10…9…8…It’s almost the New Year, which means it’s almost time for New Year’s resolutions. You know, lose ten pounds, get better at keeping in touch with friends, become a morning person, et cetera. The difference between those three common promises, though, is that the third one is actually really easy to accomplish. On top of that, according to Harvard Business Review, morning people reap a ton of benefits, including better performance at work and higher wages. Just follow these nine steps and you’ll be up at the crack of dawn (happily) in no time.
9 Tricks for Becoming a Morning Person
Imagine how productive you'd be...
Break Up With Facebook
We know, we know, you’ve heard it before: Becoming a morning person actually starts at night. In your bedroom. Without your phone. We know. But here’s why it matters: if you are looking at a screen too close to your bedtime (meaning within an hour of trying to fall asleep), your brain slows down production of the sleep hormone melatonin. And if you wake early and think you’ll just check Instagram for one minute before you go back to sleep, just don't.
Get Enough Sleep--for You
Eight gets tossed around a lot as the ideal number of hours to sleep each night. In reality, though, everyone is different and as such requires a different amount of sleep. We like this sleep calculator for determining what our body needs (for the record, we need only six and a half hours).
Give It 21 Days
Once you figure out how many hours you need, try to stick to that amount every single night. It takes around 21 days to form a new habit, so in a few weeks, your body will be conditioned to thrive on your optimal number.
Try Inverted Snoozing
Tough talk: The first few mornings are going to be rough. But here’s an interesting mind game to try: When your alarm goes off nice and early, give in and hit the snooze button. But instead of, you know, snoozing for the next nine minutes, stay out of bed until your alarm rings again. Walk around, tidy up, basically do anything but lay down. When your alarm rings again, you should be awake enough to stay out of bed. Sneaky, sneaky.
Before you do anything else, get your body moving and your blood flowing. A quick morning stretch sets the tone for the rest of the day. We like this 12-minute yoga sequence, which could also improve your bone health.
Flood Your Room With Light
You probably like easing into your morning. You also probably like heavy pours of Chardonnay. Both aren't awesome for your body. Right after your stretch, turn on all of the lights or, if it's bright out, open the blinds. This signals to your brain that no, you cannot curl back under the covers.
Trick Yourself Into Wanting To Be Awake
You’re most likely to go back to sleep within the first few minutes of being awake. That’s why you should set a simple routine to keep your mind off of how comfortable your bed is. We like to do a set of stretches, start making coffee and brush our teeth. By the time we’re done with these mindless tasks, we’re awake enough to want to keep being productive.
If You're Up, Might As Well Work Out
If possible, try to squeeze a workout into your morning routine. An early sweat sesh is great for a number of reasons: People who work out in the morning are more likely to stick to a routine, it’s an instant energy boost and you don’t have to worry about making it to the gym in the evening. Also, exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands sleep until noon.
Just Eat Already
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yes? So start things off on the right foot, for Pete's sake. These power breakfasts are ridiculously easy to make and will keep you going for hours on end.