How to Become a Morning Person

Recently, someone listened to my podcast entitled “Become More Productive by Reengineering Your Morning Ritual.” They wrote to me and said, “I really would like to be a morning person. Do you have any advice for becoming one? Is that even possible?”

How to Become a Morning Person

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/mammuth

First of all, yes, it is possible. This is not like trying to become a professional basketball player if you are only 5'6" tall. This is more like trying to change a belief system and a set of habits. You can do it if you are intentional.

Why would you want to do this? I listed some of these reasons in my podcast, but let me repeat them. They are pretty compelling.

“Morning people” tend to:

But how do you actually become a morning person if you aren’t one now? Here are nine steps you can take starting today:

  1. Change your story. So many people say, ”I’m not a morning person,” as though it were an immutable fact. Could it be that there is no biological evidence for this? What if you discovered that this was merely a preference and years of practice? What would happen if you changed the story and began telling yourself, “I am a morning person.” Usually, we adjust our behavior to fit our story.
  2. Determine what’s at stake. Whenever I want to change anything in my life or accomplish a significant goal, I start by articulating to myself why it is important. Write down on a sheet of paper what becoming a morning person would make possible. Then, conversely, write down what is at risk if you don’t. This is great to do when you are motivated; however, its real value is to keep you going when you’ve lost that first blush of enthusiasm.
  3. Plan your sleep. Like changing any other habit, you have to set yourself up for success. You probably can’t keep going to bed at the same time you are now and get by on less sleep. Your body will resist. Instead, if you know you need seven hours of sleep, and you know you’d like to get up at 5:00 a.m., calculate backwards to determine what time you must be asleep. For example, I get up at 5:00 a.m. and need seven hours sleep. That means I have to be in bed asleep by 10:00 p.m.
  4. Use an alarm. After years of waking up early, this has become an engrained habit for me. I wake up at 5:00 a.m. without an alarm. It is amazing how consistent this is—sometimes when I don’t want it to be. But if you haven’t been a morning person until now, you will likely need to use an alarm. It’s part of training yourself mentally and physically. Whether you use the alarm on your smart phone or a dedicated one, put it on the other side of the room—so you have to get up to turn it off.
  5. Turn on all the lights. The environment provides subtle clues to your body, so it knows how to respond. When it gets dark, your body naturally begins preparing itself for sleep (unless you have conditioned it otherwise). When it gets light, you naturally begin waking up. If you want to jumpstart this process and signal to your body that it is time to get up, simulate full daylight. Turn on all the lights in the room.
  6. Set out your clothes. If you are groggy when you get up, the fewer decisions you need to make the better. So, make the decision about what to wear the night before. If you get dressed immediately, it is also less likely that you will take off your clothes and get back into your bed. Since I exercise in the morning, I put out my workout clothes, including my shoes. I put them on and lace them up!
  7. Drink a cup of coffee. At various times, I have eliminated coffee from my diet. However, after considerable research, I’m convinced it is fine in moderation. In fact, it’s probably beneficial. Regardless, it is definitely beneficial for me first thing in the morning. I used a Cuisinart SS–700 to make it, because I can brew one cup at a time.
  8. Enlist an accountability partner. Whether it is a mentor or a peer, find someone who understands the value of accountability. Explain your goal, tell him (or her) why it is important to you, and then give him permission to hold your feet to the fire. When I was in college, a friend and I wanted to get up early to study for a class. So we called one another at 5:00 a.m. to make sure the other was awake. We did pretty well in the class too.
  9. Commit to 21 days. According to many psychologists, this is how long it takes to form a habit. I recommend you become a morning person for three weeks and then decide whether or not this will become a permanent part of your life. If not, you at least gave it a try. If so, you now have a new habit that can serve you well for the rest of your life.

To be honest, the real issue here is not becoming a morning person per se. What I really want to communicate is you have more power than you think. You don’t have to be stuck in a rut. If you are intentional, you can build the habits necessary to accomplish your goals—even if it means becoming a morning person.

Question: What other suggestions would you have for someone who wants to become a morning person? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to a self-hosted WordPress blog? It’s easier than you think! Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it, step-by-step. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Watch my free screencast

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • http://twitter.com/NMScuri Nancy M Scuri

    I’m sharing this with my students. Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I didn’t even think of this as a potential audience. Excellent. The time to develop this habit is while you are still young!

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Good idea Nancy. 

  • http://www.rileyadamvoth.com/ Riley Adam Voth

    Hmm, this is interesting. I’m sitting here wondering if you just posted this here before 5 a.m. my (central) time. It’s funny because I have not yet gone to sleep. I agree that not being a morning person is sure a difficult situation in our culture, but I’ve been this way my whole life.

    Michael, at some point I feel as though I’ve learned you have/had a sleep disorder of some kind? Is that correct? Has this ever factored in to you being a morning person? I’m curious as to whether you always have been one or did you learn to be? I’ve become convinced I can not change my circadian rhythms, but I think I’ll take ya up on your 21 day advice and just try it out real hard and consistent… We’ll see. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Actually, I posted it yesterday as a scheduled post. (This is how I do all my posts.)

      I do believe that some people have sleep disorders; however, before you accept that as a fact, I would try what I am recommending (which you said you will do). There are a lot of dietary things I would try first, for example, like eliminating caffeine, alcohol  and  sugar after, say, 5:00 p.m. These will keep you awake.

      My main point really is that none of this is etched in stone somewhere. We can remake our habits, adopting those behaviors that best serve our purpose.

      • http://www.rileyadamvoth.com/ Riley Adam Voth

        I totally agree that for most it’s just bad habits. My reservation is that for some, I fear we can attribute laziness or irresponsibility to people who would otherwise rock a really productive and effective day if only it was possible to do on their natural bodily rhythms. I know first hand it can be pretty discouraging.

        I just counted the calendar… 21 days ends up the first day of the year. Ha! Neat coincidence. My wife will love this… I’ll report my results. :)

      • http://davidchristian.co/ David Christian

        Today marks the end of a 30 day diet challenge my wife and I started the weekend after Thanksgiving. I can sleep anytime, anywhere, and I like to wake up early to get things done. My wife wakes up several times a night, and feels tired even if she sleeps until 10:00am.

        Since cutting out processed foods and sugars, she still hates waking up in the morning, but at least she is rested. I finally convinced her to buy some melatonin, but since changing our diet, she is getting a good nights sleep and never opened the bottle! It is amazing what just a change of diet can do.

        As a side note, without exercise I’ve managed to lose my 30 day goal of 18lbs. I have much more energy. I read Platform and it motivated me, but I was always to tired to do the work on my website and the writing I wanted to finish.  Now I have the energy to come home after work each night and spend time working on the eBook I’ve always wanted to write but was always to worn down to start. 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Thanks for taking the time to sure your experience. This is very exciting! Congratulations.

  • ChadMillerBlog

    Michael, I have always been a night owl. It was not unusual for me to stay up reading or working until well after midnight.
    A month ago, I decided this routine was not best for my productivity. I wasn’t accomplishing or even moving toward many of my goals. It was time to change my habit.
    The first seven days, I set my alarm for 5:00. My activities for the morning were planned in advance, and by going to bed before 10:00 PM, I was almost surprised how easy I fell asleep.
    I’ve now trained myself to be up at 4:30 AM. In just one month, I have become a morning person in large part because of many of the steps you listed.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing your story, Chad. This is a concrete example of what I am talking about. Two thumbs way up!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great story.

      • ChadMillerBlog

        Thank you, Michele. I truly believe when I’m sharing the secret to my success one day, I’ll tell of how a shift in this habit contributed to accelerating my productivity and ultimately accomplishing my goals.

    • http://www.michaelnichols.org/about Michael Nichols

      Great to hear Chad. Looking forward to connecting with you soon. Let’s talk about this – I’d love to know how you’re doing.

  • My_invisible_hand

    Michael – Thanks for the post! Just curious, do you drink your morning coffee before or after your morning run?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Before, during my quiet time.

      • http://www.facebook.com/pam.taylor.12764 Pam Taylor

        LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your priorities!

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    It’s a beautiful, dark snowy morning in Fort Wayne, IN as a I write this. It’s 6:30 on the dot and I slept in today…until 6:00 :)

    I used to not be a morning person. I woke up when our daughter work up, around 8:00 am. Sure, I would bust throughout the day, but I was always playing catch up with time.

    So I started doing the following in addition to most of your suggestions Michael:

    1. I woke up 3 minutes earlier every day until I was up at 7:00 am. Then I started getting up one minute earlier every day. This allowed my body and mind to slowly adjust.  I wasn’t suddenly waking up at in the dark and spending weeks adjusting. I gave it time, like any new habit.

    2. I gave myself specific things to accomplish first thing in the morning. I read good, inspiring (no news) blogs like this one for 30 minutes, then I write for an hour and then work for an hour. By then our daughter and my wife are close to awake, so I spend time with them. I’ve already “put in” 2-3 hours of work, so now I can spend 20-30 minutes with them and not feel rushed. 

    3. I fuel my body. I don’t eat breakfast. That is for my time with the family. But I also sit here hungry. So I grab a handful of almonds each morning first thing. Enough to fill me up but. trust me, I will hungry in two hours. :)

    4. I give myself a break when I am sick or otherwise missed out on sleep. I slept in today because I have a bit of a cold. My body needs more rest. It’s not the time to push it. The extra sleep helps me recover. Same thing if I have a flight that doesn’t get in until midnight or a late dinner party. 

    Since waking up earlier, I have:

    Started and maintained a daily blog
    Hit my monthly numbers every month
    Trained for and run a 10k (from not running at all). Half marathon next!
    Learned to love the sunrise

    I love what I do each morning now. My day starts with purpose and direction. And it never lets up.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestions, Matt. Thanks for sharing them.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      Great list Matt!

    • http://twitter.com/Christelprice Christel Price

      Great post and thanks for these tips Matt. I’m trying to become a morning person so this is very helpful!

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        You can do it!

  • http://twitter.com/johndobbs John Dobbs

    I struggle with this… I seem to always revert to the night owl status. When I get serious about it I usually have to reverse my bedtime one hour at a time for a few days each hour …until I’m going to bed early enough to get up early. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I’ve learned I need a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night … so it’s all about the to-bed time for me, too.

  • MichelleBooth

    Some unique ideas in this article – thank you, I will try them all. I think turning on the lights will be the biggest thing for me.
    My current technique is to work out how many blocks of 90 minutes (the average sleep cycle) I will be able to fit in, and set my alarm clock accordingly.
    A large glass of water before turning off the light ensures that if the alarm clock doesn’t work, my bladder will!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Your last suggestion is perhaps something I should have included. Thanks.

    • http://www.dmleblanc.com/ Dustin LeBlanc

      Hilarious! I can’t do the lights, it wakes everyone else up

    • Michelle White

      I have used your last suggestion, and it works!  LOL  I used to never be a morning person until I started this job about a year ago and had to be at work by 5:30am!!  I have to be up by 4am, but my alarm goes off at 3 so I have plenty of time to get my body awake.  I set my first alarm on the other side of the room where I have to get up.  Then I turn on the light… and crawl back into bed for a bit.  But if I have to make a third stop, I am probably going to be awake. 

      The plus side to this schedule is that, even on the weekends, I am getting up early. On a normal weekend, I am waking up at 5am, which gives me plenty of quiet time before the rest of the family wakes up, or some 1:1 time with my son, which is rare now that he is in grad school.

  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    Your list is perfect Michael! It all starts the night before :-)

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      I agree that it all begins the night before.  

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Planning is so important for success in both the big things and all the little things that build up to big things! 

  • DianaHarkness

    Morning is my most productive time.  It’s when I write.  By 3pm I’m wiped.  This is all due to my husband’s 5:15 rising time and my commitment to make his morning easier.  So it’s off to work I go on odds and ends–like writing and bookkeeping– that require my full attention at 7:00 a.m.  And then I start my business day at 9:00.

    • Jim Martin

      Diana, I relate to your comment regarding being wiped out at 3pm.  I am an early morning person and often hit a lull about 3 or 4 in the afternoon.  I typically exercise right after work which helps a lot.  (I realize not everyone can do that.)  I have also addressed this lull by standing (instead of sitting at my desk).  Also, I typically reserve work that demands far less creativity for this time of day.

  • Jim Martin

    Michael, I started this habit years ago and it has been incredibly helpful to me.  By the time I get to the office, I am ready to begin one what is typically one of the most productive and creative times of my day.  I am convinced that this is due to my early morning routine.  Great suggestions!  

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      I agree Jim, the power of habit is a critical element of success!

  • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

    I got sick and tired of feeling out of control with my time.  So I set out to research (again) a better system for time management…that’s when I first discovered this blog. 

    After reading your content on creating an ideal week, My wife and I sat down and worked out an ideal weekly schedule for me.  I established some goals, made a list of non-negotiables (i.e. family time, God time, eating, etc)  Once we started trying to schedule everything, it quickly became evident that I simply didn’t have enough time in the day between 9 am and 11 pm.  We played and played with the times.  When we finally hit 5 am as the start of the day and 10 pm as the end of the day everything came together. 
    The biggest tip that helped me make this a new way of life, I had a purpose for getting up greater than my desire to sleep in.  And, I had a plan to achieve that purpose.  The other tip that  maybe I shouldn’t share in public….for the entire second week, the thought that finally got me out of bed….”Michael Hyatt, Dave Ramsey and Jon Acuff are up right now, get up and go kick this day in teeth.”  And finally, refuse to use the snooze.  

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Haha … a little competitiveness goes a long way. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I loved your comment, Eric. Thanks for taking the time to share you experience.

      • http://www.ericdingler.com/ Eric Dingler

        Thank you.

        I forgot to add…thanks to another post of yours…the afternoon 20 minute nap makes this whole thing doable.  I’M LOVING IT!!!!  Besides, gave me a great reason to get a couch in my office.  

    • http://www.dmleblanc.com/ Dustin LeBlanc

      Love that, if their up, I need to be :-)

  • http://jamsmooth.com Jamsmooth

    I listened to the podcast a few weeks ago. It was right on time. I’m into my 9th day of waking up earlier. I’m slowly incorporating the activities I want to do. It’s a process. 

    Ever since I was a kid I’ve considered myself a night owl. I remember being a kid and loving staying up late. Even now I usually get a 2nd and 3rd wind around 11 pm and midnight.After listening to the podcast and going through the reengineering process I asked myself the questions: What am I gaining from staying up late? Am I being a good steward of the time God has given me? Would this season of my life be better served by waking up earlier?The answers: I’m not gaining all that much. No I’m not being a good steward. Yes my life would be better served.I talked to some other early risers I know and asked them what they do as well. So far it’s going well. I have to force myself to get to bed earlier. But again, what am I gaining from staying up late? So for now I’m embracing waking up earlier. I think doing it will make me more productive in this season. Thanks for that podcast. It has helped me a lot.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      James, I love your question “..Am I being a good steward of the time God has given me?…” – that’s powerful. Time is the only resource we can’t get more of, your question forces us to use it wisely!

      • http://jamesstaubes.com/ James Staubes

        I was thinking of the story where the master gave the servants the talents, went away, came back and asked them how did they use what they were given while he was away. “Uh sorry dude I was busy sleeping.”

  • http://bobholmes.blogspot.com/ Bob Holmes

    What kills me is doing that one last thing at night. It leads to half a dozen other things and time has flown. 
    Michael, Thanks for your constant encouragement.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Been there. I’ve learned I HAVE to shut down my computer at some point, or I’ll keep going all night. Recently, I’ve started shutting down the computer no later than 7 pm, and doing only long-hand work the rest of the night. This keeps me from being plugged in, but it also helps my creativity.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I know that feeling, Bob. I have to fight it as well. Thanks.

    • http://www.dmleblanc.com/ Dustin LeBlanc

      Especially when you’re just starting out on your own and have a rigid day job. It’s funny to read guys like Gary v then read Michael. Gary v is all about stay in up till 3am because you need to be that hungry.I prefer the more sane approach listed here:-)

  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    My big suggestion ia to get the family involved. It is challenging to be a morning person if you family is going strong late into the night.

    I believe very strongly in the power of early morning rituals.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      True. My 20-year-old is a night owl. We’ve had to set some limits on that just so everyone else can sleep!

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Great idea – family ritual is much more powerful and sustainable than individual ritual.

  • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

    This is a really good article, and I’m glad you wrote it. I’m a morning person and I love it, and I agree that it makes me MUCH more productive.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree on the effects on productivity.

  • http://elisafreschi.blogspot.com elisa freschi

    I really think that the key of your post is its last sentence: although I wake up every day at 6 am and enjoy it, I would not recommend to everyone. There might be some genuine night owls, but most of the people who remain awake until late are just procrastinators.

    (minor typo: substitute know with NOW in “If so, you know have a new habit that can serve you well for the rest of your life.”)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great catch on the typo. It’s fixed!

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

    I am a morning person too. My internal alarm clock goes off at 5:00am every single morning…actually I usually wake up at 4:57 because I like waking up prior to the internal alarm. ;)   My husband thinks I am nuts.  I love the habits you’ve listed to training yourself to become a morning person.   I think one thing that helps me is that I start my day off doing things I love to do and that makes me eager to get out of bed.  I read, I drink coffee, I write. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I do the same—wake up 2-3 minutes before the time. Overachievers. :)

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Great tip Eileen, I like the idea of doing something you love first thing as opposed to something dread!

  • http://about.me/colinmichael Colin Michael

    Andy Traub ran a challenge last year, partly because he wanted more accountability for starting early. One of the things I learned from it is that for many people, going to bed earlier may be getting the cart before the horse. By starting with getting up at 5:30 it was a very short time before my body needed to go to sleep at 10:30 PM. No lying awake planning the next day or staring at the clock. Now I have a hard time staying awake beyond “bedtime”. The benefits over the last year or so are amazing.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree, Colin. Initially the adjustment can be rough, but if you stick with it, you will adjust.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s a fair point. It’s hard to burn the candle at both ends.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Colin, great insight. Tiredness sure can be an aid to relinquishment.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    Left to my own devices and without exposure to alternative views on this, I would naturally assume that God created the time from sunrise to noon for sleeping. 

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Midday-Rip-Van-Winkle Syndrome…that’s a common occurrence among college kids and hipsters…

  • Dean

    I agree with everything you listed and I would add to break your nighttime fast as early in the morning as possible.  This gets the metabolism going early and starts the day with energy. 

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       That’s a good word, Dean, and one that is missing from my routine.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Great tip Dean, I’ll have to try that. Lately I’ve been focusing on a breakfast that has lean protein as it’s main component via a smoothie or low-fat, light sodium cold cuts…

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    I think that it helps to get to bed relatively early (10pm is late!). 

    What made the biggest impact for me was having a job that originally had me waking at 03:30am.  Now it’s 04:40am. 

    What I try to do is make everything as painless for me in the morning as possible: clothes laid out, alarm at a distance where it’s uncomfortable to snooze (not a phone either), breakfast and lunch thought out and prepared (when possible), coffee in the maker ready for one button push.

    I typically wash my face with cold water and stay moving.

    Lastly, if you know you need specific sleep, plan your day so you can have it.  I’m good with 7hrs and feel overly tired when I get more than that.  But others need at least 7, and feel better with more.  Pay attention to your body.

    If you wake up early, your body will have no problem resting when the sun goes down.  You’ll probably fight to stay awake!

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      DS, I too feel over tired when I sleep longer than seven hours – balance is the key!

      • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

        It’s amazing to me just how communicative our bodies are when we stop and listen.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great post, Michael. Back in 2005, when I first started blogging, I followed another blogger named Steve Pavlina. In May of that year he put up a post entitled “How to Become an Early Riser.” This one post literally exploded and put his blog on the map. Within a year he was making thousands of dollars a month from his blog (Getting up early must be a popular topic!). His premise on getting up early was this… Set your alarm for when you want to get up, but only go to bed when you are sleepy. His theory is that your body will adjust better this way. He suggests doing this for at least 30 days.

    Steve went on to do other sleep tests, including his Polyphasic sleeping experiment, where he slept for twenty minutes and then stayed up for four hours, repeated day after day. He stayed in this sleep pattern for 6 months. This enabled him to sleep only 3.5 hours per day. His experiments on sleep are a fantastic view how the body works. http://goals4u.us/Uznojs

    For me, I’ve been an early riser since an early age. I usually get up at 4 in the morning, most every day. It has allowed me to write a book, develop a blog, and get a head start on the day. I highly recommend it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have read quite a bit on Polyphasic sleeping. It’s fascinating, isn’t it. So many ways to hack our body and our systems!

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        What was really interesting with Steve, was to follow along and see how long he could keep it up. Most people can’t do polyphasic more than a few days. A week is a major accomplishment. When Steve did it for 6 months, it actually seemed like the human body could actually get by on 3.5 hours of sleep a day.  WOW!

        • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

          This comment string is fascinating – this is the first I’ve heard of Polyphasic sleeping. I know several folks who use a similar type method for marathon training. They’ll run at a faster than normal pace for four minutes, then walk for :90 seconds – repeating for the entire race and finishing with a great time.

          • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

            I remember that Steve went back to normal sleep, not because he couldn’t keep up the Poly sleeping, but because he got lonely at night when everyone else was asleep. Can you imagine what you could get done with over 20 hours of waking time a day…

  • http://www.ddg.io/ Joseph Hughes

    Excellent post, Michael.  I believe anyone can do this.  I’ve been a morning person for about 10 years now (wake between 4:45 and 5:30 most days) and I absolutely love it. I’m also a morning runner, so laying out my clothes the night before is absolutely crucial, especially when it’s dark and/or raining outside.  Another thing I would recommend is planning your day the night before, so you know you have reasons to wake up early.  You know you have important and exciting things planned for your day, so you’re excited when your eyes open at 5AM. 

    Overall, being intentional about the things we do and why we do them is key to our success.  That’s why I love this community; the posts and comments are full of people living intentionally. 

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Great insight Joseph, living with intention is the key to many aspects of success in life.

  • http://carpediemjimsgems.wordpress.com/ carpediem_jim

    @carpediem_jim:disqus  Michael, bless your heart as we say here in west Tennessee, the same psychologists say that our genes determine whether we are ‘morning larks’ or ‘night owls’. At nine o’clock I turn into a pumpkin, but if you get us a 6 a.m. tee time, I will be there with bells. Love the idea of change, and I teach it too, but I don’t think we can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. :-)

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Jim, I agree that our focus and attention can change our behaviors. My wife might be dog-tired handling the kid’s all day – but if I tell her about a sale at the mall and I’ll watch the kids, she’s out the door like a shot. Same holds true for me with my passions (e.g. running, karate…etc.)

  • http://www.softskillsforhardjobs.com/ Jim Ryan

    OK…I’m going to do it. (better put that cusinart SS-700 on my Christmas list)

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Sounds like you just needed a good excuse for the cuisinart. : )

  • http://twitter.com/steffeyk Kevin Steffey

    Definitely agree with the setting clothes out suggestion.  You have to reduce the barriers to going back to sleep and make it easy to move forward.  Plus, the less you have to think about before you get rolling – the better.

    • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

      I do that with my workout clothes.  It definitely helps eliminate excuses.  

  • http://twitter.com/steffeyk Kevin Steffey

    Definitely agree with setting out clothes.  Lower those barriers to get moving and reduce the amount of decision-making you need to make before you are truly rolling.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       I second that (I guess “third” it :) It’s hard for me to think clearly in the morning, so I’ll lay out my backpack, my lunch, and even get the food ready for feeding the dog (which I just realized I forgot to do this morning).

  • Ava Oleson

    Michael, you are right on. What a great post! As a therapist I worked extensively with patients who struggled with depression and anxiety. A key principle I motivated them with is the biological process that “energy generates energy”. In other words, when you pick up your body and move it, that simple action actually generates more energy. Your tips of setting your clothes out, getting a cup of coffee, etc. (I totally agree with you about the coffee thing!) helps one take those first steps. Thank you so much. I’m going to share this insightful post with my students.

    • Jim Martin

      Ava, I like this!  “Energy creates energy.”  This make sense.  This is a line to remember.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with that principle of “energy generates energy.” Great advice.

  • http://collierinnovation.wordpress.com/ Adam

    One suggestion I have is to do something productive immediately after you awake.  I became a 5 am morning person this past September for the first time, it helps me to write from 5-6 then excercise 6-6:30, the sense of accomplishment/reward for doing two things I did not have time for (when I was getting up a 6:45) helps me to continue to be a morning person, it has been a great change for me.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Great point Adam, reward can be a significant motivator. Last month, I got a Nike Fuelband and the reward of “virtual trophies” via the mobile app are strangely gratifying – I offer that as the power of reward.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.erickson.14 Dan Erickson

    My students could use this too.  But the quarter is over.  I think you last point is key.  Doing something for a short, but significant period of time creates habit.  Personally, I love being a morning person.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I agree, Dan. Habits are so crucial for our lives. Habits add up to define who we are.

    • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

       Virtual high-five :)

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    Your timing is crazy funny to me Michael! I am one of those “praying types” and I actually asked God to help me get on a better schedule (that included getting up at an earlier time) and then when I did wake before six am I got kind of mad God heard me. My body rebelled against the notion that it was time to wake up, but when I asked for a few more minutes, I knew the answer was no. So up I went. This was just this morning, so reading this gave me the giggles. 

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      This comment made me smile, thanks Dayna!

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    In the last year, I have become a morning person. It has been one of the most important habit changes I have made. That “what’s at stake” issue motivated me incredibly. I get up early to write. I am a surgeon and am married with 6 kids and there just isn’t any other time to do it. The decision was simple. Either get up early or don’t write. So I became a morning person and love it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      This is a great example of connecting your desired behavior to a purpose. Bravo!

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Jeremy, I love that “…what’s at stake…” mantra – I’ll have to steal…um, er….I mean borrow that one ;-)

  • Pingback: Do You Want to Make More Money? Well, duh!! | carpediemjimsgems()

  • http://aparchedsoul.com/ Grayson Pope (A Parched Soul)

    I NEVER thought I would be a morning person, but over the last 12 months I’ve become a 5:00 am riser. I used much of the same techniques mentioned here, except I’ve never thought about turning all the lights on. I think that will make a huge difference my alertness!

    I will say this after years of being a night person: being a morning person makes you naturally more productive. I can’t explain it, but I believe it to be true.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Agreed. Early in my radio career, I would often have to flip-flop between night shifts and early mornings. I was much more productive during the morning than during the overnights.

      • http://aparchedsoul.com/ Grayson Pope (A Parched Soul)

        Flip flopping is hard on productivity. I did this some a couple years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ronen-Rahaman/804314635 Ronen Rahaman

    I have found that it is critical to get out of bed the moment the alarm goes off. Don’t linger, and never ever snooze.  Over time you can train your body to not need an alarm clock.

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Spot on Ronen – if I don’t hop out of bed immediately, it’s too tempting to roll over and zzzzzzzzzone back to sleep.

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    These are great tips!

  • Bernice McDonald

    I had to change my story.  I always told myself that I hated getting up in the morning and it was impossible for me.  That was until my husband and I realized that we weren’t accomplishing anything in the evenings. We were far too tired and drained from the day.  

    I am taking a Coaching course and writing a book and it just wasn’t getting done!  Neither were we spending much productive time with God.  

    So, we made a decision.  We aim to get up now at 5:30.  And we are usually up by 6 at the latest.  It isn’t even difficult as we truly look forward to our morning activities now.  We are both so much more productive, have time to study and discuss and pray together are both are making progress in our personal goals.

    Both of us find we aren’t tired during the day – in fact, we are more energized as we have the sense when we arrive at work that we are already “on purpose”. 

    So thanks for inspiring us, Michael.  One of your past blogs set our thoughts in motion around this.  It has made a real difference for both of us.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Excellent, Bernice. Thanks for sharing your story.

  • http://twitter.com/jonathonpost Jonathon Post

    Hey Michael I just thought I’d let you know that under #8 you forgot to capitalize “We” in the last sentence. Otherwise, great article! Just shared it on my mentor’s website to 5000+ followers. TNP is actually publishing his book come April 2013!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great catch on the typo, Jonathan. Thanks also for sharing this!

  • http://twitter.com/jonathonpost Jonathon Post

    Hey Michael I just thought I’d let you know that under #8 you forgot to capitalize “We” in the last sentence. Otherwise, great article! Just shared it on my mentor’s website to 5000+ followers. TNP is actually publishing his book come April 2013!

  • http://twitter.com/jonathonpost Jonathon Post

    Hey Michael I just thought I’d let you know that under #8 you forgot to capitalize “We” in the last sentence. Otherwise, great article! Just shared it on my mentor’s website to 5000+ followers. TNP is actually publishing his book come April 2013!

  • http://www.DavidASpecht.com/ David A Specht

    After a long discussion with my wife about my health, I determined to do something about it. I don’t like early mornings, and I don’t like exercise, so this wasn’t something that was just going to “happen.”

    Two weeks ago today, I started getting up at 5:30 to be to the gym at 5:45 and walk for 30 minutes. I would then come home to get ready for the day and be out the door for my commute by 7:15.

    For four straight days, I got up — while arguing with myself and walked. I took the weekend off and started again the next Monday. 5:30 became 5:15, because I could watch a complete episode of Sportscenter from 5:30 – 6:00 to get my mind off the walking.

    I would like to say it has been easy. It hasn’t. I would like to say I made it every day without fail. I didn’t. I missed two days when I overslept (should have set that alarm.)

    But, since I am intentional about this, I am continuing to move forward. Despite the setbacks, I am staying the course.

    Maybe I will become a morning person someday.

    • Jim Martin

      David, congratulations on your persistence!  Wow.  Very impressed that you are leaning into this and pressing on in spite of how difficult it has been.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good for you. I think the key is to stay focused on why it matters and what is at stake.

  • http://gauraw.com/ Kumar Gauraw

    This is an awesome post. Luckily, I’m a morning person and therefore, I love everything about this post. Oh, and by the way, I do not take coffee until about 9:30 AM in the morning because I do not get anybody to give me company until then… :-)

    Thank you Michael for sharing these tips that anybody can learn from and have the power to choose habits, traits and be in control of life.

    Regards,
    Kumar

  • http://profiles.google.com/lucrecerbraxton Lucrecer Braxton

    I am relearning how to be a morning person.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    The trick for me has been the alarm. It’s obvious to set one, but my tired mind would just hit snooze or turn the alarm off and go back to bed. I could always think of a justification in those early moments.
    Some suggested to set the alarm clock across the room, but I didn’t want to wake up my wife in the process.
    So I got creative and set two alarms. One quiet alarm next to me and then a ridiculously loud one across the room set to go off five minutes after the quiet one. I had enough presence of mind in the early morning to get up out of bed and turn off the loud alarm before it went up and woke up my wife.
    That helped me get initial momentum.

  • JustinBuck

    Having been both an early bird and a night owl, I can say I definitely feel more productive, energetic, and empowered when I rise and begin my day early. Your choice of clothing to lay out reveals another great tip: Combine a health goal with your early-rising challenge. Getting your heart pumping early in the morming will give you energy throughout the day. Thanks, Michael; you’ve inspired me to rise from the ashes of my night owl tendencies and get back into an early-bird routine.

  • Leckkie20

     That post is very enlightening especially to me.When i was younger back in school i used to wake up early  at least by 5a.m but these days i don’t know whats wrong i struggle a lot .There is no doubt that morning people make more money for even i was very productive whenever i would wake up early.So  with your tips i guess i will no doubt have to change my schedule for i have noticed this late night sleep just makes me less productive.

  • Question

    What would you say to someone who is motivated to become a morning person, but whose spouse is not? If the spouse is not on board, the conflicting schedules mean they won’t have much time together since one of them will be in bed while the other is awake. It doesn’t seem healthy to a marriage, but is there a way around this?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I don’t think it is healthy to go to bed at different times. I would start by having a conversation and focusing on why it matters and what is it stake. You might be able to reach a compromise.

      • Question

        Thanks for the feedback!

  • http://www.clayproductions.com/aaron/ Aaron Johnson

    I’m probably the epitome of a morning person; but these words make wonder wonder about other areas of my life where I might write a new story. What I love most about this post is how much belief Michael worked into it. I’m stepping back this morning and saying, “I can rewrite the script!”  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Absolutely! You got the key take-away. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/WesleyWiley Wesley Wiley

    Love the post Michael! We have the same coffee maker, so now my morning cup of Joe is going to be a daily reminder that “this is my life!”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Love it! I just bought one for my office too.

  • http://twitter.com/WesleyWiley Wesley Wiley

    Love the post Michael! We have the same coffee maker, so now my morning cup of Joe is going to be a daily reminder that “this is my life!”

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    I do tend to lean toward being a morning person, but I also enjoy the quiet of late nights–when the house is still (productivity seems to be high for me at this time). Not  a workable combination! I am slowly working toward a routine bedtime and early morning rise. Thanks for the push–I do believe in the power of intentionality. 

    • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

      Great comment Julie!

  • http://stuartloe.com Stuart Loe

    If you want to become a morning person against your will, have kids.  Better yet, have twins.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Perfect!

  • http://jbdeaton.com/ Ben D.

    Michael, I have been using an iPhone app called Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock for the past month that has really improved my sleep habits and I think is very consistent with the things you discussed above. Basically, it uses the iPhone accelerometers to track your movements, recording how long you were in bed, how well you slept, and it has a wake-up mechanism that attempts to wake you up in a period of light sleep near the time you set your alarm for. It also gives you lots of stats over time. 

    I like all the features well enough, but for me the biggest benefit was that it got me thinking about establishing better sleep patterns. Once I actually started tracking how long I was in bed, I couldn’t ignore the data. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That is absolutely fascinating. I’ll have to look it up.

      • http://jbdeaton.com/ Ben D.

        Here is the link: http://www.sleepcycle.com/

        Also, it has incredibly better alarm sounds than the stock iPhone alarm clock.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

          Got it. Thanks.

  • http://JaredLatigo.com/ Jared Latigo

    Interesting thoughts Michael. Though, I have to say that my body has never been conditioned to wake up early. I think some of us are naturally night owls. That said, there’s also something to be said about sleep cycles. I don’t know much about them but if I wake up when I’m in between cycles, it’s much easier to get up. Just some things I’ve found recently that have helped me get up when I need to. :D

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I’ve been a morning person as long as I can remember. I certainly helps that I have kids to get ready for school (the first one leaves at 6:45)! Even though I love mornings, it’s not always easy to get up, particularly when it’s a busy week and I’m exhausted. To increase my motivation, I usually plan something I love first thing in the morning: A breakfast I enjoy, reading a good book, or some kind of activity that I look forward to doing. That helps me jump out of bed with a bit more enthusiasm. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great strategy, Michele.

  • James Kinson

    Michael, Great post. One other suggestion is to have something you look forward to upon waking. I look forward to my reading, exercise, and listening to a podcast, often one of yours, as I have only recently discovered your blog.  Keep you the good work!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestion, James. Thanks.

  • Beau

    Thanks Michael! I like to have a clear task to do right when I wake up. Maybe that is assumed, but if I don’t I have trouble getting “right up”.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Agreed, Beau.  Though, I actually find that one task isn’t enough for me.  I can usually squeeze one extra task into my day.  For me, it needs to be enough projects/tasks to convince me that it won’t get done unless I’m up early.  

      • http://releasetheape.com/ Beau

        What I meant is that if I start work at 9am usually and spend time with my kids from 7-8:30, then I need a clear task to do from 5-7am or I wont get up. A task as you say, that wont get done unless I do it from 5-7!

        • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

          Right on!

  • Pingback: Article: How to Become a Morning Person « Exploring Your Depths()

  • http://www.jonstallings.com/ Jon Stallings

    Well for me, I need to make it a serious commitment. Do I really want to become a morning person?

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That’s a very effective question, Jon!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      That’s the question. And the answer may be no. My only purpose in writing is to tell you (a) it’s possible and (b) how to do it. Thanks.

  • http://trillionsmall.tumblr.com/ Trillion Small

    I Love this post! Just reading the title made me giggle because just recently God has been urging me to get up earlier than normal! I would say too that “I’m not a morning person” but I have found, just like you mentioned, that I have to go to bed earlier to get up earlier (I am a minimum 8 hour sleeper which I have attempted to cut down by an hour or two also). 

    I would say you have covered pretty much all of the basics of becoming more productive in the morning! I had a dream that was basically telling me to stop sleeping in so late and one of the things mentioned in the dream was about money too :-) 

    Great post, mornings and I still struggle sometimes but I have gotten better. Progress! 

  • http://twitter.com/SoCon13 SoCon13

    I’m not sure I buy they idea that being a “morning person” is qualitatively better. Of course, we have all learned that professionals are expected to be early risers. But why? Are we really more productive? Why do we stereotype those who come into work at 10am and work until midnight? 

    There are holes in the links posted as evidence that morning people are healthier, happier, and richer. Professionals have learned that they should be morning people, so of course those answering that way will have higher incomes. And those with higher incomes will be healthier and generally happier. So, there really is no evidence that it is better in any way other than the fact that society has, for some reason, decided that it should be the way. Uncovering insights that justify those claims would have to be done with cross-cultural ethnographic research – not a “poll.”

    And articles like these perpetuate the myth that being a morning person is somehow better. I ask again, why? 

    Disclaimer: I’m a healthy professional with a high income (at least by the linked survey’s standards), and I’m not a morning person though I often feel shamed for not being.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      No problem. If being a night owl works for you, great. I know there are exceptions (from my point of view).
      The main point of my post is that if you want to change you can. “Choose your adventure and live it!” It’s up to you to decide what kind of life you want to design.

  • Pingback: On Becoming a Morning Person « The Elegant Home Office()

  • http://twitter.com/NVEchols Noah Echols

    I’m not sure I buy they idea that being a “morning person” is qualitatively better. Of course, we have all learned that professionals are expected to be early risers. But why? Are we really more productive? Why do we stereotype those who come into work at 10am and work until midnight? 

    There are holes in the links posted as evidence that morning people are healthier, happier, and richer. Professionals have learned that they should be morning people, so of course those answering that way will have higher incomes. And those with higher incomes will be healthier and generally happier. So, there really is no evidence that it is better in any way other than the fact that society has, for some reason, decided that it should be the way. Uncovering insights that justify those claims would have to be done with cross-cultural ethnographic research – not a “poll.”

    And articles like these perpetuate the myth that being a morning person is somehow better. I ask again, why? 

    Disclaimer: I’m a healthy professional with a high income (at least by the linked survey’s standards), and I’m not a morning person though I often feel shamed for not being.

    • King Tubbo

      When reading the article, I felt a bit annoyed. I know some professionals — doctors, nurses, chefs in large hotels, for example — who do not work day hours but are very productive and happy. There seems to be a belief that people who don’t get up in the morning are just lazy and unmotivated. Well, it could be that they’ve been working all night!

  • http://jonathanpearson.net/ Jonathan Pearson

    I’ve always been one of those “I wish I was a morning person” kind of people. Gonna try these and start saying, “I am a morning person.”

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      You just nailed the first step!  Congrats, Jonathan!

  • Chattykathy306

    Make sure you have something to which you can look forward. 

    • Jim Martin

      You make a good point.  I have found it easier to consistently do this if I have something in the morning that I look forward to.  For me this would include a great cup of coffee, a good book, and a good place in our house to read.

  • Maggie Bruehl

    Great thoughts, not on just becoming a morning person, but to make a change towards any goal that will make us more productive. It is a shame, though, that it just takes a few time of not doing the routine to take us back to the unproductive behavior!

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That’s exactly what I was thinking, Maggie.  These steps can create behavior change in any area of life!

  • http://markmyles.wordpress.com/ Mark Myles

    Another suggestion would be to move east to a time-zone thats a few hours earlier…then move back, but stay on the other time zone. Maybe that’s not as practical of a solution though.

  • Sueg

    I would say that I am a morning person and yet enjoy the quiet night hours as well. 5 a.m. is not necessary for me to feel productive. A 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. rising time brings on productivity for me without feeling a late afternoon tiredness. Unless one has a long commute to work, rising at 5 a.m. seems somewhat extreme. But that’s just me. 

  • http://www.liveyourwhy.net/ Terry Hadaway

    I agree that we can train ourselves to be morning people. I also understand that there are times in my day when I am more creative and, therefore, more productive. By assigning my work to the appropriate time, my day is more productive and my life is less hectic. Great post!

  • corydoiron

    It’s posts like this that make wish I didn’t trust your wisdom. Unfortunately for my current sleeping habits every piece of advice I have read from you and implemented has been fruitful. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      ;-) Sorry, man. Really I am.

      • corydoiron

        No need to apologize. I’m grateful for your generosity with all you have learned. I read Plattform this summer and launched my own personal brand via blog and social media. I’ve seen significant hits on my site and increase in social media following. More than that my increased plattform has given me opportunities to minister to people. Thank you!

  • aamir

    This will really help me because I am in the middle of developing a morning routine, I also posted some of the things in my blog. After reading this I got some more ideas which I ll add :)

  • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

    I think the other thing, perhaps most important and ties into #2, is to have a reason to get up!

    It’s not just about getting an early start on work or being up longer.

    Write the book you’ve always wanted to write
    Go back to college and study during this time
    Spend time with God
    Join a mentoring group

    Make this the most exciting part of the day!

    • Nicole

      Thanks for stating those things…I have had insomnia for as long as I can remember even back into early childhood! Nothing seems to help, I’ve tried numerous things…meds, dietary adjustments, etc. I was in the military and had to wake very early, so I can do it, I’m just not 100% functional until after being awake for a bit. 

      My question has always been, why get up earlier though? I get up and get my kids off to school, read my devotional, spend time with God and go to the office…the only thing I could possible think of getting up early for would be to fit going to the gym in my schedule…but due to the kids being at home sleeping I couldn’t go anyways. I think getting up early may serve some well and make them more productive, however in my personal experience I am equally productive when I sleep later as I am when I wake earlier. Just my two cents :)

      • Barry

        Saying morning people are more successful and more productive is an arbitrary statement with little if any research. I can show you just as many studies showing “night owls” score higher on IQ tests.
        I can get much more done at my computer at 12 midnight, when everyone is asleep, than I can at 6am.

  • http://twitter.com/Jeff_Long Jeff Long

    This is such a great post.  I’ve been making it a point to get up at 5am and have noticed that I am a lot more productive.  It takes some time getting used to, but with a little discipline  it has made a huge impact in my life and business.

  • http://www.timpeters.org/ Tim Peters

    Great post.  I agree that many people can be morning people. It took time but now I love being up early. Good points. 

  • Gina Calvert

    My doctor suggested that you also have to get up at the same time every day (weekends included) during the retraining period in order to reset your circadian time clock. Weekends confuse the pattern.

    Even morning people have to do some of these to get motivated to get up!

    Sending this link to my husband!

  • Theresa

    I spend my early morning time with God and a good cup of coffee while the house is quiet. I sit on my stability ball and breathe in God’s goodness and exhale all my worries and requests to Him. 
    In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

  • Eric Swann

    You forgot to add: have a newborn. She’s up at five thirty REGARDLESS of when I went to sleep or whether I am a morning person or not! Seriously though, she’s made me into a morning person and I love it.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      That is definitely one way to get up early.  It comes with other rewards, too!

  • theeleganthomeoffice

    This is perfect and timely for me.  Was just telling my husband that I need to start joining the 5 am club to be more productive.  Thank you for this!!

  • http://teacupsandbcups.com/ nicole | teacups + B cups

    True story: this morning, I pressed the snooze button on my smart phone and carried it out into the living room and fell asleep on the couch, where I pressed Snooze two more times. On the way to work, I was thinking about this very topic… and how grumpy morning people make non-morning people like me, mostly because I want to be one. Anyway, how timely! So thank you.

    This sounds very similar to a different experiment I’m in the middle of: 21 days to re-wiring your brain for happiness and success, based on a Harvard study that doesn’t try to squash the outliers (aka: happy people)  (http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_anchor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html).

    It’s fascinating how powerful the brain truly is. I am going to will myself into being a happy, morning person by the New Year (that’s 21 days, right?). Bad habits be gone!

  • Ray

    Michael,

    For me, as you said, it is all about repetition in order to change your habit. I spent over four years on Active Duty as an Army Officer and lived about 30 minutes from base. I had to be in formation by 6:30am every morning or I would be called “out of ranks” which is NOT a good thing. I absolutely had to be up at 5:15am and my body knew it. I have been out of the Army for close to three years now and I still get up at that time because I never dropped the habit.

    Ray

  • http://thisissarabrown.blogspot.in/ Sara Brown

    Hi Michael!  I posted your blog on my Facebook page and it has started quite the debate!  My one friend (in medical school) posted a link to this article – a study that shows genetics may play a role in whether one is a morning person or not:  http://mobile.theweek.com/article/index/221901/do-you-have-the-morning-person-gene

    I myself am a night hawk who desires to be more of a morning person.  I don’t have the happy feeling I get when I discipline myself to go
    to bed earlier and start my day off early. On the rare occasions that I
    force myself to go to bed early and wake up with the sun, I am
    ENERGIZED in a way that FULFILLS me far more than staying up late and
    being productive then does. I love the idea of starting my day off with God,
    in the quiet before the kids get up. And I’m pretty sure there’s a
    correlation between how you START your day and how the rest of your day
    goes. (No studies to back this up however.)

    Would love your thoughts!

  • http://www.thedailyretort.com/ TorConstantino

    Michael, these are all time-tested tactics. Turning on the lights is extremely helpful – however, I have to be mindful of my wife. The only thing I would add, was that when I worked in morning radio, I would have to get up at 3:30am to be ready for our first newscast at 5:30am. We lost power one night and my plug-in alarm didn’t go off. Ever since I only use bedside alarm clocks that have a built-in battery back-up.

  • Brent

    The old farm kid in me wants to say… g.e.t. o.u.t. o.f. b.e.d.!

  • Jeancurley

    Sorry Mike but I cannot sit and read all your posts to know if this one was note. I find loving what you do is exciting that you never have enough hours in a day to work. When I’m motivated I’m up early where my head is clearer, my tea tastes better, the house is quiet and I’m the most productive.

  • http://www.kathink.blogspot.com/ Kathleen Jaeger

    “What I really want to communicate is you have more power than you think. You don’t have to be stuck in a rut.” That is powerful. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/karlaarcher Karla Archer

    I’m hoping these tips will help me. I’ve always wanted to be a ‘morning person’ too.

  • Themindoftwister

    Fortunately for me, I was born a morning person.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I’d add “Have a reason to get up.”

    I would not call myself a morning person by natural inclination but I’ve become one. A group of guys started playing basketball at 6:30 in the morning long before I moved to town. For some reason, they insisted on that hour and didn’t care to change it to accommodate me. Th0se guys gave me a good reason to get up early.

    After a half dozen years of playing with them, I’ve accepted the fact, if I want to play b-ball (and I do), I have to get up very early. I not only embrace that reality but now love my early morning routine.

  • Missy Griffith

    I think I would add that you need to make it consistent – with a few exceptions (ex: an occasional late movie/party). If you view Saturday/Sunday as your “sleep in” days, mentally you are telling yourself that you really are NOT a morning person – you are only forcing yourself to be one M-F – and thus must recover/recoup on the weekend what you were denied during the week. 

  • Debbie_demmers

    Have a coffee pot that you can set and the coffee is brewed when you get up!!!

  • http://collaborateworship.com/ Kade Young

    Thanks for fueling my fire.  I have been fighting this whole morning person thing for quite some time.  Truth is, I know it is something I need to do, and I have come very close at times.  

    The main roadblock for me would have to be: excuses.  When the alarm goes off at 5 a.m., its like my mind immediately gets on the excuse train and tries to talk me out of getting up.  It is interesting that there is so much resistance in this area for so many people, and I believe it is because of the positive effect that will come of the good habit.

    Thanks again for reminding me how important this is.  I am looking forward to forming the new habit.

  • Pingback: Some Blog Posts You Might Enjoy | Dreaming Beneath the Spires()

  • http://brianbbaker.com/about/ Brian B Baker

    The hardest part of doing this, and I’ve tried a few times, is I write until 11 p.m. or later and getting up at 6 a.m. or earlier is difficult. 

    I’m up by 7 for my day job and am able to get a few words down. But I feel most creative at night.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    A lot of the same points from when I guest posted for you earlier this year about this subject :)

  • http://www.mondayisgood.com/ Tom Dixon

    Putting the alarm clock on the other side of the room is a great idea – I am somehow able to turn two different alarms off, go back to sleep, and not remember any of it.  I am so much more productive in the morning – the trick is to get up!

  • http://dalemelchin.wordpress.com/ Dale Melchin

    I want to share this with everyone who acts like they need to “wake up” in the morning.  I (generally) wake up every morning ready to tackle the day.  I think everyone else should do this as well.  This is proof that God wants us to get up early everyday.  ;-) Thanks Michael!

  • Carla Hayden

    This a awesome article! 

  • http://www.intentionalcareer.com/ Henrieta Riesco

    It’s funny, this post finds me as I’m actually trying to be more of a morning person, so great timing :-) What I also find helpful in addition to turning all the lights on, is planning to start with something I feel really excited about. That gives me that extra push from the bed.

  • http://twitter.com/TheBraveLass Kamilla Ludwig

    Color me skeptical. I’ve been in healthcare for nearly 30 years and I NEVER felt rested and well when working on the day shift (meaning I had to get up between 5 and 5:30 am). I’ve done day shift for as long as 3years at a time and I was always miserable.

    But, I work evening shift and its great. I get home, do a few chores around the house, read a bit and then go to bed about 2-2:30 am and wake up without need of an alarm, feeling well and rested after about 7-8 hours sleep.

    So, do you have any advice for those of us who truly are not morning people?

    • King Tubbo

      I don’t have any advice, Kamilla, only a note of accord. I worked evening shifts (4:00 p.m. to midnight, 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. , 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.) in document production at law firms for over 20 years. Four years ago, I switched fields and jobs and suddenly found myself working days, with an 8:00 a.m. clock-in on the job. Getting up in the morning has been an ordeal; I felt much more productive, positive, and healthier working the evening shift. On the other hand, I know of people who say they can barely write their name after 10:00 p.m., so perhaps there is a bit of hard wiring involved in our preference for morning versus evening.

      That said, I like my current gig and am going to try the tips in this article to see if I can at least learn to navigate the morning without falling headfirst into my coffee.

  • http://www.chrisbranscome.com Chris Branscome

    When we returned from a two week stay in France this past September, I was a morning person for about a month, and I really enjoyed it, but now I’m back to my nocturnal ways. 

    Have you heard anything about whether or not artistic types tend to be more productive as morning people?  I compose music, and much of my composition and recording is done late at night, and I hear this from lots of other musicians.  Do you know if these statistics regarding morning people have any bearing on creativity?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I honestly don’t know. The important point is to choose the pattern that best serves you and the life you are trying to create.

  • http://www.dmleblanc.com/ Dustin LeBlanc

    I find this to be so much easier in the summer. Time to reform the habit, winter edition

  • cynthia

    I found that info very insightful,I jus need to change the mindset first.Great! Thnkul

  • Pingback: How to Become a Morning Person | New Church Whittier()

  • Jean Buller

    I am a morning person because I grew up on a farm with parents who went to bed early and got up early. Living on a farm required being totally on board by sunrise. It was a way of life and is part of my makeup; more biological than habit

  • Stan Nelson

    Excellent tips on how to become a morning person,
    and well worth the pursuit.  I don’t know that I can add any other tips to
    the ones you provide.  However, I did hear of a story about a father
    that had a hard time getting up in the morning and he conquered that challenge
    by putting an alarm clock in his baby’s room, set to go off a few minutes after
    his alarm clock, and if he didn’t get to it before it went off, then the baby
    would go off and that definitely got him up.  Extreme I know, and I
    wouldn’t recommend it. Just wanted to share it. 

  • Virginia D.davidson

    I can get up early–and I do, and make breakfast for my Dearly Beloved and a lunch for him to take to work.  But my best insights and most creative energy come along about bedtime.  It seems no matter how tired I’ve been during the day, I get my second wind around 9:00/p.  And if I go ahead and go to bed at 9:30, without a “sleep aid,” I’ll lie awake for 3-4 hours.  Not cheerful.  There are reasons I consider myself a “night owl”!

    The consistent “sleep aid” is helping establish a more consistent bedtime, which is making a 5:00/a  rise time more doable…but there is a whole cocktail of  parameters necessary to success–for me, anyway.  1. Make sure the hormone levels are healthy [otherwise, your own body is promoting insomnia!]. 2. Don’t  let yourself get dehydrated during the day, but don’t drink much water after about 8:00/p–and no caffeine after about 2:00/p. 3. Eat a very light dinner or none at all. 4. Exercise, but nothing vigorous within 4 hours of your desired bedtime. 5. Wind down with [non-stimulating] reading, journaling, prayer, etc. 6. Make sure your space is dark, even if you must simulate night by laying a black sock over your eyes!–which is necessary in the summertime.

    I have to have 8 hours of sleep, but do better with 8½.  That’s a pain, but not nearly as bad as sleep deprivation.  It’s hard to be disciplined *or* creative when I’m tired…so I’m continuing to work on the routine for “early.”

  • E Luna Consultancy

    my motivation to get up: watching the sunrise because it is magical. i miss watching it now because i have diminished my own power by sleeping in. thanks for reminding me the benefits of being a morning person.

  • Pete Herrick

    Great post!  It’s been 15 years for me, up at 2A to work on a morning radio show (yes, I know that’s earlier than what Michael is describing),  it’s so awesome to get a jump-start on the day.

    Of they keys that Michael listed above, the LIGHTS can make a world of difference.  Don’t be groggy just because it’s early, turning on the lights help a lot!

    And there’s something about a sunrise that’s motivational.  Get in the habit and you’ll never want to miss another one.

  • Mrkdevries

    Michael, lots of years have passed from those days when we called each other to study Greek at 5 every morning!  And (I know, strange for a youth pastor) I’ve been a morning person ever since.  Agathos.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I remember those days with fondness, Mark!

  • http://marleeward.com/ Marlee

    Hi Michael,
    I must say when I stick to my “morning person” ritual, not only am I more productive, etc., but I just feel really good about myself. I find that there is a serene energy that you take hold of when your an early riser that you just can’t snag if you’re up after 7am. That feeling alone is incentive for me to keep it up. Thanks for these practical tips.

  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    Out of all these steps, the most powerful is to determine what is at stake. Morning people are generally more successful as they get a jump on the day and it’s that morning momentum that keeps them living on that “high” throughout the rest of the day.

    When you don’t start the day with momentum, you have nothing to keep you going.

    I absolutely love being a morning person but your post has reminded me that I need to create more momentum upon waking if I truly want the success I’ve dreamed. Thank you, Michael!

  • http://www.confessionsofaparent.com/ Mike Berry

    I couldn’t agree with this more. I became a morning person several years ago and since then my productivity, me alertness, my health and my peace of mind have all increased tremendously. Thank you for this post!

  • http://orgspring.com/ OrgSpring

    I try to be a morning person, but fail every time. My body seems to gravitate toward working better at night. Not sure why.

    I also found some evidence that suggests night owls are a more intelligent group: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201005/why-night-owls-are-more-intelligent-morning-larks

    But, if I were IQ tested that might be the direct evidence to disprove this hypothesis :)

  • Pingback: Becoming a Morning Person…a Spiritual Discipline? : Set A Mark!()

  • http://defeatdespair.wordpress.com/ Julia Denton

    Hi, at 56 I’m a lifelong night owl, and two months ago I would have told you that it’s impossible for me to become a morning person.  But when my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic cancer recently, all that changed.  I’m getting up and going to bed very early (as he always has) and find that it is giving me more stamina. I’m not advising anxiety as a strategy, but what experience taught me is that our physical bodies are quite susceptible to whatever is going on in our minds…and CAN be changed.  My experience has opened my eyes to what is possible if we have enough motivation. 

  • http://twitter.com/alewis28 Adam Lewis

    Thanks Michael, I appreciate this post.  It makes the task of getting up early seem not so insurmaountable.  I’ve been feeling challenged to do this for quite some time.  This was the nudge I needed to take the plunge!

  • http://richlangton.com/ Rich Langton

    I really enjoyed this post, Michael!
    I’ve been wanting to change my habits in order to become a morning person for years. It wasn’t until recently when my family got a dog that things started to actually happen. She’s like an alarm that want turn off. Barking and barking in the mornings. For some people that would be so frustrating, but for me it’s been fantastic! All of a sudden I’m up early – It’s been more than 21 days so we’ll see if I can keep it up. The tips you’ve given will sure help!

    Thanks for the great post, and I hope you have an awesome day!

  • Shawna Lampi

    I chuckled at this advice. I spent 10 months getting up early and discovered that changing 30+ yrs of going to bed at midnight does not change so easily. I just learned that I would be exhausted by the end of the week and would catch up on lost sleep on the weekend. I am married to a morning person who has always been a morning person and he couldn’t change to be a nighthawk even if he wanted too.

  • Cindy Cleaver

    15 plus years of herding kids out the door to school and college, and myself to work, has turned me into a morning person. :)  (Picture of me at writing conference).

  • Steve

    Don’t take naps.
     

  • Joshuawallace07

    Great post! For much of 2012 I have been trying to become a morning person. This post and the “Morning Ritual” podcast will help me set intentional steps to changing my bad habits

  • http://www.jasonjnicholas.com/ Jason J Nicholas

    There’s just something powerful about the stillness of the early morning that gives me clarity for the day ahead. 

    • Jim Martin

      I like the way you express this.  So true.  The stillness of the early morning can certainly help to bring clarity and perspective on the rest of the day.  This has been so helpful to me.

      • http://www.jasonjnicholas.com/ Jason J Nicholas

        Thanks Jim.

        Last week I added something new to my morning routine.  The first thing I do when I wake up is to do a quick sketch/drawing to empty out whatever thoughts may have accumulated in my head while I was sleeping.  I call them “inklings” and have been posting them on my blog page. 

  • http://twitter.com/JASalvage Josh Salvage

    A lot of people don’t realise it’s only in your head. I wake up to a poster saying “THINK HAPPY, BE HAPPY” –  I wake up with a smile, no matter who else may be stressing.
    It makes my day so much nicer and much more productive. I also tell myself that I’m lucky enough to sleep on a bed,  under a roof, and I have coffee waiting downstairs.

  • Pingback: Como se Tornar Numa Pessoa Madrugadora » Mexxer()

  • Pingback: Check out | HeadHeartHand Blog()

  • http://twitter.com/lammoush Lama

    I am a morning person, in the sense that I prefer mornings to get things done and it is when I feel most energized. I like waking up and getting going, and if I sleep in, I feel like the day is wasted. However, I’m more like a 7am morning person, not a 5am morning person. I’d love to get up earlier, because I could get my workout in (instead of waiting until after work, when I’m tired and it’s already dark outside). I will try to follow these tips, but not sure .. 

  • http://twitter.com/lammoush Lama

    Just to add on, there are some questions I still have. I jog in the evenings, and would like to switch that to the mornings. I don’t drink coffee, and never have, but I’m not sure about breakfast and water intake. 

    1) Should I drink water and then wait 30 minutes before I go jogging or does it not matter?

    2) Should I eat breakfast before or after the workout?

    3) Is there anything else I should do to prepare for a morning jog?

    Thanks! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I used to think it matters; I don’t anymore. Maybe it does if you are an elite athlete, but I’m not. I always drink water after I wake up and usually breakfast before I work out.

  • Bill

    Read the bible for 15 minutes a day.  If you read 5 psalms and 1 proverb a day, you will read all of Proverbs and Psalms in one month.  Trust me it will change your life.

  • http://www.intentionalcareer.com/ Henrieta Riesco

    I know what you mean :-) It makes a huge difference for me to think the evening before about what it is that I really, really want to do the next day – building excitement and anticipation. And that would be what I would focus on first thing in the morning. Doing something I was looking forward to builds my momentum for the rest of the day. If I don’t sort it out the night before, I end up wasting time no matter how early or late I wake up.

  • Pingback: Marriage & Parenting Weekly Highlights #4()

  • Tjeturtle

    I have wanted to be a morning person for years. I have a blog I am trying to write as a part of my teaching goals this year. For 2 years I have wanted to write a children’s book. I have the idea, notes, a sketch and yet it sits in a spiral notebook. A notebook I can no longer find. Most importantly I want to spend my morning with God. The last reason should be enough to get me out of bed and yet I can’t seem to do it. Lately it has been getting even worse. I have been getting up later and later. This just makes it more difficult for me to get out the door with my 3 kids. I feel tired all the time. I hear there is an app that monitors your sleep and then wakes you up within a 1/2 hour window based on your sleep cycle. I wonder if it work? The dream to be a morning person lives on. Maybe with these tips I can wake this dream up!

  • Pingback: Purposeful, Intentional, Productive « Specializing in the Impossible()

  • Pingback: Links & Drinks: How to Help Your Writing Life | Her Silent Musings()

  • http://toomanymeds.com/ Alex Barker

    Coffee is great in moderation! 
    In my research, I’ve found coffee over time decreases risk of coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, diabetes, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. I promote moderate (2 cups a day) coffee drinking in younger patients at my clinic .
    It’s good to see some love on my favorite morning drink.

    • Jim Martin

      There are many of us who share your appreciation for your favorite morning drink!  Thanks Alex.

  • Casarael

    Before I sleep I remind myself of the special thing I will do 1st thing in the morning.  I look forward to rising at 5:00.

  • Skipper Hammond

    Being a morning person means having the best time of the day alone, free of social demands that start in late afternoon for most of us–like kids coming home from school, dinner to make, movies and TV to watch.

  • Allon

    We found that this can be accomplished in fewer steps. Just have a baby and you will instantly become a morning person. Just one step. Well 2 steps altogether, but still…

  • Justin

    It helps me to make sure I’m relaxed when I go to bed.  I try to get off all electronics 30 minutes before bedtime, and stop eating at least 2-3 hours before sleeping.  Meditation and prayer AT bedtime always helps me relax more.  I find this helps me sleep better and have more energy when I wake up.

  • Pingback: Good Reads Saturday – December 15, 2012 | the Vicki Arnold blog()

  • Pingback: The Hardest Part is Doing My Part « S. Kim Henson's blog()

  • Jack

    Outstanding advice. Just make sure your significant other also wants to be awake when you turn in all the lights! Michael, you’re so right about the advantages of rising early. Thanks!

  • Pingback: Saturday Share: December 15, 2012 | David Christian()

  • King Tubbo

    I previously worked evening and overnight shifts, never getting to bed before 1:00 a.m. for 20+ years. It worked for me. I felt healthy and productive. Four years ago, I started working in a new field with a job that starts at 8:00 a.m. Getting up in the mornings has been very difficult, being cheery almost impossible.

    Recently, I got a promotion at work, am now heading up a couple of new projects, and realized how much I love my work. It behooves me to at least make an attempt to become more of a morning person (one of my resolutions for 2013), so this article is very timely for me.

  • Maryanstro

    I am an early-riser wannabe. My husband is up early everyday, but I’m usually too exhausted to join him. Here is my dilemma. I am an introverted processor and I need time to wind down & think b/f bed. However I have 4 kids ( 3 of them teens) who come home @ midnight, want to talk or need help with Algebra at 10 pm. Even when I finally crawl in bed after midnight, I may lay thinking & praying before & can get to sleep. I am a mom so of course I put my kids first. However, I am beginning to wonder. Am I doing them a disservice by accomodating their schedules and leaving myself no time for myself?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Cook-Szczerba/564743125 Erin Cook Szczerba

       Mary,
      When I read the first 1/2 of your comment, I thought “she is making herself too available to her kids’ schedules!”. Setting a healthy boundary–letting them know the hours you’ll be available for chatting and homework help–will allow you to prioritize sleep and waking earlier and will allow them the opportunity to respect your needs and make changes in their own schedules. :)
      Erin

  • http://emilysirkel.com/ Emily Sirkel

    Excellent tips, and what a timely article! I just wrote about my ailing self-dicipline in a post on Wednesday (without having seen this post), specifically about how my normal “morning person” habits have hit a slump!

    I appreciate your perspective and suggestions – as always!

  • http://www.VictoryChristianCoaching.com/ Marianne Clements

    Michael,

    I’ve always been a morning person, but my husband was a night owl most of his life.  When we got married, it was hard for us to adjust to different sleeping habits.  Interestingly, he is now a morning person — sometimes he’s up earlier than me! 

    He didn’t do anything special except go to bed earlier.  If you go to bed at 9:00PM, it’s hard to sleep till noon.  FYI — we do not have a TV in our bedroom which I think is a major hindrance to sleep.  If you have other similar distractions like the internet that keeps you engaged, try disengaging earlier in the evening, so you have some time to wind down.

    Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Benjamin Franklin

    Have a Victorious Day!
    Marianne

  • Tim

    Matthew
    21:21So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I
    say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you
    will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you
    say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be
    done.  There is something to be said for a positive confession.  Never speak in a way to give credence to your doubts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erin-Cook-Szczerba/564743125 Erin Cook Szczerba

    I have been setting my alarm and falling back to sleep. So frustrating! Remembered receiving this post via email, came here to find it, and voila! #4 is what I needed to read. I’ll be plugging my phone in across the room tonight–and going to bed NOW. Thanks Michael!

  • Shereena

    The post was really motivating. I am in a new environment with new responsibilities, stuck not knowing how to start. Now got new ideas. I understood how important it to become a morning person in my life

  • http://twitter.com/DainDunston Dain Dunston

    Michael, 

    I pity those who miss the dawn. I woke up one morning in college and saw this orange light streaming in the window at 5:00 a.m. and … went right back to sleep. But I decided if it happened again the next morning I’d get up and go look. The next morning, it happened again and I dragged myself out of bed and headed out to a nearby hilltop to watch the sunrise and never stopped doing that. By the time the 8:30 a.m. French seminar got going, I was the only one awake and full of coffee. Madame Dupin was so impressed at my conversational ability.

    All through my career, getting an early start has always served me well. Deadlines are easier to meet when you’re up with the dawn.

  • http://luke1428.com/ Brian Fourman

    I was never a morning person and always told myself that. I forced myself into becoming a morning person when I set a goal of running a marathon and only could find time to train in the morning before I went to work. I did steps 1-6. For me the trick though was consistency. I only trained four days a week but I still maintained the same bed time and wake up time on the days I didn’t train.  After awhile my body naturally adjusted. It can be done. 

  • Pingback: Monday Motivation: Your Weekly Career Links | Classy Career Girl()

  • Ernest Dempsey

    Number 6 has been invaluable to me.  When I started doing that, I found I was less rushed in the mornings.  
    The point behind number one is also deeply rooted in conscious and subconscious beliefs.  As far back as I can remember, I have always been tired in the mornings.  The last year or so, though, I’ve been less tired. I think it is because I wake up with a list of daily goals I want to accomplish.  
    Getting a little thirty minute head start is huge on those things like, write 500 words before work, edit 10 pages of the next book, or whatever the goals might be.
    Of course, coffee is always involved!  
    Thanks for the tips!

  • Pingback: Two Blogs That Changed My New Year’s Resolutions - An Experienced Motivational Christian Speaker in Lancaster, PA()

  • http://www.johngallagherblog.com John Gallagher

    Well, I want to consider myself a morning person, but I still struggle with it.  I am ready to start the 21-day challenge. 

    Other things I might consider adding: Put the alarm clock where you cannot reach it from bed.  It’s tooo easy to hit the snooze and sneak back under the warm covers.  Lots of folks (including me) use their smart phones as alarm clocks.  I need to push it away from the bed.  It will help.  Avoid the snooze button if at all possible.

    One way I can improve is putting my clothes out the night before.  I like that idea, especially when I am supposed to go work out.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Pingback: Developing a Routine « This Journey Is My Own()

  • Pingback: The New Year | Joseph Yoo()

  • Smccull

    I recently turned myself into a morning person after years of convincing myself “I am not a morning person”. And what a difference it’s made already in my life! I managed to do this on my own but now after reading your post I can attest to all your readers the importance of #1, 3, 4, 7 and 9. Especially # 9. 

    In fact, I am now down the path of selecting one life change I want to make per month, so I allow myself plenty of time to ingrain the new thinking and habits. And during that time I won’t allow myself to try to focus on a second or third major change. It’s liberating and tremendously effective so far to be focused on only one major change at a time. 

    Going into 2013 I’m excited about the prospects of 12 new improvements that could be as life changing as this habit has been so far. I am definitely happier and much more productive now that I can proudly say I am a morning person!

  • Pingback: Akarsz korán kelő lenni? | Clear Online()

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    i once heard that a rut is a grave with no ends…. I do not want to be stuck in one! Thanks! 

  • Pingback: It’s Here…the Thirty for 30 Challenge! | There Is Grace()

  • Pingback: What Will My New Year Look Like? | Pastor Jim Perdue()

  • Cindyannhorn

    The only way that I can become a morning person is to make a promise to God – that is honestly the only way I can pull myself out of bed at 5AM.  When it’s still dark outside, and I know how miserable leaving my warm, cozy bed will be – especially during the winter – I need more than a commitment to myself. This however, only works if your a person of faith and having a healthy fear of making promises to God.

  • Pingback: Criando o hábito de acordar cedo (Desafio dos 30 dias) « Seja Genial()

  • Pingback: Link Love (03/01/2013) « Becky's Kaleidoscope()

  • http://twitter.com/PreachManJoseph Joseph Jones

    I have tried so hard to become a morning person, but fail every time. I am what you would call a night owl. I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning, which means I sleep until 10 or 11 in the morning. I would love to be up at 6 am, so I’ve tried  going to bed at 11 pm. Because my body is used to 2 or 3 I end up laying there with my eyes wide open. This then leads me to get up and find something to do until 2 or 3. Could you offer any suggestions on fixing this? Or is it just going to involve a few nights with difficulty going to sleep?

  • http://twitter.com/PreachManJoseph Joseph Jones

    I have tried so hard to become a morning person, but fail every time. I am what you would call a night owl. I stay up until 2 or 3 in the morning, which means I sleep until 10 or 11 in the morning. I would love to be up at 6 am, so I’ve tried  going to bed at 11 pm. Because my body is used to 2 or 3 I end up laying there with my eyes wide open. This then leads me to get up and find something to do until 2 or 3. Could you offer any suggestions on fixing this? Or is it just going to involve a few nights with difficulty going to sleep?

  • Tyler Wall

    It is easy to become a morning person…..just have a baby!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      isn’t that the truth!

  • Pingback: FOUR Ways to Make Your Personal Worship Habit Forming | More Grace()

  • http://andrewledwith.net/ Andrew

    I like your tip to turn on all the lights. I think I’m going to use a timer on at least one lamp to aid in the wakeup process. I’m far less likely to roll over and hit snooze if there’s already light hitting my face!

  • Pingback: Crossing the Finish: Finding The Means to Reach Your Goals | The Palmer Perspective()

  • Pingback: Friday Bag Turns 21()

  • Pingback: Simple ways to Increase your productivity | Gospel Driven Change()

  • http://www.judiholler.com/ Judi

    Love this one … sharing with my followers!!!   Thanks for the post!

  • bradblackman

    For me the biggest challenge is making myself go to bed in time to get up early. It’s something of an inconvenience because I like to watch movies after the rest of the house has gone to bed, but I know the tradeoff of getting time to create first thing in the morning is far better. I’m leveraging a small sacrifice for a much larger reward.

  • bradblackman

    I’ve noticed that by making myself go to bed earlier, I’m setting a better example for my daughter. She would like to stay up all night like I do, but I hope to instill this discipline in her while she is so young.

  • Rutu

    I wish I could be a morning person…maybe.  My job requires late hours and not early hours.  I suppose I could wake up early anyway but I will still have to work until 1am or later and I am sure that will not be great for my body.  As an IT person, most of the duties I have to do are after hours while most people are not using the system.  That said, morning in our culture is a little subjective and maybe there is a similar article like this for people who work at night.  Nice article though…for most people.

  • Ruserious

     Mike,
        I don’t see the more productive thing happening where I work.   Many of the people that get in real early have told me they do so because they can/want to go home early.   Their aren’t any millionaires, happier or healthier folks in this group either.

      I realize that what is in my environment may not be statistically relevant, but I do believe that the assertions about early risers is mostly a myth.

  • Pingback: Operation Early Bird: How To Become A Morning Person - Everything Braden()

  • Pingback: Operation Early Bird: How To Become A Morning Person()

  • Pingback: 5 Keys to Kick-start Your Devotional Life | Pilgrim Baptist Church | Vancouver Canada()

  • Fhwharton

    Great article. I can identify with the contents as I’m now becoming a morning persons and most of what is written worked for me.

  • http://www.SmallGroupChurches.com/ Andrew Mason

    The morning routine is critical. Great post!

  • Pingback: this went thru my mind |()

  • Pingback: How to… Survive Mornings if You’re a Night Owl | Struggle to Victory()

  • Pingback: How I Became a Morning Person | sindy lee ho()

  • Pingback: Starting your day with Jesus | epochist()

  • Pingback: 5 Fun Ways to Start an Extraordinary Day! | Angela Howard()

  • Pingback: Should You Be An Early Riser – Three Famous Examples | JaysonFeltner.com()

  • Pingback: The Real Answer to Getting Things Done | Jamie Munson | Life. Leadership. Legacy.()

  • Jacob Vium

    Hi HM, if you put on your exercise clothes when you first wake up, do you then wear that while having devotional time?

    BR, Jacob Vium (CEO at Scandinavia Publishing House, Denmark)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I do.

  • Jacob Vium

    Hi again

    Another addition to your great and inspiring post is that a cup of coffee is something to look forward to (especially if it’s good), so even though you don’t drink coffee (and maybe don’t need it to wake you up in the same way regular users often do), the principle still stand it’s ground in being something to look forward to. You can just replace with juice or something you really crave :-).

    PS. Sorry for switching your initials in the last comment – things move fast :-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Ha! No problem. I assumed you meant me. Thanks.

  • http://www.bigboldimpact.com/ David Hooper

    Agree with you, but… If you have to drink coffee to get up early, are you really a morning person? :)

  • http://www.setongod.com/ Joshua Tolan

    Excellent post and thanks for the tips! But I do have one question about it. Do you still go to bed and wake up the same time on the weekends? A lot of times I go to sleep later and wake up later because of social activities that are going on. What do you do?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Most times, I do. But if I am out late, I sleep in. No big deal.

      • http://www.setongod.com/ Joshua Tolan

        Ok, thanks!

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Awesome post Michael. The power of positive thinking. As you eloquently stated, we have to change our story. Change those thoughts. Utilize powerful affirmations and embed these thoughts into our heart. Your posts and podcasts are very deep. I have a 17 month old son who is teething. Would you suggest that I adjust my sleeping routine based on his needs?

  • http://www.jamesshort.net James Short

    Jet lag did it for me… My family and I moved to the Philippines as full-time missionaries. As a life-long night owl, but one that needed his sleep, I found myself constantly sleep starved. However, when we landed in the PI our bodies were still on U.S. time. My eyes popped open around 4:00am (same for my wife and our 2 and 3 year old’s…) whether I was ready or not. I immediately saw this as an opportunity to change my internal schedule as I have wished to do for a long, long time. Shortly after that time you wrote this post, Michael. Thank you.

    LOVE my mornings for devotions, reading and writing. For a long time I ran in the mornings but got out of the habit when I had gotten pretty sick for well over a week. Never started back. But, I think it’s time for that so I’m glad I saw this post again. Keep it up Michael, your work lives on!

  • Rosanne

    Since I actually have turned things down because of how early I would have to get up, I am very interested in how to become a morning person. Before children, my natural rhythm was I got sleepy between 1 and 2 a.m. and naturally woke up between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. Unfortunately, the world is not really made for night owls what with school hours. I am better than I used to be. I now get up about 6:45 a.m. but I’d really like to get an earlier start to my day. So, my question is – is it better to go cold turkey and just pick a time and start getting up then OR is it better to do it slowly, like push back your wake up time by 10 minutes every week until you are where you want to be?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’m a cold turkey kind of guy. But that’s where you might have to experiment.

  • Jeffrey James

    I’m glad you included #9. A lot of people give up too soon and they miss out on all the benefits of being a morning person.

  • Lane Lopus

    I’ve always had a hard time doing a quiet time in the morning, right after I wake up. I find I just fall back asleep, even sitting up in a chair. What is your process for a sucessful AM quiet time?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I don’t have that problem. Maybe it’s just the way I am wired. Maybe you should start with something that wakes you up, like exercise. The key is to find what works for you.

  • Steven Schott

    Good ideas though I suspect my wife will strongly disagree with #5.

  • Michael Posey

    Here’s a book I highly recommend for those trying to set their morning routine:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/09790

    (It’s not an affiliate link or anything, just a link to the book on Amazon).

    Your list is consistent with the book, however for people (like me before I read the book) who struggle with the ‘I’m not a morning person’ mindset, this book could change that entirely. I know it did for me. It’s an easy, but profound read and I guarantee it will be worth your time reading.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, that link didn’t work, Michael. If you can give us the title, that would help.

  • Joel

    Michael, I am by nature a person of routine and a morning person. As my career and business have progressed, I am traveling more both for business and for pleasure. I find it very difficult to maintain my morning routine on the road and then regain my morning when I return home. Especially because business and social engagements often keep me up past my morning person bedtime. How do you maintain your routine on the road and regain it when your back in your own home after traveling?

  • Adam Roberts

    When I was in college a study was done which showed a strong connection between higher grades and morning classes. To become a morning person, it helps to commit to a certain activity to wake up to, such as working out or journaling, and then I name my alarm. For example, my 6am alarm on my iPhone says “Write, Write, Write” so that I remember when I look at the alarm why I am waking up at 6am.

  • ande2994

    I appreciate the proximity of #3 and #4. It’s so easy to let 10pm or even 11pm slip by without noticing. But after reading this, I think I’ll set an alarm at NIGHT as a reminder to set out my clothes and start getting ready for bed. We’ll see how it goes!

  • http://www.myfirstrestaurant.com Gabe DaSilva

    If you’re not a “Morning Person” use Hal Elrod’s, S.A.V.E.R.S. as outlined in The Miracle Morning. A great place to start!

  • Empowered Belief

    I read recent research getting into the morning light as soon as you can helps with energy for the whole day. I have found this to be true. Of course I live in the north so in the winter I would still have been up for a few hours before the morning light dawns but a couple of minutes outside moves the day forward. Thank you for this topic.

  • http://www.wellnessforce.com/ Josh Trent

    What an emPOWERing article Michael. Thank you!

  • Nate

    i hope Spud Webb reads this post.