For most of us, morning people are like being professional athletes. We wish we were disciplined/motivated/energetic/alive enough to be one, but we just aren’t, end of story.
“I’m not a morning person” — commonly said by you, me, him, her, your next door neighbor, my dog, your cat, everyone, ever.
That said, without being cheesy and you-can-do-anything-and-be-anyone-you-want-to-be, you honestly can be a morning person, if you decide to. Although before I tell you how, however, let’s start with why — why should you be a morning person? What’s the point?
Reasons to be a morning person (especially in college):
- Productivity. You can get so much done in the morning — this could include fitting in that workout, finishing your paper, getting to the printer in Leavey before there’s a line… There’s always something to be done, and in the morning, there’s time to do it.
- Time off. Nobody else is awake in the morning, which makes waking up early even better. You can have some serious time to yourself — nobody will text you, call you, email you, complain to you about the avocado shortage… It’s just you and you, to do whatever it is you do when you’re alone.
- Bragging rights. Let’s be honest, it’s always cooler to be able to say “I get up at 5 a.m. every morning” rather than “I slept in until noon — again.” While the sleep-in statement might reap the “ugh, jealous” response, if you’ve gotten up early by choice, gotten things done, had a quiet cup of coffee and long, hot shower, the truth is you aren’t actually jealous at all. In fact, you’re winning, so brag away — be that person.
- The sunrise. I’m sorry, but no matter who you are, where you come from or how cool you think you are, a sunrise is always cooler. Always. Watching your bedroom fill with pink is amazing, and being outside (perhaps running? Exercise? What?) is even better; you get to experience that cool, crisp morning air, gradual flooding of L.A. light, without the cars or sirens or chat about that frat party coming up. Peace. Colors. Perfect.
- It’s an excuse to go to bed early. Unless there’s some awesome party, concert or gig going on that you want to go to, having an excuse to get into bed by 10 p.m. is always a good thing (plus, you actually can, because you finished that paper in the morning, remember?)
Now that you’re convinced and you want to be a morning person (admit it, you do), let’s move onto the how. Try implementing a few/all of these steps, and really stick with it for a solid two weeks (it takes time to change your habits; be patient). Your life will change for the better.
- Get up super early on day one. This is just the first day. Say you’re used to getting into bed at midnight every night; stay up as normal on the Tuesday night, get up at 4 a.m. on the Wednesday no matter what time you went to sleep the night before, and then by Wednesday night, you’ll be so tired that you will fall asleep around 9 p.m., therefore making it so much easier to get up at 5 or 6 a.m. the next morning. Day one, complete. (It only gets easier, trust me).
- Get a good alarm. I can’t be only one that presses the snooze button on my iPhone alarm 18 times before getting out of bed in the morning. This has to change. First of all, if you want ease and convenience, turn the option to snooze off altogether (yep, go into your settings and get rid of it). Next, make sure your alarm is not near your bed. Having to get out of bed to turn it off literally forces you to either wake up, or bang your head against the pillow to the beat of the beeping for another hour — your choice. If you want to be super strict, download the free app Alarmy — this requires you to either take a photo of something (not in your bedroom) or answer a series of math questions in order to shut the alarm off. *Just make sure you change the difficulty of the math questions, considering it’s 5 a.m.…. I learned that the hard way, with a violently beeping phone in my hands in the pitch black asking me to solve 13 x 17 – 4 + 91 (No. I’m an English major).
- Have something worth getting up for. There’s no point getting up against all odds, in pain, upset, whatever. It’s not sustainable. If you’re getting yourself up at 5 a.m. to go swimming, and you hate swimming, then I’m sorry, but what are you thinking? Find something you enjoy — something that motivates you to get out of the covers and up a and moving. Even if this is just your morning coffee — anything. Treat yo’ self!
- Get enough sleep the night before. People tend to assume that getting up early equates to not getting as many hours of sleep, but that’s simply untrue — as I mentioned earlier, not only does getting up early give you an excuse to get to sleep earlier, too, but it actually requires that you do so. Your body needs those ideal 8 to 10 hours of rest every night, and failing to hit this golden range of rest will inevitably ensure that you turn off your alarm, roll over and proceed to tell your roommate over brunch how you’re just not a morning person.
- DON’T SAY THOSE WORDS! Did it ever occur to you that you are who you think or say you are? If you constantly tell people that you’re “just not a morning person” then guess what, Einstein — you’re not a morning person! Only in this case, it’s not really something you want to be right about. I’m not suggesting that you roll around campus telling everyone you’re such a morning person it’s ridiculous, but by simply removing that icky little phrase from your vocabulary, your subconscious is going to be 1000 times more open to accepting the early ring of the alarm as natural, rather than offensive and abrupt. It’s all a mind game, I swear.
Annabel Hickey is sophomore majoring in creative writing. Her column, How To, runs every other week on Fridays.