Do you want to join the Get Up Early Challenge, but you’re having a really tough time getting out of bed each morning? Here are some ideas for those who would love to become early risers and make the most of your mornings:
1. Make a Plan.
If you’re going to get up early, you need to have a plan and know exactly what you’re going to do the moment your feet hit the floor. This motivates you to actually get out of bed — because you have a reason for doing so!
I have my morning routine I do every day, plus I take 10 minutes each evening before bed to make a quick plan of action for the following day. It helps me SO much on those days when I’d really rather just stay in my warm, cozy bed.
When making your plan, it’s really important to think about the things that will fill you up. If you spend your morning hours doing something you love and that will give you energy and motivation for the day, you’re much more likely to be excited about getting up each morning!
I like to spend quiet time in God’s Word, filling up and my refreshing my soul for the day ahead and then spend a little time reading, journaling, and exercising before taking a shower and getting dressed for the day I want to have!
2. Get Some Accountability.
If you need some extra inspiration to get up, put some accountability in place! That could be an accountability partner, an app, or even doing something like publicly blogging about it to keep you on track!
When you tell someone your goal and speak your intention out loud, it challenges you to actually follow through with it.
I have the accountability of my husband. We have committed to get up together each morning at 5 a.m.. It’s wonderful accountability! I also have the public accountability of blogging and scoping each day.
If you need accountability, I’m posting every morning between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. CT on this blog, plus I’m scoping and posting on Instagram every morning . This gives you multiple ways to check-in with the rest of us and stay accountable!
3. Start the Night Before.
A good morning starts the night before. I love my evening routine. It helps me wind down for bed, brain dump everything swirling around in my mind, and go to bed with a feeling of peace that everything is set up for the following day when I wake up.
I try to always do a quick clean-up of the house, set my clothes out for the following day, and have a plan in place for the following morning. I’ve found that if I at least do these three things, my next day always goes much more smoothly!
4. Get Enough Sleep.
If you want to be able to get up early, you can’t go to bed late, too! Getting enough sleep is SO important. If you try to sacrifice sleep, you will hurt your health and your productivity.
I love the book Sleep, It Does a Family Good. I read it a few years ago and it really challenged me to make sleep more of a priority. If you aren’t sure if you’re getting enough sleep, this book helps you figure out the perfect amount of hours you need each night so that you have enough energy to get through your entire day.
Remember: Burning the candle at both ends does not make you super woman; it makes you exhausted and void of the energy you need to tackle your day!
One Last Note…
Remember that everyone is different, and people have different hours of productivity. You may be a night owl who thrives on productivity at night! Don’t compare yourself to others. Remember that this isn’t a competition; it’s about figuring out what works best for you.
Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Mornings.
This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.
If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.
I have been reading your posts, and I took your “Make Over Your Morning” course. Thank you! I used to be a morning person, but chronic illness has killed that. Mornings are tough. Evenings are even tougher. However, after going through your course, I’ve set a bedtime routine that helps get my mornings started right. Thank you for putting something out there that helps those of us who can’t get up at 5:30 and do a killer routine. Giving the tools and ideas for creating a routine that works for me has been a huge blessing. Thank you!
Sacrifice of Praise
Lizett Garcia says
I love your tip about blogging for accountability. I can knock out two birds with one stone: waking up early and blogging more. Thank you.
Haha, the name of this article made me laugh because it is so accurately describes me. As much as I wish l was an early morning person like my husband is, it is extremely difficult for me to get up early in the morning. I have no problem to stay up late though. The only thing is that than you feel like you are on a different schedule than the rest of the people that I know.
I always want to go to bed early and get up early in the morning. But my 10 months old son sleeps by11:30 p.m. I m working on his sleep timing. Hope he will start sleeping by 9 p.m. soon.
OK I have a question. You said you have started getting up at 5AM with your husband, what time do you go to bed? I desperately need to find a time to fit in my quiet/exercising time but I just struggle to see what works best. I want to start my day with some time with the Lord and maybe a few minutes to stretch or get a small workout. However, I work outside of the house and have to be there at 6:30AM. So getting up any earlier than 5:30 is a BIGTIME struggle. After getting all the kiddos tucked in and prayers said, it’s usually about 9. And I am just exhausted. But I usually use the time after the kids go to bed to spend some time with my husband and maybe get a little housework done. So typically it’s 11 or later when I actually close my eyes, but I know I really need to go to bed sooner. Any suggestions on what could be most effective with this kind of schedule?
julie stoneu says
I am an early riser and work from home. I have my elderly Mum living with me as she has dementia so often get my “me time” in the morning interrupted. I always need to “get my act together” for 30 minutes in a morning before she rises but as she is very unpredictable at what time she wakes in a morning I hardly get any time to myself. I end up getting up an hour earlier just to have some time for myself which gets earlier and earlier. I draw the line at 4 am.. The problem is she snoozes during the day then and doesn’t want to go to bed when I do. I have to periodically come downstairs (her bedroom is on the ground floor) to turn off her light after she has been reading till 11 pm. I’m exhausted.
Hi there! Just wanted to put my two cents in! So I am 100% night owl, and after many years of feeling a bit defective for not being able to get up earlier than my family, I realized…I put my son to bed around 7:30pm…leaving me hours of time with my husband or for myself every night. It’s not like I’m sleeping all morning or anything, but I’m a teacher and must leave the house by 7, and I just have the worst time rising before 6. I did it when my boy used to wake up between 5-5:30 every morning, but I am so much happier now that he doesn’t! Just wanted to encourage the other night people out there…it is possible to enjoy all these routines…just do them on the other end of the day! ?
I’m in a different place than most of the mom’s on here. I have older girls in the home. One is 20 and another 17 yr old, plus a 15 yr old son and 10 year old daughter. I school at home which gives me time to sleep in a bit. What do you do when you feel the need to wait up for your older girls when they are working late? Some days their jobs don’t let them get home until 11 or even after midnight on rare occasions. How do I get to bed early when I need to know they are safely home first? My husband goes to bed early so that leaves me to keep tabs on things until they get home. I would love to get up early but late nights force me to go to bed late. Needless to say I’m tired in the mornings and fight an early rise.
I know this is an old post and comment, but I have a suggestion for you or anyone with this issue. Set an alarm for when you expect your children should be home and go on to bed. They turn the alarm off when they get home. If they get home on time, you sleep right through; if not, you can check on them when the alarm goes off. I read this in a novel when my children were younger and couldn’t believe how practical it is.
Sue Turner says
Great read…mornings are tough. What I really want to know is where did you get your darling bedding? Please share!
Crystal Paine says
I think it was from RueLala on a sale they had a long time ago. Some of the pillows are from TJ Maxx — one of my favorite places to get inexpensive home decor!
I tried several times to wake up at 6 am ..but I did it few days then i went back to my old habbit ( waking at 11 am)..
I hope to start with you my new challenge and succeed to make early to rise day pattern.
A true night owl who thrives at night…begrudgingly trying to cope with a world that demands my kids be at school by 7:45 am & me to work by 8. I suck at anything with the words “early” or “morning” in it. I don’t know how it gets better for someone truly hard wired to function best starting in late afternoon.
I agree. Some of us are wired to function better later in the day, and I know that for me it will always be difficult to try to fit into a world that puts so much value on getting up early. I have no choice about school hours, so I still have to get up somewhat early to see my kids off to school, but I’ve chosen to pursue work-from-home opportunities when I can, rather than going out and getting a job that starts early in the morning. I had a temporary job a couple of years ago that started at 5 a.m., and that was complete torture for me. I could barely function, and I wasn’t able to do it for very long. Even when I started work at 7 a.m. for several years after college, I was never able to adjust to getting up so early. Often my alarm wouldn’t even wake me up.
I’ve found that I’m much more productive in the afternoon and evening hours, and I need my quiet time at night after the kids are in bed. And that’s okay; we don’t all have to be the same. It can be hard to deal with the expectations (and sometimes judgments) that we have to live with in a world that is geared toward early birds, though.
My now-retired husband and I have two little rescue terrier dogs living with us. We call them our “four-legged alarm clocks.” They are not allowed to get up before 5 AM. Then the two of us have breakfast, watch the news, and get groomed for the day.
Just a time-saving tip: if you have medical appointments, try to schedule them in the morning. There will be inevitable delays, and the delays accumulate throughout the day. Be sure to take any required paperwork with you; I set it out on my launching pad, a table near the door to the garage.
I am much more productive at night. I have always been a night owl.
That said, I certainly need to do a better job of having a bedtime. I tend to get wrapped up in “just one more thing” every night. Then I wake up in a rush and have to get the kids out the door. So while I won’t make a real effort to get up super early, I think that having a bedtime and getting up just 15 minutes earlier could make a huge difference in my day.
Feeling a little discouraged, the first two days I committed to getting up at 6:00, my 16 month old has decided to get up at 5:30, and she’s woken up my 5 year old both days. So, while I am definitely getting up earlier I am no getting any of the quiet time I was hoping for. Hoping this is phase will pass.
Thanks for your encouragement. I’ve started getting up again at 5:15 so that I can do an exercise program that is on TV at 5:30. Besides overall feeling better, I need that “warm up” to get me awake and clicking for the day. However, I have discovered that to get up at that time, I do need to go to bed earlier……
Is there any way you can notify me when the morning makeover course goes on sale? I would love to go through it.
Crystal Paine says
If you sign up for Day 1 for free (scroll down to the bottom of the page at MakeOverYourMornings.com) we’ll notify you when it goes on sale again!
Rebecca Krusee says
Good stuff! http://www.rebeccakrusee.com
Sara Hutchison says
I am so glad I bought the Makeover your Morning Course. I only needed to watch up to video 3 before I was on board. And I’m a night owl. The point that really hit home for me is when you asked us to consider how many weeks or years of our lives we can be living more if we woke up earlier. That was such a great point. I run a business from home and the extra time before toddler wakes up has been crucial. I get so many needed emails and writing done in that time with my tea and morning sunshine. Its been a game-changer for my productivity. And energy throughout the day. I give much more intentional play time to my toddler instead of giving her an ipad or watching TV so I can work !
I’m definitely a night owl. I’ve never been able to function well if I have to get up too early, not even when I had an early-morning job and had to get up early all the time. I feel like a zombie before about 10 a.m.
I still have to get up somewhat early (definitely not 5 or 6 a.m., though) to see the kids off to school, but it’s tough. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get or how early I go to bed; I just seem to have some internal setting that makes me more awake and productive later in the day.
I think people are wired differently, and we each have to do what works best for us. Not everyone has to be an early riser. I’m at a point in my life where I don’t feel that it’s worth the stress for me to try to change my nature in this area when in the past that has left me frustrated and tired all the time. I think there’s often too much pressure on people to try to transform themselves into early birds, almost as if getting up early is a virtue but getting up later is a sin. Fortunately, I work at home and am able to set my own schedule during the day, which is a great blessing to me. 🙂
This is true, some are wired differently. All my life I’ve struggled to get up early. I often would be late to work no matter how hard I tried. Finally a couple of years ago I went to a sleep specialist doctor and was told I had a sleep disorder that showed, unlike most people, I was in my deepest sleep cycle between 5-7am. Right when I needed to wake for work, which was the reason I could.not.wake-up. The dr told me I should be working swing shift vs. a day shift because trying to get up that early puts my body into a constant state of being sleep deprived.
Some tricks the dr gave me to help trick my body to work with the sun cycle:
keep lights dimmed after dark or wear sunglasses inside.
I already have a problem with caffeine, but everyone should limit intake.
Don’t eat late – no eating 3 hrs before bed.
Avoid tv/computers/cellphone several hrs before sleep. (I also use F.lux SW on my computer to dim the screen/block blue light.)
That’s really interesting. I sleep very soundly. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time waking up during those hours, too.
Kristine M. says
Wow. The spelling of your name drew my attention (Not many of us Kristine’s spell it with a “K”) and then after reading your comment it was uncanny. I felt as if I were reading my own mail. Everything you said about yourself described myself exactly!
I, too, have always been a night owl, ever since my early childhood (Even though in my youngest years my parents did make me to go bed early). In high school it felt like death to get up at 7:00-7:30. I scheduled my college classes as late as possible and after college I took job shifts in the afternoon or night. Once I married and had children, I became a SAHM and home schooled so I didn’t “have” to get up early. I started the day between 10:00 and 11:00. It was bliss. (Not that I recommend this as it did instill going to bed late and sleeping late in my kids) 🙁
I have always felt ridiculed when family members and friends made condescending comments about how long I sleep in and don’t ever get up early. I suspect sometimes that they were simply jealous (because they were never able to sleep in), but most times it was meant as a criticism and it made me feel “lazy”. 🙁 I am a hard worker, productive and take pride in being so, so to feel like others viewed me as lazy made me feel “less than” and ashamed.
Now that my oldest is in college and my youngest attends school and is in the 6th grade, I get up around 8:00 (still not as early as most, but still tough for me) to make him breakfast and see him off to school. Although sometimes I return home to start my day, many times I go back to bed for another hour or two.
I still struggle with “feeling” like a lazy person because I don’t get up early. I so wish it came natural for me to do so. The times that I have tried to get into a routine of going to bed early and getting up early are countless and always petered out after a few short days or weeks. I could never stick with it. I even took Crystal’s “Make Over Your Mornings” course and while it was truly awesome and helped, still, I didn’t succeed past the half way mark.
Just recently I was pondering all of this and I realized that while the ideal would be to get up earlier, it is causing me unnecessary stress and anxiety to continue to try to do something that both my body and I are so against. I truly LOVE my nighttime productivity- whether it is cleaning, writing or simple “me” time. It is when I am at my best. And occasionally, there are times that I will be so exhausted that I HAVE to go to bed super early for a night in order to “catch up”. When this happens I welcome going to bed early and, even though I get plenty of sleep, I still don’t get up any earlier the next day! Having read your post it made me feel more “normal” and less inferior to hear that I am not alone in this frustrating, daily struggle.
I know it takes 21 days to form a habit, so maybe if I could stick with an earlier routine for at least that length of time I just might be able to break this cycle. And then again maybe not. But I am sure, just as old habits die hard, so does the old habit of trying to break them! lol I will probably continue to keep trying to change myself and my body anyhow. I just wish they would listen! ;o)
Thanks for posting, Kristine. 🙂
Thanks for sharing. People almost always spell my name wrong. I used to love finding personalized things with my name on them; it was kind of rare. 🙂
No, we night owls are not lazy, but I’ve felt that sort of criticism, too, from people who can’t relate to us and think that everyone should get up early and that it’s only a matter of forming different habits. I know from experience that it’s not for me.
I value my quiet time at night after the kids are in bed. Getting up too early makes me barely functional throughout the day, whereas I am much more productive if I follow a sleep schedule that works better for my body and for my mind. I liked what Maria said above, too, about her soundest sleep being during the early-morning hours. I had never thought of that before, but I think that may be how I am, too, because even if I set my alarm, I often don’t even hear it if it rings before around 7:00 a.m., no matter how early I go to bed. I do seem to sleep very soundly during that time.
I’m the same way. I get my best sleep between 5am and 8 am no matter what time I go to bed. So if I get up any earlier than around 7:30 I’m just not at my best. It’s just the way I’m wired I guess. I even worked a job for 3 years where I had to be to work at 7 am and I never did get used to it even tho I went to bed at 9 pm.
It’s good to hear that we’re not alone. 🙂
I would love to have a great morning routine, but my 2 year old doesn’t get up at a consistent time (any time between 5:15 and 6:30 with no predictability!). I just feels SO defeated when I make the effort to get up to do a morning routine to have it interrupted by crying! Any advice?
Similar boat here! The little ones are just too unpredictable for a consistent routine right now!
I really need to start getting up early to really spend some alone time doing something I love. When I start a little earlier, I feel so much more productive!
The Jewish Lady says
I am a confirmed Night Owl and getting up early is torture! I’ve been attempting a better schedule for many years and have a long list of tips that help me (things like not hitting the snooze button, getting into bed 5 minutes earlier each night, exercise, etc).
Crystal Paine says
Thanks so much for sharing!
I think you make a great point about motivation. The biggest factor in determining how quickly I hop out of bed is what I have to look forward to. Often, I wake up earlier on Saturday and Sunday than any other day, simply because I look forward to the days activities. When I catch myself struggling to get up, I take a look at what my attitude is about the activities: am I feeling fearful, upset, or overwhelmed? Then, I take steps to remedy the situation.
Crystal Paine says
Such a good word here — thanks for sharing!
I’ve been following along with your scopes and know that this series is seriously the kick in the butt I need to start waking up early again and take charge of my day instead of letting the day happen to me. 🙂
Totally agree with you that time in God’s Word is where I need to run to first to set my mind and heart right for the day. Keep it up, sweet lady, and thanks for encouraging the rest of us!
Crystal Paine says
Thanks so much for your kind encouragement! I’m glad it’s been an inspiration to you!
I started off strong last week getting up early but by then end of the week I was utterly exhausted. I realized that my pregnant body needs at least 9.5 hours of sleep which means going to bed even earlier if I want to be up by 6:30. I gave myself grace to sleep in yesterday with the plan to try again tomorrow (today). My challenge is now, our two year old is waking up at 5am and making his way to our room. If I get out of bed early he tends to follow suit and I really don’t want a little 2 year old toddling around at 6:30 each morning. Time to get this guy back in his own bed!
Crystal Paine says
If you are pregnant and have a toddler, I really encourage you to give yourself grace. This is a season… be sure to get enough rest and take care of yourself!
Sophie Piper says
I am right there with you, I’m no longer pregnant ( my baby is 7 months) but my toddler keeps coming into our room with nightmares around 4 am! We still end up awake at 6 but my “me” time is gone. I’ve started making my quiet time a priority and he knows he can play in the room with me but I’m going to read. Exercising with both of them is kind of a disaster, though. I’m thinking as much as I’d prefer to do in the morning I’m going to have to do it durning naps until we fix his sleeping situation ?
Any other suggestions?
My toddler like his bedroom door open and the hall lights on. I think he’s started to get to the age he doesn’t like waking up alone in a dark room. Last night he got up at 1, I rocked him for a bit and then let him cry and he fell back asleep.
As for working out, the first year I had two kids it was really hard to get workouts in at home. Even with taking out the double stroller I find it hard to get a good workout at home with two kids underfoot and it’s just too easy to quit at home. My husband encouraged me to join a gym with childcare. I don’t know if that’s feasible for your budget but it has made a huge difference for me. It gives me the exercise I desperately need and a mental health break from a 12 hour day with the kids.
Christina @ Martha, Martha says
Yes! I have found that having my “me time” (which is really Me & God time) first thing in the morning is a huge motivator to get up early! If I miss that, I’m not the mom I want to be.
Such good tips, Crystal! I am amazed that you get up at 5:00 a.m. I try to get up by 6:00 a.m. but struggle in the winter time with this. I need to go to bed early, but it is very easy to get de-railed from that quest by church activities or even a coffee with a friend. I also work almost exclusively in the evenings and I have to make sure I have some time to wind down from the computer work or I don’t sleep well at night. I love the prepare for the day the night before routine. I took your course in the summer and have found this very helpful.