Are you a morning person? In my house, I am the morning person. I wake up early (like 5:00am) and I’m ready to go. I have energy and excitement for the day. Coffee is a nice touch, but not even necessary for me to find my morning glory as I begin another great morning routine. I’m happy and I’m chatty.
It’s such an amazing part of the day. My brain immediately kicks into fast mode with plans and ideas that I can’t wait to begin. I even bought a giant sunshine to hang on the bedroom wall, because sunshine makes me smile — and I love to smile first thing in the morning.
And my husband? Well, not so much. It’s actually amazing how the sheer energy of a morning person can anger that man. Within seconds and without speaking a word, my cheery demeanor can cause him to growl at me. All he wants to do is pull the covers up over his head and go back to sleep.
He hates mornings. With a passion. My sunny disposition is like fingernails on a chalkboard to him. But it’s not his fault.
According to a recent study conducted by the genetics company 23& Me, my love of mornings is at least partially related to genetics. The research found at least 15 regions of the human genome that relate to a person’s love of mornings. Seven of those regions are associated with circadian rhythm — our body’s clock.
That means we can’t ‘will’ ourselves into becoming a morning person. Nor can we nag our partner into becoming one.
I know. I’ve tried.
Is a morning routine for non-morning people important?
He can’t wake up ready to roll, any more than I can force myself to stay awake past 9:30pm. As much as I love watching Rachel Maddow at 9:00pm, I can’t make it to the first commercial. My eyes just close and I’m out till morning.
Although my husband and I are opposites when it comes to mornings, there is one thing we agree on. We both know the value of a great morning routine. Yes, even my husband knows the importance of a morning routine for non-morning people.
As a coach, my routine helps me get in the right mindset to work with my clients. It helps me set the stage for what I want to accomplish and stores my energy so I can show up ready for each client.
As a surgeon, his morning routine is critical. It gives him the chance to enjoy the peace before his hectic and demanding day begins.
Our mornings are very different, but both begin with solid morning routines.
If you HATE mornings, this may feel impossible. It’s not. In fact,
I’ve gathered a few morning routine tips to help. These tips will help you get the benefits of a morning routine – without making you crazy (or cranky).
1. Don’t turn on the TV
Starting the day with news or entertainment blasting at you isn’t a good idea. It can change your mood before you even have time to know how you feel! If you’re NOT a morning person, try keeping your morning very low key. Spend the first 10 minutes or so sitting in a quiet area.
You can use this quiet time for an early morning meditation. Or sit quietly without thinking at all. This will allow you to wake up in a more gentle way.
2. Play soothing music as you wake up
If you have Alexa or Google, ask it to play spa music. This will allow you to come to life in a slow manner, while setting the stage for a calming day.
3. Write in a gratitude journal
This is such a powerful way to begin the day. Start with 3-5 things you’re grateful for and write them down in your gratitude journal. It’s a super powerful tool. The brain can’t feel more than one emotion at the same time, so if you’re feeling grateful as you write in the journal, any negative emotions will diminish. It’s so energizing that sometimes people will fill pages.
It doesn’t have to be something amazing. You can be grateful for your coffee or your shower. Anything that makes you feel joy when you close your eyes and think of it. That’s something to be grateful for, so write it down.
4. Choose two goals for the day
Choose two goals for the day and make them achievable. It might be to write a chapter in that book, or finally having the talk you’ve been putting off.
These goals will get you thinking about what you need to do and will set the stage for a productive day. And by choosing realistic goals to focus on, you’ll be sure of success.
5. Drink water and move your body
This is the one thing my husband hates the most. I leave for a 6:15am workout, and when I come home he is still on step one… sitting in silence. He may or may not have gotten to the spa music.
Even if you hate mornings, your body is likely dehydrated in the morning. Give it some love. A nice glass of water (with lemon is a plus) will help you come to life.
And a little movement is a good way to begin your day. It doesn’t have to be a full workout. You might be a person who gets the best results by working out before bed. But even a five-minute morning walk will get your blood flowing.
A morning routine won’t make you a morning person. However, effective morning routines done consistently will get the same benefits as your morning-loving friends… in a much slower and calmer way.
Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive and Career Coach. Whether you’re looking for a career transition or to make a bigger impact in your current career, Cynthia is the partner you’re looking for. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.