Why Being A Morning Person Could Be The Secret To Your Success

When your alarm goes off in the morning, do you snooze or do you wake immediately? Or perhaps a more appropriate question… HOW MANY TIMES do you hit the snooze button?  Truth.

New research has been released which will make my friends (hopefully) stop making fun of me. My whole life, I have been an early bird. Doesn’t the early bird get the worm? Lol! But, I have always been an early bird, even as a teenager- I wake early, I eat lunch early (11:30am), dinner early (5:30pm), and I go to bed early (9:45pm), pretty much all the time. But, it appears this lifestyle might be contributing to my health, wellbeing and happiness. As research has it, I do what it takes to be successful. So, what’s the big secret? According to this new research, early risers aren’t just nicer to be around in the morning, they’re also happier, healthier, more self-satisfied, even experience more career success than the rest of the population. (Forbes Magazine)

Studies are showing that you hold the key to your success– starting your day in the early morning. While most people are snoozing or still sleeping, research says that success has much to do with being a morning person. I know, shocking right?! (Actually, I’m not shocked. As a Women’s Success Coach, I know this, but perhaps you didn’t).

Research indicates that the tasks that require self-discipline, such as working out, getting through annoying paperwork, returning emails, or crossing things off your to-do list, are simply better done in the morning. Morning people are said to be more optimistic. Morning people are also known to use more positive words, such as “awesome” or “super.”

While the world sleeps, getting more done in the morning is a beautiful thing, and I am living proof. Waking early actually DECREASES my stress level and anxiety for the day. It allows me to start my day in a much slower, more steady pace. It allows me to enjoy the moments more.  When I wake early, I catch up on emails, grab a coffee, read the paper, it’s quiet, I have time to myself, and it literally feels like a gift. I encourage you to try it.

When I don’t wake early (and press the occasional snooze button), my mornings are a different story. They are frenetic. When I hit that snooze button, BAM, the day somehow starts on fast-forward. It’s hectic, I’m crazed, breakfast is rushed, kids are rushed, and this rushy pace, this aura, sets the tone for the entire day. It’s the anti-zen.

But the good news is, we all hold the power. And we can all get off the fence, and do something about it now.

The pioneer in this field of research is Laura Vanderkam, author of the book, What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.  I recently saw her interviewed on the Today Show, which is what sparked the idea for this blog post. After extensive research, her findings were that the most successful people were those who devoted a heavy amount of time, dedication, and commitment in the morning to the things or people that they loved.

Mornings are a great time to get things done. This is golden time for yourself. Yes, there are some people who may be confirmed nigth owls, but everyone else, with a little bit of work, can become a morning person. And studies show, morning people are more successful people.” Laura Vanderkam.

How to make yourself a morning person:

  • Program yourself to go to bed earlier at night. Skip Letterman and opt for DVRing instead. Power-down all your electronics early.  Pretty simple… you’ll wake up less tired, and get more done.

  • Waking up early should not be punishment, therefore to give yourself an incentive, do something you love. Get out of bed early and read a book, the newspaper, sit on your porch and sip a coffee, play with your kids. Do something YOU ENJOY DOING. That will give you greater incentive to wake up earlier, and start your day off on a more positive note. This is your time to do things not that you have to do, but rather want to do. They should be pleasurable.  “The best morning activities aren’t things you have to do, but things that you want to do but just never seem to get around to.”  says Laura Vanderkam.
  • Start gradually. Experts say that to become a morning person, therefore increasing your chances of becoming a more successful person, start slow. Don’t expect to set your alarm for 5am tomorrow morning (instead of the usual 7am) and wake up smiling like Mary Poppins and Suzy Sunshine! Go slowly and gradually. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier, and waking up 15 minutes earlier. Also, planning ahead allows greater ease to do more in the am. For example, by literally laying out your workout clothes by your bedside so they are easily accessible in the morning is a big help.  “And then it’s just a matter of habit building. Creating habits can take enormous willpower and energy, but maintaining habits actually conserves it,” says Laura Vanderkam.

It ain’t easy, but who said anything worth having is?

I have subscribed to this lifestyle for over 20 years now, and I can tell you, it works.

Tell us, are you a morning person? If you’re not, is this something you’d try? I’d really love your thoughts on this topic.

And a very Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! Enjoy your long weekend.

xoxEDxox

28 Comments
  1. Morning is a peaceful time. Whether I’m preparing for work (and I’m often the first one to arrive) or settling in with a cup of coffee and the newspaper, my mornings help me start my day feeling positive.

  2. I sleep early, dinner by 7pm, puttering around or some reading, an old dvd playing in the background puts me to sleep by 9:30 to 10pm. I sleep between 6 to 8 hours. Then when I wake up, I meditate, do some yoga and get some surfing in the net while checking emails.

    I grew up in a household where the best bonding is over breakfast, I wake up to people laughing early in the morning. So its kinda easy for me to be a morning person.

    1. Marie, this is amazing. What would you say to the people who don’t have it as good as you? How can you get your mind programmed to be motivated? I’d love your spin… you seem to “get it.” 😉

      1. Hi Erica, to others who wants to figure it out, I think its numbers. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. Figure out how much you want to invest in sleep. Its different for everybody. When I was younger, I can go the whole nine yards of work and play, get by with 2 to 3 hours of sleep and go another round the next day.

        Not anymore, hehe. I need 6 hours minimum. So in order to ba awake by 6am, I have to be in bed at the latest is midnight. But when I have an early day start, by 10pm I am pooped. I have an internal alarm clock so its easy. For others, respect and honor that ring when you hear it in the morning.

        Here is the biggest tip, at night, walk away from everything, unwind for sleeping and be grateful for a blessed day. Tomorrow is another awesome day. Somehow we like to go on and on and on, like the eveready bunny. We can’t. We must leave what we do, and pick it up again the next day.

        🙂

  3. I’ve always been a late night person. I was on the radio for years in Los Angeles doing all night radio from midnight to 6 am 5 days a week and loved it. I was sleeping about 5 hrs a night and getting up to do cartoon voices in the afternoon. Then I became a screen writer. My husband and I have earned our living doing that together for the last 25 years and we keep a schedule of getting up early (7 am) joining friends for coffee to get our hearts started then going home to our office where we work (lunch break) then knock off around 5 or 6. I got into the habit of getting up at 5 am for several years when I was co hosting the morning show on public radio in Los Angeles. I was on the air from 7 to 9 then would go home and work with my husband writing all day. I was averaging about 5 or 6 hours of sleep a day..which seems to work best for me. I’m up until 1 am most nights (mornings?)

  4. Erica, I was always a self-proclaimed night owl until a few years ago, I don’t even remember why, but I started getting up early. Now I am in the habit. I don’t even set an alarm. I get up between 5:15 and 5:45 on most days, and I LOVE IT. It is MY TIME. I get my coffee, I check email, I empty the dishwasher, and usually get my exercise in. I wouldn’t change my new schedule for the world. I feel so much more productive.

    As a result, I am ready for bed at 9pm, lol. But I still think it’s worth it! Great post.

  5. As long as I have my coffee within 5 or 10 minutes of waking up, I am a happy camper.

    Actually, we are all early risers in my house. My husband is up by 5am as he leaves for work really early and my kids and I follow between 6-6:30am. They are only 4 and 6 so while I thought this was a curse maybe it will actually work in their favor as adults if they can keep it up!

    I am currently a stay at home mom and if it weren’t for my early mornings I am not sure I would manage to get as much done without being completely stressed out all the time. This is when I catch up with my best friend(by phone on her drive to work) and when I can get my workouts in without my kids constantly needing my attention. This makes for a much happier mommy and kids!!

  6. You are all so good. I hate getting up in the morning. Perhaps it would be different if I had something to look forward to. I’d love to start getting up early and doing something positive – like maybe exercise. But I’m such a procrastinator about things. Maybe I’ll try this time.

  7. Erica,

    I LOVE being a morning person! I usually wake around 6, make a cup of tea, meditate, walk along the ocean, and prepare for the day–all before most people are up! It’s such a peaceful time of day; I love feeling like I’m the only one in the world who is awake. I’ve learned over the years to treat others gently in the morning. Just because I’m wide awake and chipper doesn’t mean they are! A simple smile or hello is all that’s needed; letting others wake up in their own time is nicer than bombarding them with my morning enthusiasm! 🙂 Thanks for a great post.

  8. I have just recently switched from working 3:30 pm to midnight to 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. I am much happier and get a lot more done in the day. I still have a hard time getting up in the am though.

  9. I am almost always up before 6. My problem is I’d like to take a nap around 3 ….. not always a good thing. Most of the time I am fighting to stay awake to watch the 11 o’clock news (or looking at a recap at 2). And I will NOT accept that I am getting older …….

  10. No. No. No. Its simply a preference. As a night owl I find the sterotype is we’re lazy or anti-social. I could go on to say early birds miss the magic of the night, the fullness of the moon etc etc. I go to sleep at dawn.. the stillness of the light breaking thru soothes me to sleep. I am sick of reading stuff that insists I got all wrong. Even in times of my life where life dictated I was to be up and functional before 10.. I would be in a daze until about 3 or 4… Its just our internal clock… or what is called… carcathum rhythm.

  11. I love this article! I am Not a morning person but have been striving to become one. These are great tips to follow, would love to share with my blog community if you don’t mind?

  12. Sometimes I’m a morning person, depends on my work schedule and life in general, I do like to start my day early if I can. I like to get things done in the morning, so I can enjoy the rest of my day. Or just enjoy my coffee or whatever else without the rush.

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  14. I always find these “I’m better than you” articles so self congratulatory. Before I developed a chronic disease I used to get in to work before my ex-manager simply because I lived very near to where I worked. She complained to HR that I was trying to outshine and was in competition with her! Now, I have a job getting in to work before 10 am and even if I am working from home (in which case it’s earlier) I’m still seen as being late and less productive which is odd because I know for a fact that the majority of early risers are on Facebook bragging about how early they are in work!

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