How I Became a Morning Person (Well, Almost)

I have never been a Morning Person.  (And all my family said, “Amen!”)

I know the reasons for getting up early.  I’ve read blog posts about the benefits of getting up early.  I admire people who get up early.  But I never really did it myself unless I absolutely had to.

Until recently.

I now have a morning routine that actually motivates me to get out of bed at 6.  (Trust me.  For me, that’s EARLY.)  The strangest thing is that I sometimes wake up at that time even on Saturday when I don’t set my alarm.  It’s alarming! 

Here’s what I do:

1.  I grab a little motivation in a can.  I’m not a coffee drinker – can’t even stand the smell, especially in the morning.  I gave up caffeine years ago and have no intention of getting addicted to it again, but I do allow myself one of those mini cans of real Coke first thing in the morning.  I know it’s not the least bit healthy, but it’s delicious, it wakes me up just enough without making me feel jittery, and I enjoy it.

2.  I have my quiet time with the Lord.  I haven’t had a consistent quiet time in a while, and I think part of the reason is that I felt like it needed to be something structured and involved.  But when attempting a study of that kind, I would invariably fall behind, feel defeated, and just give up.  I’ve decided that, for me at least, a small amount done consistently is better than periodic bursts of intensity.  I read the Scripture passage and devotion on my Our Daily Bread app, and I read the e-mail devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries.

3.  I write three things in my gratitude journal.

4.  I write a list of 10 things in my 10 Ideas a Day notebook.

5.  Experts will tell you that physically writing down your goals has a powerful and not-fully-understood effect in helping you to achieve them.  Of course, after writing them down, it’s also important to review them periodically.  I decided to experiment with combining those two components by writing them down every day.  I have 7 goals that I’m working toward, all with dates for completion (except for one – “finish grading every Wednesday”).  It’s amazing how motivated I feel to not let one of those dates pass without that goal being accomplished.

[Side note: One of my goals is to memorize a certain amount of Scripture by a certain date, so I’m also writing out that verse (or those verses) every day until they are memorized.  I’ve almost got down Deuteronomy 6:4-9.]

6.  After those other tasks are done, I have whatever time is left until I need to get dressed and start the day to work on things that I enjoy – writing blog posts, creating a new website that’s coming out soon, working on a new course, etc.  This is my time to fuel my interests, learn something new, and just focus on my personal growth.  It’s invigorating and worth giving up a bit of sleep.

So what about you?  If you’re a natural Morning Person, how do you take advantage of that time?  If you work better at night, do you have a routine similar to mine, or do you do something altogether different?  What would your ideal morning look like?