How to Become a Morning Person

You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you this in person (at least if you knew me), but a few years ago, I was not a morning person. Total former night-owl here… I would stay up until 3 a.m. because that’s when my creative juices were flowing the highest.

But I quickly learned that if you want to be successful in business and in life, becoming a morning person is essential. Why? Most of the relationships you’ll develop with other people will happen during the day, not at night. Also, your productivity steadily decreases as the day goes on. Do the research, and you’ll find that the world’s most successful people wake up at 4:30 a.m.

As I began to build my business, I noticed how quickly I struggled compared to my peers, and a lot of that was due to the fact that I wouldn’t wake up until 10 a.m. some days. 5 a.m. certainly was NOT on my radar, and even when I did set an alarm, I’d hit snooze 20 times before finally waking up 2 hours later, feeling groggy and depressed because of how much I knew I could have accomplished in that time.

How did I become a morning person? Honestly, the simple answer is: I just DID it. And that’s what I’d tell anyone who is struggling to wake up early: Just do it. (Nike had it right this whole time.)

But perhaps you’re reading this and thinking, “It’s not that simple, man.” If you came here looking for some practical tips on how to become a morning person, don’t worry. I’m going to give that to you, because I know what it’s like to be in your shoes. “Just do it,” just doesn’t cut it for all people. You need motivation. Here’s a step-by-step guide you can implement to go from night-owl to morning person in just two weeks.

Step 1: Find your “why.” What’s your reason for wanting to wake up earlier? If you don’t have a reason, you’ll find yourself quickly unmotivated after day one. Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish in those wee morning hours and write it down. You can’t accomplish a goal if you don’t have a target to hit in the first place!

Step 2: Go to bed earlier. Once you’ve established your “why,” decide how many hours of sleep you’ll need to function optimally. Go to bed at a time that will allow you to get that much sleep, and set an alarm for the time you want to wake up. I recommend waking up anywhere between the hours of 4 and 6 a.m., with 5 a.m. being the ideal time for me. But you do what works for you. You’ll be surprised what a difference going to be a few hours earlier can make in your productivity.

Step 3: Set your alarm far away from your bed. There are actually phone apps that will require you to perform an activity (like spinning 3 times) before the alarm shuts off. This requires you to actually get out of bed and do something that will wake you up so that hitting the snooze button is not an option. If you’re one of those people who struggles with “snooze,” I definitely recommend downloading and using one of those apps. Either way, make sure you have to actually get out of bed in order to turn off your alarm.

Step 4: Drink a glass of water first thing after waking up. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go straight to the kitchen, grab a glass, fill it up, and guzzle it down. This is good for a few things. First, it will wake you up. Especially if that water is cold. Second, it will hydrate you. We are all extremely dehydrated when we wake up because, well, it’s been 8 hours since we have had anything to eat or drink. You need water. Drinking it first thing in the morning is a great step in the right direction and will help you stay hydrated throughout the day. Third, it will help you lose weight. Hydration assists your body in detoxification, which in turn helps you shed body fat.

Step 5: Work out. Exercise is good for you, and it’ll get your body’s endorphins flowing so you’ll wake up faster. I know this seems like a hard thing for people who stay up late, but you’re already going to bed earlier, so it should be easier.

Step 6: Take a shower. I would say “take a cold shower,” but that probably won’t motivate you to wake up, so take a shower at whatever temperature feels good to you. It’s best to look forward to whatever activity you’ll be doing first thing in the morning, since dreading it will make you want to go right back to bed.

Step 7: Drink a cup of coffee. Or some other drink that gives you energy. Just make sure it’s not unhealthy. We do not suggest high-sugar energy drinks or sodas, since they’ll likely give you a quick boost of energy but cause you to crash later. Instead, a single cup of coffee with a healthy fat like coconut oil will do the trick and help to sustain you at optimal levels throughout the day. Or if you use a healthy energy supplement, that’s good too.

Step 8: Spend 15 minutes doing something you enjoy. This “ME” time is crucial to your routine. Knowing that you get to have this time is motivating in and of itself. But it also allows you to work on your own personal development. Maybe you like reading a book, doing a daily devotional, writing, or doing something creative. Whatever it is, carve out this time for yourself. You won’t regret it.

Take these 8 steps for two weeks, and they will become habit. Once you’ve created a habit, it will become harder and harder to break. You’ll be a morning person in no time!

In the words of Nike and Shia LeBeouf:

quote about hardship

Lessons on Overcoming Hardship in Business & Life

2015 was a rough year. You may have noticed that I went MIA for a while, and for that, I apologize. I had some pretty tough hardships to overcome, and learned a few important lessons along the way. So I thought I’d start the new year with a different kind of post. This isn’t another blog about my goals or resolutions for 2016; I think we already have enough of those. I’ve decided to give you some tips on overcoming hardship in business and in life, in the hopes that my struggles will be of use to you as you make headway on your own goals during the months ahead.

Before I dive into the 4 main lessons I’m going to give you though, I think it’s only fair that I describe some of the hardship I’ve had to overcome, just to put it in perspective.

First, my income took a turn for the worse. I’d started working with a new concrete construction business back in July, and he ended up going out of business. Without a solid back-up plan, and with my bank account dwindling fast, I got desperate and ended up looking for a J.O.B. Not something any entrepreneurially-minded person wants to do, but sometimes such is life. I figured it was a decent short-term solution until I found a better business venture.

I landed a job making a pretty decent salary, but on my first day of work, I couldn’t find the keys to my car. I spent two hours turning my house upside-down in an effort to find them with no luck, so I called my new employer and explained the situation. He told me I should have been prepared for something to happen and not to bother coming in. Back to square one. Meanwhile I had to order a car key replacement with virtually $0 in my bank account…

Lesson #1: Be prepared. Hardship is bound to happen. There’s no getting around it. It’s a regular part of life and I’d argue that it keeps things interesting and makes you stronger, as long as you make an effort to overcome it. It’s important to prepare your mind, and your bank account, for emergencies.

I figured that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I wasn’t meant to have a J.O.B. So I went back to the drawing board and began planning my next business venture. I met a life coach and decided I wanted to walk down his path. I’ve always been good at teaching and maintaining a positive attitude — two criteria necessary for any successful life coach. And that brings me to lesson #2:

Lesson #2: Stay positive. I know it sounds like a cliche out of a self-help book, but this is something many people struggle with and the #1 reason why a lot of us give up on our dreams. One thing goes wrong, and we’re apt to throw ourselves a pity party and stop chasing the things we want.

One way I stay positive is by writing motivational quotes on post-it notes and hanging them up on my bathroom mirror. I start and end every day with a positive thought, and it really helps me maintain focus throughout my workday.

Lesson #3: Take a risk. You’ll never get to where you want to be if you’re not willing to step out of the box you’re in. It was risky to start a business as a life coach. Life coaches don’t make a lot of money right off the bat. It’s difficult to differentiate yourself among the crowd, and difficult to build and maintain a steady client base. Life coaching is a relatively new practice, and there are a lot of people getting into it. Even though I firmly believe the world needs more of us, the supply & demand statistics would suggest otherwise… You must be willing to do something that other people will tell you you can’t do, and allow their negativity to propel you forward even further down the path of your passions. Speaking of passions…

Lesson #4: Pursue them! Don’t worry about how much money you’ll make. I’d rather make less to do something I love than make millions to do something I hate. And when you’re doing what you love, you’re a truly rich man (or woman.) Be passionate, and the people around you will be passionate as well. They’ll want to follow you on your journey and may even be willing to pay you to help them walk their own path successfully too.