Photo by Kayla Michaud | CIGAR | Student makes New Year’s resolutions to wake up earlier. 

You could say I didn’t go into 2018 with the intent to have a resolution, it just happened. This year I decided to do something I never thought I would. I became a morning person to improve my mental and physical health as well as balance my school and social life.

Now I didn’t just wake up one day in the early morning exclaiming, “Yes! Let’s do this!” I read other articles on others’ experiences on how they became a morning person. There were steps that I took to be able to wake up early every day and be productive. It turns out, it is a lot of trial and error, but it’s all worth it.

Step One: Set a bedtime

I know this is probably the most ironic statement. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a bedtime. Well, guess what? To wake up in the morning, you have to start at night. Here’s a good tip: plan to eat dinner a few hours before you want to go to bed in order to sleep well.

Let’s do some math. If I want to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep and wake up at 6 a.m., I have to be asleep by 11 p.m. To do this I have to start getting ready for bed around 10. Then, at around 10:30, I turn off all electronics and go to sleep. This sounds simple, but give it a try, and you will realize at first it is difficult to adapt to something so new.

Step Two: Give yourself something to look forward to when you wake up

For me, this is a Youtube video and breakfast. I will watch my favorite creators while eating yogurt with homemade granola, fruit on the side and coffee. Some people like listening to a new podcast in the morning and others need to jam out to their favorite songs. Whatever motivates you to get out of bed is key to becoming a morning person.

Step Three: Find something that gets your body or brain working

I am one for the outdoors and will go for a jog, a bike ride or rollerblading. However, tell me I have to go to the gym and I won’t budge. Not to say exercise works for everyone, but do something to get you happy, working and ready for the day. Stretch, do a puzzle or meditate. Anything that makes you start the day feeling good do that.

Step Four: Have a productive morning plan

Please note the use of the word “productive” in step four. Chances are if you don’t have something productive planned, you are not going to get out of bed.

My morning routine is as follows: wake up at 6:15, get dressed, go for a half mile jog, shower, change into fresh clothes, eat breakfast, leave the house by 7:30 and go to campus to do homework until class. Getting up and being productive is all about just doing it, not thinking about how much you don’t want to get up, but how much you will accomplish once you do.

Congratulations, you have survived “How to be a Morning Person 101 with Anna.”

For a little over a month, I have gotten up in the early morning. All over winter break, I worked up to this point. I would go to sleep and wake up earlier each day, and now that the semester has started I have a solid routine that works for me. It is not something to be done overnight, but over a period of time.

I want to clarify something, which is that this plan isn’t full proof. My friends are night people and often we end up at our local twenty-four-hour diner at 11 p.m. for fries and milkshakes, and on weekends I go to bed and wake up a little later than during the week. It is okay to break the sleep schedule in order to maintain a balanced lifestyle as long as you can always go back to it. Try different techniques and find what works best for you.

Did you know I have a shirt that says “I Don’t Do Mornings” on it? I guess I should get rid of it now because this year I have stuck to my New Year’s resolution to be a morning person. It has been amazing and I am proud of myself.