It’s safe to say that most people don’t spring out of bed with excitement as soon as the alarm goes off. Even self-proclaimed “morning people” struggle to get out of the comfy warmth of those covers! But even if you’re a night owl, it’s possible to learn to love morning—not just tolerate it.
Why should you love morning in the first place? Unfortunately for night owls, most of the modern world is geared toward people who operate best in the early hours. School and work generally begin at eight or nine o’clock, which means most people have to be awake by seven at the latest. Learning to enjoy morning can be in the best interest of your health, career and personal life, and here are a few habits to help you.
Plan Your Day the Night Before
One of the frustrations of morning is how hectic it is. You’re racing to shower, get dressed, pack lunch, do devotions—with none of these things getting your full focus. You arrive at work or class harried and confused, not focused on what you need to accomplish that day. This is all because of how the day started!
Instead, try making a list for each day the night before. Keep a notepad on your nightstand or leave your planner open to the next day’s page. Write down everything you need to do and everything on your mind. This will not only improve your sleep, but will also give you a reference point when you wake up.
It doesn’t need to be an hourly schedule (6 a.m. wake up, 6:05 shower, etc.). Just make a list of the things you need to do in the order you need to do them.
Set Out Your Clothes
Do you know what exhausts the human mind? Being overwhelmed by choices. Each day we make hundreds of decisions—most of them insignificant! Each of these detracts from our focus on the BIG decisions we need to make. Picking out your clothes is an example of a time-consuming decision that you can take care of the night before.
When I was working full time in the professional world, I would set out my clothes for each day of the workweek. I made tags with the day I intended to wear that outfit—Monday, Tuesday—and didn’t have to worry about it again until Sunday night! Sometimes I switched out outfits depending on my mood, but most of the work was already done.
Set Up a Reward
Most people dislike morning for the process of getting up. It’s so hard just to get out of bed, especially if you’re planning to work out immediately. But think about how you’d behave if you had something GREAT happening that day. You’d be excited to get up!
Trick yourself into enjoying morning by scheduling something you love during your morning routine. If you love coffee (I do!), treat yourself to a special brand and have it waiting for when you get up. If you love music, make a playlist specifically for your morning tasks. Having a reward makes getting up that much easier!
Establish an Evening Routine
Another reason we struggle to enjoy morning is because we are tired. We all have a limited amount of time in each day; we can spend it at night or use it in the morning. You have as much time in the morning as you do at night, but to enjoy it, you have to discipline your sleep habits. You need to go to bed!
A good way to accomplish this is to establish a nighttime routine. I have a hard time going to bed on time (I go to bed at 9 p.m. to get up at 5 a.m.), so I have a process to help me get in the mood for bedtime. I also save my latest reads for bedtime, so I have something to look forward to and keep me sticking to my schedule!
All of these habits will help you learn to love morning, but they require one more thing: diligence. You have to be consistent over time to see results! As you make the switch to utilize morning more, you’ll be less stressed, have an easier time getting out the door and even find more time for the things you love. Don’t get frustrated at the process or give up because you sleep in once or twice! Just get back on schedule and let the morning work for you.