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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

How to Become a Morning Person: 8 Steps to Kickstart

How to Become a Morning Person: 8 Steps to Kickstart

Waking up early, getting out of bed and starting the day has, for some reason, become the ultimate challenge for so many people. Yet, waking up early is one of the best things you can do.

Why? I hear you ask.

For a start, early mornings are the most beautiful time of the day. With so few people doing it, it also means it is the quietest time of the day too. It means you get to spend quality time with yourself without the risk of being interrupted or disturbed and, it means you have time to work on the things you want to work on.

Waking up early is simple. Set your alarm, go to bed, wake up when your alarm goes off. Simple eh? Well, simple, yes. Easy? Maybe not.

It can be very hard to open our eyes, get out of bed and stumble to the coffee making facilities. It’s made even harder if you didn’t go to bed until 1 or 2am.

Now if you feel waking up as late as possible, staggering out of bed bleary-eyed, turning on the coffee pot, walking around your home in a daze knowing you have only twenty-minutes before you have to leave home to get to work is a better alternative, good luck.

So how to become a morning person consistently? Here are a few steps that have worked for me.

1. Decide to Start

The first step is easy. Just decide that from now on, you are going to wake up early.

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Decide what time you want to wake up and then set the date. On the assigned day, set your alarm for the time you want to wake up and just wake up, get out of bed.

Making the decision is the easy part. Starting is the hardest. So make that decision. Once you make the decision and start it just gets easier.

2. Know How Much Sleep You need

How much sleep do you need? This was a mistake I made when I started waking up early. I did not work out how much sleep I needed.

We are all different here. Some people need nine to ten hours of sleep, others four to six. I need between six and seven hours. Once I discovered how much sleep I needed, I could modify the time I went to bed each night.

So, I need between six and seven hours sleep per night, which meant I needed to go to bed between 10pm and 10:30pm and now, for the most part, I manage to do that.

Once you know how much sleep you need, you can modify your bedtime accordingly. If you need seven hours of sleep and want to start waking up at 6 am, you should aim to be in bed by 10:30 pm. This will allow you thirty minutes to drift off and ensure you get your seven hours.

3. Have a Plan

Okay, so you are going to wake up earlier. Great, now what? What will you do with the extra hour or so? You need a plan.

Robin Sharma has been peaching about getting up at 5am for years and in his recently published book, The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning Elevate Your Life, he goes into a lot of detail about what you can do with that morning hour you create for yourself.

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Robin advocates doing 20 minutes exercise, 20 minutes planning and twenty minutes studying. I love this concept myself. I modified that a little and instead of exercise, I study Korean for thirty minutes, then do 15 minutes planning and finish the hour with 15 minutes of meditation. For me, that one hour focused on what is important to me sets me up for a perfect day.

The beauty of waking up early is you get to choose what you do with your extra time. The best advice I can give you is whatever you do with that time, make sure it is time you spend on yourself and not doing anything like checking email or your social media feeds. There will be plenty of time to do that later in the day. This morning hour is for you.

4. Pick a Date and Just Start

Slowly reducing your waking up time is a very painful way to wake up earlier. You end up prolonging the transition period and that is not pleasant. Just pick a day—Mondays are a good day to start—and wake up at the time you have chosen to wake up.

Now, I am not going to tell you it will be easy. It won’t. If you have been waking up at 7:30am for years and you start waking up at 5am, it will be difficult. You will feel rotten in the afternoon for a few days. It took me around four days to get used to waking up at 5am.

The transition period was tough. The afternoons were particularly hard. But after a few days, it became easier. I started going to bed a little earlier and after a few days, I was sleeping much better at night. All that is just part of the transition and the transition period only lasts for a few days.

Being mentally prepared for a tough few days though will make it bearable. Accept that for a few days, you will not feel great; but understand that once you pass through this transition period, you will find it much easier to wake up at your new earlier hour.

5. Don’t Overthink It, Just Do It

Once you decide you want to wake up early, just do it. Decide when you will begin, set your alarm and just do it.

Too often, we tend to overthink these things and then find all the excuses we need to prevent us from ever starting. We go to bed early, find ourselves being unable to sleep and so, we then tell ourselves that we won’t start tomorrow—we’ll start the next day instead. We end up in a perpetual cycle of never actually starting. It’s always going to be the next day or the next week.

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Look, whenever you start, it is going to be hard. But you only need a few days to transition and soon, it will be easy and it will become a habit. And then, you will wonder why it took you so long to get started.

The sooner you start, the sooner you will begin to enjoy the benefits of waking up early and having an extra hour in your day for yourself to do the things you want to do, without being interrupted or distracted by other people’s crises and issues.

6. Make Your Morning Routine “Me Time”

A difficulty we all face these days is finding any time in the day just for ourselves. To read the books we want to read, to exercise and to just be with our thoughts. When you begin waking up an hour or so earlier each day, you get to find that time.

Those pre-dawn hours are so quiet that you can do what you want to do without the risk of someone else disturbing you. This is your time. That is why you do not want to be using this time for doing more work.

Just enjoy the extra time you have and do the things you want to do. During the winter months, go out for a walk before the sunrises and watch it rise. In the summer months, you can open your windows and listen to the birds waking up without their song being drowned out by the noise of cars and trucks.

7. Don’t Break the Chain

The concept of ‘don’t break the chain’ is a very valuable concept to use here. Essentially, what you do is make a checkmark on a calendar or in a diary to indicate those days when you woke up and got out of bed at your desired time. After a few days, you will find you don’t want to ‘break’ your consistent run. It creates some self-competition and adds some motivation to keep you going when things get tough.

When I began waking up at 5am, I used my journal to write down the days I woke up at 5am. At the top of the page, I wrote “Day XX – 5AM Club”. Over time, it was fantastic to see the number increasing. I got to Day 173 before I had to break the chain because I flew to Europe and the time zone difference between Asia and Europe messed up my routine. The cool thing about this though, is when I returned to Asia, I restarted the count. I am now on Day 82 and I have 92 days to go to beat my previous best. That’s great motivation.

Counting the days is fun, but the reality is waking up at 5am no longer feels like a challenge. It is something I just do. It feels natural to wake up at 5am to make a coffee and sit down to study Korean. I love learning new words and phrases and the fifteen minutes of planning I have after I finish my Korean studying sets me up for a wonderful day, where I am completely focused on my objectives. Then, I have my fifteen minutes of quiet meditation before making my breakfast and starting my day.

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8. Just Enjoy the Time

With everything that goes on in our lives throughout the day, it can be hard just to have a moment to ourselves. To reflect, appreciate and be grateful for what we have. The time you create for yourself by waking up early gives you that time and so, don’t waste it thinking about the problems you have to deal with. Use the time positively and appreciate it.

Listen to your favourite music, the birds or a beautiful meditative album. Whatever you decide to do, this is your time so just enjoy it.

The Bottom Line

Waking up early gives you space. Space for yourself in a world designed to distract you. It gives you the time to reflect, work on the things you want to do and enjoy some quiet ‘me time’.

All you need to do is decide to wake up earlier, then set the date and begin. All a little time for the transition and just enjoy the time you have for yourself.

Remember to set a date when you will start and just start. Accept there will be a short transition period. The sooner you start, the sooner waking up early will be easy. Then, have a plan for what you will do with your extra morning time and make it “me time”. Also, appreciate the quiet and beauty all around you and wallow in the pleasure it brings you.

More About Becoming a Morning Person

Featured photo credit: Keenan Constance via unsplash.com

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Carl Pullein

Dedicated to helping people to achieve their maximum potential through better time management and productivity.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2020

10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

  • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
  • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
  • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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2. Be Grateful for What You Have

Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

“I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

3. Smile

Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

Can you smile again?

4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

5. Exercise Daily

One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

So how do you manage your time effectively?

Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

“I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

  • Monday – Management
  • Tuesdays – Product
  • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
  • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
  • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
  • Saturdays – Taking off
  • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

“What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

Be intentional about your daily goals!

8. Seek Inspiration

It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

“The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

“A small leak sinks a great ship.”

It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

The Bottom Line

Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

More About Habits

Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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