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10 Simple Ways To Become A Morning Person

10 Simple Ways To Become A Morning Person

Becoming a morning person is a skill that is aspired by many but accomplished by very few. Whether its your work  or class schedule, it is a difficult feat to do. While some may feel that they accomplished this, many fail to understand that getting up in the morning and becoming a morning person are two different things. Today, we will look at a couple of ways in which you can transform yourself from begrudgingly waking up in the morning, to truly enjoying what waking up early has to offer. With the fall college semester coming up for many students in a little over a month, these are some pointers you should all pay attention to.

Standardize Your Sleep

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    The first step in becoming a morning person is having a set time for waking up and going to bed. The reason we find that we want to sleep in on weekends is so we can catch up on sleep. However, if your sleep is standardized for seven to eight hours, catching up on sleep wouldn’t be necessary. Even on your days off, if you wake up at your designated time, get your morning errands out of the way, and go for a nap in the mid-early afternoon, you’ll still be productive while treating yourself for the weekend.

    Take Baby Steps

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      To be able to sleep at a set schedule, you need to incorporate being a morning person in small baby steps. Start first by getting an assessment of what keeps you up late at night. The key to becoming a morning person is by hacking into the night before.

      • Sleep is the biggest hurdle and being able to figure out what prevents you from getting enough sleep at night will allow you to know how to survive the next day.
      • Once you figure out the triggers that keep you up, decide on a time to go to bed. This time will stay regardless of what time you have to be up. So, for example, if you choose that you will stick to a 10 pm bedtime, go to bed at 10 pm. Even if it’s a weekend or there’s a delay on the time you have to go into work.
      • After a 10 pm bedtime becomes commonplace, start to tailor your standardize wake up time. If you have to be at work at 9 am, standardize yourself to wake up at 7 am everyday.
      • Just like a diet change, you can have cheat days with sleeping as well. If you want to go out with friends, shift your schedule a tad bit. Don’t let becoming a morning a person also make you a hermit crab.

      Make a Task List

      Having a set guideline on what to do for the day will allow you to have an idea of what’s ahead of you. If you are able to know your day’s plan, you can have something to look forward to. Having a plan to look forward to will get you excited about getting out of bed. Attaching a task list to your day will also prevent you from running around like a headless chicken, taking the day as it comes.

      Hack your task list in two ways: by attaching an alarm to important tasks and ranking them. Setting deadlines through alarms will allow you to transition between tasks and ranking them based on importance will allow you to feel okay if you can’t complete the whole list that day.

      Understand Your Body

      It is important to always be in tune with your body. While you begin to work toward a steady sleep schedule, you will find that there are times when the work day is too much for you and you need to get some rest. By all means, when you find that you are tired, always get some rest. This is the case even if it deviates from your schedule. If this happens in the middle of the day, opt for a nap. If you are jittery or high energy from coffee or energy drinks later in the day, set a cut off time for coffee and start to eliminate energy drinks from your diet. Listening to your body over anything else is the key to becoming a morning person.

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      Dive Into the Morning

      A mistake that many individuals make in the morning is making it unproductive. By waking up in the morning, showering, getting dressed, and having a quick to-go breakfast, you aren’t relishing in all that the morning has to offer for you. Instead, dive into the morning by looking at the to-do list you creating the night before. Catch up on the day’s news, knock out a couple of emails, and leave home with the feeling that you aren’t about to start your day, but that you have already started your day.

      Natural Light is Best

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        Making use of natural light is a great way to aid in becoming a morning person. It allows you to feel more awake rather than simply waking up in darkness. Light is proven to treat disorders including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because light is considered a mood booster. The main hindrance to a successful morning is mood and by opening up the windows the night before, using light colored sheets, reducing the use of lamps, and ensuring that the room is airy and not stuffy. This also opens up your brain and wakes it up from hours of slumber.

        Tailor Your Diet

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          What you put into your body directly affects how you will feel about the rest of the day. If you start your morning with sluggish food, you will have a sluggish day. I used to never eat breakfast, except on weekends. However, your morning is important to the start of the day, and some cultures even take it on as an important sit-down meal. There are certain foods that can put your day on the right track, including:

          • Grains: Including grains, like oatmeal and flax seed, is a great way to get your fill of potassium and heart-healthy foods. You can incorporate oatmeal with fruits, eat it in the form of a car, or mix it in with the other breakfast foods we will mention. Flax seed can also be added into a smoothie for your finer intake.
          • Yogurt: If you find that simply drinking milk is unsatisfying, and having it with your cereal is just not fun, then get your fill of calcium through yogurt. As mentioned before, you can enjoy it with fruit, honey, or nuts. Greek yogurt specifically comes with protein needed for a hearty morning.
          • Fruits: Fruits like bananas, blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, and raspberries all can satisfy your morning sweet tooth naturally, instead of grabbing the syrup or sugar filled breakfast buns. Many fruits come with natural vitamins. Some may also recommend grapefruit due to the antioxidants packed in it, however I would stay away if you take a morning supplement or medication due to interference.
          • Protein and Carbs: Grain cereals and breads can also be great additions to your breakfast a few times a week, either through toast or a small pastry here and there. These are fiber and nutrients that stick with you until lunch, preventing you from wanting to grab a mid-morning snack. On bread less days, grab meat (including turkey bacon or turkey sausage) instead. If you are vegetarian or vegan, avocados, lentils, apples, and blueberries all are protein packed.
          • Drinks: Coffee can still come with it’s health benefits, including lowering health risks and boosting antioxidants, when enjoyed moderately. If you set a limit to finish your cup of joe before noon, you won’t be jittery before bed. If you want to skip coffee, opt for tea. If you want to remove caffeine all together, a fruit filled smoothie is a nice morning treat. If you’re in a rush and can’t make a smoothie, go for cranberry juice to boost antioxidant intake.

          Understand the Purpose of Your Bed

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            When you find yourself getting work done in bed, and waking up to immediately check emails or work in your bed, you will find that your body will forget what the bed is only made for. Aside from sleep and sexual intercourse, you shouldn’t find yourself doing anything else in bed. By restricting your bed to those two acts, you will find that when you hit the sheets, your brain will gradually get into the bedtime mode and you will fall asleep faster. Put your phone on do not disturb if you have to and set your alarm. Out of sight, out of mind.

            Utilize That Gym Membership

            If you find that you aren’t making use of the gym membership you signed up for, use this as an excuse to incorporate the gym into your morning routine. A 30-45 minute daily workout in the morning, low-to-mid pace, can get your body moving and ready for the day. Look through your job and see if they offer gym membership discounts or partnerships. If your company as a gym, utilize it. If not and you’re looking to save money, a low pace walk around the neighborhood or treadmill in the morning can get you in the morning spirit.

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            Make the Morning About You

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              All in all, the key to becoming a morning person is to make the morning about you. When you get started on your task list, even if it includes tasks for other people, you are making the morning about yourself by feeling accomplished. When you eat a healthy breakfast, go to the gym, get eight hours of sleep every night, you are making an investment in yourself for a successful morning and a healthy life. Various successful people make their morning the most productive part of their day, why shouldn’t you?

              Let us know in the comments below how you are hacking your morning to make you a morning person.

              Featured photo credit: HavingTime via havingtime.com

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              Last Updated on March 25, 2020

              How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

              How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

              Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

              However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

              Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

              Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

              Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

              In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

              What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

              To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

              The Biology

              Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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              Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

              The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

              A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

              Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

              So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

              Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

              Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

              Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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              Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

              The Psychology

              Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

              Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

              Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

              Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

              What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

              Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

              Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

              1. Identify Your Habits

              As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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              2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

              Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

              It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

              3. Apply Logic

              You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

              Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

              4. Choose an Alternative

              As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

              Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

              5. Remove Triggers

              Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

              Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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              6. Visualize Change

              Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

              For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

              7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

              Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

              Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

              Final Thoughts

              Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

              Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

              More About Changing Habits

              Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

              Reference

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