enjoys a good book, only read your favorite stories in the morning. This will help you to equate sleeping-in with the loss of something you enjoy.

What if You’re a Night Owl?

For those who are night owls, you are going to need to find an effective night-time routine.

If your normal night routine is working once everyone is asleep and falling asleep in your work, then you are going to need to find a more relaxing way to spend your evening. This will help your mind to stay relaxed and get into the mood for sleep.

When you are working throughout the night, your mind can be over stimulated and that makes it hard for you to go to sleep without finishing your work. By taking it easy and leaving your work for the next morning, you are increasing the likelihood you will be able to go to sleep early.

Some activities that will help you to wind down effectively are to meditate, turn off the television, read a book, and stretch.[3]

This night routine will be useful for you: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

Final Thoughts

If you want to become a morning person, you need to keep two things in mind:

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First, you need to prepare to wake up early. You cannot go to sleep late and hope you wake up early. You need to get the proper amount of sleep to make the habit out of waking up early easy.

Second, you need to make it easy to wake up and difficult to go back to sleep. Don’t wake up and think about whether you “feel” like getting up. The longer you are lying in the bed, the easier it will be to go back to sleep.

Instead, get out of bed as quickly as possible. Once you are up, go to the bathroom, grab a glass of water, or take a shower. Each of these activities will make it easier for you to stay awake and harder for you to go back to sleep.

If you focus on these things, you will be well on your way to becoming a morning person.

More to Help You Stay Energetic

Featured photo credit: Cam Adams via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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