By Cat Sharp

Do you struggle to wake up early?

“I just don’t have the time to work out.”

“I can’t find time to read my Bible without someone interrupting me!”

“I can’t workout in the mornings. I’m just not a morning person.”

I’m sure you’ve heard these statements. In fact, you’ve probably said these statements yourself at some point or another. I hear them fairly often from clients and friends.

Have you seen those commercials that make fun of annoyingly perky morning people?

That’s me.

I am an annoyingly perky morning person.

I love to wake up early. When I used to work for someone else, I would wake up at 4 or 4:30 every morning. Now that I work for myself from home, I sleep in until 5. Even on weekends, I am usually up by 6:30 because I really enjoy that time.

I like to wake up early and have some peace and quiet. I read my Bible, leisurely sip my coffee, and get a little work done before the rest of the world wakes up and demands my attention. My husband likes to tell people that I get more done by 8 am than most people do all day long.

By waking up early I have time to have my quiet time with God and some peace before the frenzy of the day starts. As a result, I’m more productive, I’m more alert, and my energy is actually better than it was when I woke up just in time to start getting ready for work!

But I wasn’t always like this. In fact, I was naturally a night owl.

My routine was to stay up late, fight with the alarm clock, then grumble the whole way to work. I hated waking up!

When I started working out regularly, I would exercise after dinner. But as life changed, I had to change with it. I started a new job, which came with some longer days and occasional evening meetings. Evening workouts weren’t working for our family anymore.

So I started waking up earlier to get my workouts done. It was a struggle at first, and I did a lot of research on how to train myself to wake up early. I searched and searched for tips on how to motivate myself to wake up. But now that I have built the routine of waking up early, I never want to go back!

By waking up early I have time to have my quiet time with God and some peace before the frenzy of the day starts. As a result, I’m more productive, I’m more alert, and my energy is actually better than it was when I woke up just in time to start getting ready for work!

So how did I make the change? Here are my best tips for becoming a morning person.

Have a Purpose

You won’t wake up early just to have more time. You’ll hit the snooze button and just frustrate yourself. So have a purpose behind it. What do you want to do with your “extra” time? Read your Bible uninterrupted? Get in a workout? Prepare healthy food for the day? Whatever it is, be clear on the purpose. Before you go to sleep at night remind yourself of the purpose. “Tomorrow when I wake up I am going to read my Bible and have some uninterrupted prayer time.” It may sound silly, but you’re actually preparing your brain. And when your brain is prepared, your body follows.

Speaking of preparation…

Prepare the night before.

Program the coffee maker for your new wake up time. Move your alarm (or cell phone) to the other side of the bedroom so you’re less likely to snooze and fall back asleep. If you’re waking up early to have more time with God, be prepared for that by having your Bible/journal ready, knowing what you’re going to read for the day, and remove any distractions from your study location. If you’re waking up early to workout, set out your workout clothes. Decide what workout you’re going to do. Remove any hurdles between you and your plan. The goal of preparing the night before is to give yourself fewer excuses to skip!

Try baby steps.

I actually started moving my wake up time by 15 minutes a week. My original wake up time was 6, so my first “early” wake up time was 5:45. It gave me 15 minutes to squeeze in a short workout. That may seem silly, but I was building the habit. Even if it was only 15 minutes, I was reinforcing the habit of exercising as soon as I woke up. The next week I woke up at 5:30. That continued until I had moved my morning alarm to 4:00 am. By then I had built a solid routine of wake up, exercise, Bible, shower, work.

I actually started moving my wake up time by 15 minutes a week. My original wake up time was 6, so my first “early” wake up time was 5:45. It gave me 15 minutes to squeeze in a short workout. That may seem silly, but I was building the habit. Even if it was only 15 minutes, I was reinforcing the habit of exercising as soon as I woke up. The next week I woke up at 5:30. That continued until I had moved my morning alarm to 4:00 am. By then I had built a solid routine of wake up, exercise, Bible, shower, work.

What will you do with your “extra” time in the mornings? Join the conversation in our Liberty Fit community!