Whenever I’m asked the question, “Are you a morning or a night person?”, I have mini identity crisis. I’m never sure how to answer. I’m definitely not a night owl. I mean, I’m usually in bed no later than 9 pm, but getting up early can just be dang hard.
Really, I think I’m just a “sleep” person. I genuinely think I require more sleep than the average person. I place a high priority on getting 8 hours each night.
However, as much as I value my sleep, I have also seen the amazing benefits of a great morning. When I get up early I do more than just start my day well, I set myself up for success. I’m more centered and less frantic. More calm and less stressed. Here are a few things that I believe are essential to a happy morning.
1. Start Small. Maybe your goal is a 5 am wakeup, but your current alarm is set for 7:10. You know, the absolute latest you can get up, look presentable, and still make it to work on time. Don’t automatically jump from 7:00 to 5:00, you will truly hate yourself for this. Instead, wake up 10 minutes earlier each day until you reach your 5 am goal. With these incremental adjustments your body won’t event notice the drastic change. And if necessary, put your phone (or whatever you use for an alarm) across the room so that you’re forced to get out of bed to turn it off.
2. Start with Jesus. I have tried so many different “quiet time” formats. Morning, evening, lunch time etc., but I strongly believe that spending the first several minutes of my day in the Word with Jesus is crucial to living my day in step with him. My focus is on Him rather than myself, I tend to be more thankful throughout my day and actually notice His blessings, and my perspective is much more aligned with God’s. It doesn’t have to be an exhaustive study. Again, be gradual and start with a quick, 5 minute devotional. If we want to be equipped to live with Him throughout our day then we have to start by putting on His armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) and meditating on His word.
3. Change Your Attitude. I’ve been reminded so many times lately that my attitude can change any situation, and I control my own attitude. So, part of having a good morning is changing your attitude about getting up early and the day ahead. We have to choose to see the good. Being thankful is also essential in changing ones attitude so begin implementing the practice of gratitude first thing in the morning. Spend just a couple of minutes writing down 3-5 things you’re thankful for. I guarantee it will shift your perspective.
4. Have a plan. Know what you’re going to do with your time in the morning because if you don’t, you’ll waste it. Have a Bible study plan, know what you’re eating for breakfast and what you’re wearing that day. The fewer decisions you have to make right away, the better. Without a plan you run the risk of wasting time trying to make decisions while your brain is foggy. For me, the mornings I don’t have a structured Bible study or devotional ready, I’m much more likely to just give up and go back to bed.
5. Eat a real breakfast. Make time for good, real food in the morning and make it simple. Become friends with meal prepping so that all you have to do in the morning is throw some produce in the blender and walk out the door. Preparing my breakfasts for the week on Sunday has completely changed my breakfast eating game.
Good luck with your mornings! I’d love to hear what helps you have a happy Monday so leave a comment below!