Just finding your way here? Catch up on the full morning person experiment:
Today’s post is the wrap up after the experiment, keep reading if you’re ready to see what I learned over those five days!
Even though the official end of the 5 day morning person experiment is over, I’m still working towards making that change.
Along the way I’ve noticed a few key things that will probably help you on your morning person journey too!
1. You are who you think you are
What I mean when I say ‘you are who you think you are’ is that if you think “I’m a night owl” then you’ll be a night owl. Since we’re reprogramming ourselves to be morning people, it’s important for us to start reshaping our idea of ourselves.
How do you reshape who you are when there is so much resistance?
Through this experiment (and life in general), I’ve discovered that there is a simple trick to help your mind come to terms with this new you. It’s a simple, two-fold process. The first step is to give yourself permission to think new thoughts, especially the thought that who you are is in constant flux and change. For me, I continually reminded myself that I am still me fundamentally even if I am no longer a night owl. I am still me even if I like mornings instead of hating them. I am still me when I am in love with getting up in the morning.
You get the idea.
The second step is to think that very thought about yourself, giving your subconscious time to absorb it, adjust to it, and adapt it.
I am a morning person. I like mornings. Mornings are great. I feel great in the morning. I look forward to getting up in the morning. Getting up early is easy. Getting up at 8am is late.
Those sorts of thoughts.
While it’s no magic pill, changing your inner soundtrack is critical to the success of changing your behavior.
2. You can become a morning person, despite what your inner critic says
By this, I’m really talking about how our inner voice tries to sabotage us. For instance, virtually every morning I wake up and my first thought is something like “Ugh. I’m tired. My eyes feel tired. My head hurts. My body aches. It’s warm in my bed. I should just snooze the alarm because I’ll feel better if I sleep some more”.
I want you to pay close attention to that last bit-“I’ll feel better if I sleep some more”. (Or go back to sleep, whatever your flavor is).
This one, single thought can derail your entire transformation if you believe it.
I’m not going to say anything so trite as “ignore it, get up any way” (though if you can do that, more power to ya!).
Instead, I want you to simply gather some evidence. If you give in and go back to sleep, I want you to really pay attention when you finally get up-how do you feel? I know I ALWAYS feel awful. 9am? 10am? 11am? Yup. Still tired. Still achy. Still feeling like I need more sleep.
That is evidence that the idea of sleeping more to feel better is a lie. (Don’t get me wrong-there are definitely times when you truly need more sleep and when you’re paying attention to how you feel, you get much better at identifying that feeling, which you should totally listen to!)
If you were good and got up like you planned, collect evidence to debunk the idea that sleeping more would make you feel better. I know I feel 100 times better when I get up early than when I get up late. Even my metabolism seems to be in high gear!
Pay close attention to how good you feel, how much you got done before 8am, and anything else that is a positive result of your getting up early.
Collecting this evidence is the ammunition we need for tomorrow morning so that when the alarm goes off or we find ourselves awake early for no good reason, we can say definitively “nope-I feel exactly the same even if I sleep 3 more hours. So why waste the day? I might as well get up now.”
In fact, I’ve actually found that I feel WORSE if I sleep until 8 or 9am which means it’s really easy for me to debunk my inner critic when it lies to me first thing in the morning. I can say “nope-I feel better if I get up NOW. So I’m getting up now.”
3. Give yourself permission to take a nap
Ah, naps. Regretfully I rarely get to enjoy one but to make this transition to morning person much smoother, I’ve promised myself naps. Let me tell you, just knowing a nap is an option can make the toughest mornings much easier.
Inner critic: “I don’t want to get up early, I’m tired”
Me: “If I’m still tired in an hour or two, I can take a nap. I’ll be no worse off than a ‘normal’ morning.”
Inner critic: “ooh naps! We don’t have time to nap”
Me: “Seriously, it will be like I got up at my usual time. It’s totally okay to take a nap.”
Inner Critic: “okay. fine. we’ll try it your way.”
4. Reward yourself
After I’ve gotten my basics out of the way (water, workout, breakfast), I give myself permission to do whatever I want for an hour. It’s my reward for getting up early. While I don’t want to make a bad habit, I do want to make sure that I do something enjoyable pretty much first thing in the morning to reprogram my idea of what early mornings look like. If I know that I can read something I’ve been looking forward to, catch up on a favorite show, or simply get lost in the world of blogs, I’m way more likely to get up. It hardly feels like work if I’m going to get to do something I really want to do. Plus, even after I’ve done my essentials, I’m still ahead of the game with time to spare so I’m no worse off than if I’d slept in. A total win-win!
How’s your morning person experiment going? Are you making progress or struggling?