The Only Thing You Need to Know to Start a Positive Morning Routine

The One and Only Thing You Need to Start a Positive Morning Routine

For decades, I’ve stayed up late and had trouble sleeping through the night. I grumbled and snoozed my way to the last possible moment when I absolutely had to get up. Then, I’d rush, bleary-eyed through my morning paces before racing out the door – frustrated, hungry and late for my first appointment of the day.

I was tired All. The. Time. which made me believe that I needed at least 9 or more hours of sleep to function properly.

All that changed recently when I figured out the secret to becoming an early riser.

For almost as long as I’ve been a hater of mornings, I’ve been reading about and talking to a strange and foreign group of individuals who wake up early, accomplish amazing feats before dawn, and walk out the door fully groomed and functioning properly.

Morning People

While I was in search of a positive morning routine for myself, I dug into the literature. I learned that a glass of water, meditation, a healthy breakfast, reading, and more are key components of many a good A.M. routine. I read about the research on how much happier, more proactive and more productive we are if we’re early risers. Loads of web pages and blogs and studies exist about morning routines – why they’re good, how to be your most productive, how to become a “morning person,” and much, much more. Google it and you’ll have more reading material than you can manage.

Many of these articles talk about “morning people” as if they’re all born that way, leaving the night owls to feel as if the wee hours are hopelessly lost to us.

In fact, you might be thinking – as I did – that you don’t have time for morning shenanigans. Mornings are for sleeping and getting ready for work. Or you might be thinking, “When I get up in the morning, I have 5 other people to get ready for work and school. When would I fit in time to be a ‘morning person’?”

The Problem with Nighttime

Over the years, I have also thought long and hard about why I wasn’t doing the things I cared most about and how challenging it was to make progress on my goals. Every day, the activities that build my spirit fell somewhere near the bottom of my to-do list – after all the things I did for other people at work, at home, etc. More often than not, shoved to the bottom, they fell off the end as my list grew long and my energy grew short.

Exhaustion and lack of focus plagued me in the evenings, leaving me with an empty tank and no gumption with which to refill it. I knew I found energy in my favorite activities. I just didn’t have energy to do them. This cycle went round and round for far too long.

So how do we make the transition to refilling our tank with the good stuff so we have more to give ourselves and those we care for?

We make the shift from night owl to early bird. We put the good stuff first.

So, What’s the Secret to Becoming an Early Riser?

It’s no secret. We have to want to live our morning routine more than we want to sleep in. It has to be so good, we can’t wait to get up.

It’s that simple.

Let me be clear. I’m not getting up early these days so I can exercise. It’s not for love of housework that I roll out of bed at 5:30AM. And much as I love my job, that’s not the early bird’s worm I’m seeking.

I get up because I made a choice. I would rather meditate and write in the morning than sleep in.

That’s where my passions lie. That’s what I want to do with the clearest, least mentally cluttered moments of my day. I even learned that I feel most rested with about 7 hours of sleep, and when that’s what I’m getting, I fall asleep easier and sleep more deeply through the night.

What Do You Love More than Sleeping In?

I have friends who get up early in the morning to do yoga or attend exercise boot camps. Parents obviously love their children more than sleep, and I know of parents who get up a half hour before anyone else in the house so they can have their first cup of coffee in perfect silence. I know still others who rise early to journal in a notebook and plan out their day.

Hold your goals side by side with the idea of sleeping in. Which holds more weight?

Whatever your personal goals, whatever you want most in this world (I know you want more than a little Facebook time and a hurried cup of coffee) – make that part of your morning routine.

In those wee hours, you’ll give your best energy to your goals. You’ll gain energy from time well spent.

Best of all, you’ll look forward to getting up in the morning, even when the alarm goes off before the sun comes up.

Please share. What do you love more than sleeping in? 

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5 thoughts on “The One and Only Thing You Need to Start a Positive Morning Routine

  1. Thank you for this piece. Although I now manage to rise earlier every day, thanks to an aging bladder, I still go to bed way too late. Too often I do not feel rested when I rise. But I so love the morning quiet–on the few mornings the delivery trucks aren’t banging and clanging outside our window. I especially love getting to see first light rise above the houses on the hills above us and to feel the cool morning breezes.

    It’s time I take your advice, and do what I know heals my spirit: Rise early enough to meditate and to stretch my ligaments. I’d love to get myself out for a walk before the traffic gets going.

    I’ve experienced how this routine heals me, body and soul. Why have I let it lapse again? It’s almost as if I don’t dare let myself feel that good, as though with all the suffering in the world, I shouldn’t permit myself a little of the peace I am fortunate to enjoy. But that’s utterly silly, isn’t it?

    • Kathryn, Morning walks are the best. The quiet, the golden light, and the movement are a great way to start any day. And you’re right, training ourselves to go to bed at a “decent hour” is such an important piece. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. Old habits creep back in without us noticing. I get a little nervous some mornings when the temptation to hit the snooze button is strong. I’m glad this helped you recall your love of mornings and the peace you find there. Enjoy!

  2. Thank you for this! I was just struggling over something someone recently said. “It is the early risers who succeed in business.” I am so not a morning person but I also know I am not getting done what I need each day sleeping in. I have felt this struggle for years and that statement I heard this week got me really thinking. Now your post. I get the hint now and I plan on working on trying to get up earlier. 🙂

    • Catherine, I love to hear when things come together at the right time for someone, when you’re most receptive to the messages that are out there. So pleased to have put this out there right when you needed it. Best wishes for your mornings! Monica

  3. This is the best article I’ve read on why you should get up early! I want to get a good start with journaling and reflecting on my faith.

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