The morning: the real enemy of most college kids. If you can develop into a morning person, then you a new potential ally. Kicking the over sleeping habit and using the morning productively is quite possible. If you follow these simple steps and techniques, you will enjoy the morning and increase productivity. No longer will you wake up and wonder what's for lunch. Instead, you will make breakfast for friends and family, because you will arise long before them.
Step 1: Commit 100%
Go all in for your objective of becoming a morning person. If you do not fully commit, you are doomed for failure and the day wins. To commit fully, establish why you want to become a morning person. Try some of these example reasons to reinforce why you are starting this process:
- Have more time to workout and eat a healthy breakfast, instead of sleeping though breakfast
- Have more time to get ready in the morning, instead of rushing out the door
- Read the newspaper and ease into the day
- Maintain a routine similar to that of the working world, so the transition from graduation to corporate world won't shock you
Step 2: Incentivize Your Process
Promise yourself that new pair of shoes if you wake up and work out every day for two weeks, or splurge on that Saturday night dinner after a week of waking up early. Whatever the prize, have something that you want to give yourself. That gift will give you an extra push to stay on track and accomplish your goals.
Step 3: Set Your Goals
Set long and short term goals, because both are equally important. Long term goals may seem daunting at first, but you can build to them time. Setting short term goals that directly relate to your long term goals can help your progress. Take the example sheet above as how to build your goals. Accomplishing the short term goals should keep you on track to complete your long term goals.
Be realistic in your goals too. Do not fall into the trap of having goals that are easier said than done. Unrealistic goals will only hamper your progress and possibly derail it all together. Take these short and long term goals as examples:
- Wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal 3x a week
- Workout in the morning 2x a week
- Make a healthy and hearty breakfast
- Go a whole week waking up at 6:30
NOTE: Try to make your short term goals building blocks into your long term goals, so that they are useful and you feel a want to complete them!
- Go a full month straight of waking up and working out before 8 A.M.
- Don't miss breakfast, even on weekend, for the entire semester
- Wake up at 6:30 without an alarm
Step 4: Partner Up
Wake up earlier: sounds simple in concept, but days will occur when you want to sleep in. On those days, you will slap the snooze button over and over. How can you prevent this? Easy: find a partner who is also committed to the morning. Hold each other accountable. With a person depending on you, you are less likely to sleep through the morning.
Try these tactics to better partner up:
- Convince your roommate to be your morning buddy and keep you accountable. They have access to your room so they can easily get you up in the morning.
- Swap goals with your partner. You now both know what the other is trying to complete, and how to best motivate them.
- Check in to make sure you both are making progress, because that is what it's all about.
Step 5: Get Those Feet on the Floor
When you are laying in your nice, warm bed, going back to sleep is easy. However, the second your feet touch the ground the day starts and you are up. The key is to have a system getting you out of bed in the morning. By getting out of bed, you have defeated the biggest enemy of the day and can start enjoying your morning.
Try these ideas to get your feet on the floor:
- Put your alarm clock across the room. To turn it off, you have to get up
- Throw your covers off your bed when your alarm goes off; that way the bed is no longer warm and cozy
- Have your partner drag you out of bed, which forces you to be up and moving
- Purchase an alarm clock that does not turn off until you stand on it.
Step 6: Get the Heart Pumping
Working out is one of the best ways to wake up and start your day. However, the thought of working out can make the morning scarier. Now you do not just lose sleep, but you also have to actively expel energy in the morning. If you can brave that painful idea and try it, then the results will keep you motivated and wanting more. You may even find enjoyment in those morning workouts!
Working out is not strictly lifting weights. Yoga, running or anything that really gets the blood pumping will help kick-start your day. Try the 6AM circuit, from the picture, one day. After, evaluate how you feel starting your day with a workout. The positive results, from a morning workout, will far outweigh the negatives, and soon you will workout five days a week.
Step 7: 2 Week Rule
This is huge for your continued morning success! In order to really adjust to the morning, wake up at the same time every single day for at least 2 weeks. When you set your goals, create short term goals that build to this. While you may want to ease into earlier mornings, ensured success demands two straight weeks of waking up at the same time.
Let's just clarify that one more time: WAKE UP EVERY SINGLE DAY, not just week days. If you do this, then your body will adjust realizing your commitment is real.
Note: For these 2 weeks, work on kicking your night-owl routine and begin to creep your bed time earlier. You can make up the sleep you will lose in the morning and help make it easier to wake up in the morning!
Step 8: Eat Like a King
Eating the best meal of the day is a big plus of the morning. As the saying goes "eat breakfast like a king." With the new time you have gained in the morning, you can cook extravagant meals. Indulge your culinary fascinations and make new and creative breakfast dishes. Eating a good breakfast also starts your day off right, and gives your body the nutrition it needs to function at its best level.
Try some of these recipe ideas for your breakfast:
Step 9: Don't Stop Here
If you have completed your short and made progress on your long term goals, then great work! However, do not stop here! Make new goals and keep enjoying and utilizing the morning time. You can always improve or build on something. The morning is a great time to do that. The future you will thank you for this transformation! Although you may have lost some sleep, you gained a lot more useful skills and time in the morning.