It’s no secret I’m a morning person. If you’ve ever sent me a text after 9 PM, then it was probably clear to you that I’m a morning person when I responded before 6 AM the next day. I also really enjoy going to bed early, all curled up with a book. For me, early to bed, early to rise isn’t just good advice. It’s the only way to live.

How to be a morning person

I wasn’t always a morning person, but once I discovered how good it felt to wake up early and get shit done, I was hooked. Even if you only get menial or easy tasks done before 9 AM, it just feels so good to know that you’re ahead of the rest of the world. I love that waking up early gives me time that I wouldn’t otherwise have. It’s time when I get to do things just for me. So I try to make the most of it.

If you’ve ever wanted to be a morning person, but don’t know where to start, keep reading.

5 things you can do to be a morning person Share on X

001: Set an alarm and don’t snooze.
The snooze button is your enemy. If you want to be a morning person, you have to break up with him. I have been using this alarm clock, and it’s definitely a game changer. It lights up before it’s time to get up, and it gets brighter and brighter as it gets closer to your alarm time. It’s such a nice and chill way to wake up. Sure, it still makes a terrible alarm sound, but I’m usually awake by that time anyway since the light slowly wakes you up.

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002: Don’t look at your phone first thing.
If you take one thing from reading this blog, take this: Smart phone notifications are someone else’s agenda for your time. The only difference between those little app badge notifications and a pebble in your shoe is that once you remove the pebble, it doesn’t keep coming back.

If you check your phone first thing when you open your eyes, you are setting yourself up for productivity failure. Why? Because you’re starting your day with someone else’s agenda, and not your own. Let the morning be your time to use for yourself. I can say from experience that it’s almost impossible to wake up early for someone else because the motivation isn’t there. Also, why the hell would you go to the trouble of waking up early only to spend time looking at your phone? Seriously, that thing will be in your back pocket, just taunting you for the rest of the day. There will be plenty of time later to make sure you’re all caught up on Snapchat.

003: Make waking up early your morning linch pin.
I think the one key thing that keeps me a morning person is that if I don’t get up, there’s a whole series of events that don’t occur. If I don’t wake up early and feed Rosie, then she will start acting out. (Does anyone else have a dog that makes themselves vomit to get your attention?) If I don’t wake up early, then no one will set the coffee maker, because I do that while Rosie is horfing down her kibble. And most importantly, if I don’t wake up early, then I won’t work out. It’s too hard to go to the gym at the end of the day. I enjoy starting my day with some cardio and yoga. And my mental health is so much better for it. And even if I don’t get to the gym, I fill that morning time with reading or writing. And those are two things I wouldn’t have time for unless I got up early.

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004: Be consistent. 
I’m not saying you can’t sleep in on the weekends, but what I am saying is that you can’t wake up at 5:15 AM on weekdays, and then sleep until 11 AM on the weekends. For me, sleeping in means getting up around 6:30 AM or 7. But, if I’m being honest, I still wake up at the normal time my alarm goes off on the weekends even if I don’t set an alarm. I do make myself doze back off though, just because the gym isn’t open that early on the weekends, and I know Chris needs the sleep so I shouldn’t get up and piddle around. (I still make sure to get up early enough so that Rosie doesn’t play her vomit game. Damn dog.)

005: You have to want it.
For a year or so there, I thought I might not be a morning person anymore. I was struggling to wake up when I wanted to, and hit the snooze button a lot. Well, one week of using a real alarm clock on the other side of the room changed my mind. I have been consistently waking up about 10-15 minutes before my 5:20 AM alarm, and it’s been awesome to get to the gym just as they open.

But the major thing that changed here is that I wanted to get up, so I stopped using my phone and used a real alarm clock. And by putting the alarm clock on the other side of the room, I cut out the opportunity for snoozing since I have to get up to turn it off. And I did this because I really wanted to get up and get back in the habit of working out.

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What about you? What are your ride-or-die tips for being a morning person?

12 Responses

  1. I don’t consider myself a morning person because I don’t jump up and feel happy about it, but I definitely love the feeling of getting a lot of stuff done before 8 am on weekends. I used to be a night owl: staying up well past midnight and sleeping until noon (or sometimes, waking up at ten, eating breakfast, going back for a nap!) but I definitely felt the waste of the day. This was pre-AT. The last six years have changed a lot of that. I definitely would love to sleep until 8 sometime, but having a baby/toddler definitely helps a night owl become a morning person.

    1. I was a total night owl in my early 20s. A lot of it was because I worked as a waitress/bartender, and I had to be up late for my job. But the older I get, the more I feel I need to get up super early. And I don’t know if I’ve ever felt happy about actually getting out of bed (especially in the winter when it’s so cold outside the covers) but after 5 minutes or so, I’m generally glad I’m up.

      And I can only imagine how a toddler changes your schedule. I should probably stop complaining about my dog’s little puke antics.

  2. YESSS. I knew I liked you on a deep, fundamental level. Early risers are the BEST!
    So true that this habit adds something special to your day, also true that once it’s a habit it’s a hard one to break. Thanks in part to the pulse of a farm with crowing roosters, also to having a dog much like Rosie, sleeping late for us is like… 6:45 tops. Last weekend it was dark and stormy and somehow we managed to stay cozy until after 7:30 and kind of felt panicked, like, WHERE HAS THE DAY GONE. WHAT HAVE WE MISSED.

    I digress with you, though, on not checking my phone early; I do love a good Snapchat exchange.

    1. Man, snapchat may be the only thing that can break my resolve… And I love that you slept until 7:30 and felt like the day was gone! I’ve totally been there too.

  3. For many years now, I’ve been blessed with a natural circadian rhythm that sends me to bed shortly after dark and pops my eyes open well before sunrise. And I must say, I’m quite healthy. Unfortunately, wealth and wisdom continue to elude me.

    1. Man, if only we could figure out the key to wealth and wisdom, we could right that old saying that has been lying to us for years.

  4. These are all great. I’m a morning person, but lately I’ve made the mistake of looking at my phone first thing. The first few minutes are crucial, esp. when I’m getting up super early. I need to get up and get going immediately to set the tone for the day. My first “rest” time is best to come at breakfast, before the kiddos are up and the before-school routine begins.

    1. Agreed! I love using breakfast as a little break in the morning. That’s when I sit down for the first time, eat, and of course, consume more coffee than I should.

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