I have never been a morning person.
I love sleep too much and I hate feeling tired (massive respect for the tired mums out there).
Now I’m approaching 30 though and I’ve got shit to do – I don’t want to be wasting precious hours of my life in bed. I’ve always deep down known that I’m most productive in the mornings and it was time to embrace it. If I need any more motivation, lots of studies show that morning people are more successful, happy and healthier.
With this new motivation, I tried to become one of those morning people and began deliberately setting my alarm early – like 5.45 early. I kept this up for about 3 weeks. I managed to go to the gym, checked out some blog stuff and got some studying done (I’m learning to code) before work. It felt like I was achieving and a badass boss woman.
But after 3 weeks it started going wrong. I had a lay-in during the work week, which means I slept in till 7 or 8. Not what you would call a lay-in, but it was enough to break the routine and that 1 lay-in led to 3. It’s now been nearly a month since my early morning plan failed and I’m back to old habits of getting up late and rushing to work.
From Monday I’m starting a new early morning challenge called #66daysearly. Here’s what I learnt from failing to become a morning person and how I’m going to stick to it this time around:
Research tells us that it takes 66 days on average to develop a new habit and behaviour. For me, this is getting myself out of bed early and using the time to work out. This could apply to anything though, whether it’s to quit smoking, stop drinking or to read an hour before bed instead of watching telly. These 66 days need to be consistent too (e.g. daily) for it to become a habit. This is where I went wrong. At around the 21-day mark, I felt like I had my new early morning’s habit nailed, so I started to relax a bit. That’s where I lost it. Leading me to my second point…
Don’t get cocky
If I’m being honest, I felt a little cocky and like a winner after a couple of weeks of getting up early and achieving my goal. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with feeling proud of yourself. But it’s at this stage, when you’re starting to feel more confident, that we can start thinking “I’ve done it”, “I can relax a little” or “one (lay-in) won’t hurt”. This happened to me after a few days in the row where I woke up before my alarm. This time is EXACTLY when you need to be on your guard! It’s easy to start letting all the good work and good behaviours slip at this stage. 2-3 weeks just isn’t long enough to have a new behaviour turn into a long-lasting habit and lifestyle choice. The more we do something and repeat a behaviour, the more automatic that behaviour becomes. Eventually, it won’t feel like such a chore, you won’t have to think about it as much and you’ll do it without thinking. If you’re at the 2-3 weeks stage – keep going!
Share the journey
Are you lucky enough to know someone else who wants to achieve the same goal as you? Do a 66-day challenge with them! Maybe try texting them when you both wake up super early in the mornings. Or make a gym date together before you go to work. When I was getting up at 5.45, it was mainly to meet a friend for a gym class together. Sometimes it can feel harder to let someone else down than it is to let ourselves down. If we’re sharing and discussing our goal with someone else, it can feel like there’s more weight to it. Even if you’re creating a new habit for yourself, talk about it and share it with those you’re close to. We all could do with some cheerleaders in our lives.
I’m about to start my 66 days early morning challenge tomorrow – wish me luck! Anyone else out there switched to become a morning person? Any tips on how you manage to get yourself out of bed early every day? I’d love to hear what helped you out. I’ll be using the #66earlymornings on Instagram to track my progress.
(p.s. the adorable creature in the picture is my cat called porscha hogging my bed!)