How I Became a Morning Person

By  |  26 Comments

i used to be of the belief that either you were a morning person or you absolutely were not. i used to be the latter, the heck-no-you-won’t-see-me-before-8am person. i loved being a night owl and then sleeping in.

my husband on the other hand, was born with urge to rise before the sun and perkily say “i’m alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic!” i should have known he’d become a motivational speaker the second i heard that phrase hit my very groggy and non-morning ears.

los cabos palmilla sunrise

my less-hatred of mornings started changing about a year and a half ago. i started taking note that i had more energy and more focus in the morning. this is especially important to pay attention to when you work for yourself and you work from home because distractions are a-plenty. i slowly started rising earlier to get more done while i had the energy in the morning because the afternoon drag is real.

then this little lady entered our lives:

ra-5795 sugar alone

we live in an apartment building and as much as we’ve tried to teach her to use the toilet, she insists on the need to go outside after 9 hours trapped indoors at night.

my husband takes the night shift to walk her right before bed (because i’ve watched too many law & orders to know what could happen late at night when a woman walks her dog). that means the morning shift falls to me.

the first few weeks were rough after we got her because in no way was i used to waking up before 8am, let alone by 6:30am. this is just part of the sacrifices you make when you have a child dog so you do what must be done.

however, these quiet moments in the still morning started to grow on me. i actually started to look forward to walking our dog Sugar in the mornings, before most people even had their coffee pot on. it helps that our walking area is pretty gorgeous too.

how to become a morning person

i posted that photo on instagram a while ago and my friend kait said “how did you become a morning person?!” and out blossomed this post so thanks kait! i will admit that it’s way more fun to walk her during the summer and autumn months when it’s not raining but even when the weather is crappy, it can be beautiful.

how to become a morning person 2


so how did i become a morning person?

i focused on what i was gaining instead of what i was ‘giving up.’ my ‘giving up list’ consisted of giving up a warm bed, snuggles with my husband and some more shut-eye.

by becoming a morning person, i was gaining the opportunity to feel centered in my self before most of the rest of the world started stirring. it allows me wake up, drink some cold water and head out the door for a 10-20 minute walk with our dog.

the fresh air is cleansing and our eyes get to see sights that others don’t.

Free things to do in portland

when we get back upstairs, we give our morning kisses to the man of the house and then i retreat to the living room to do 20 minutes worth of meditation. when that’s finished it’s usually 7:15-7:30am and now i’ve started my day off on my terms, without stress and feeling rushed. mornings become more meaningful.

it’s amazing what i can get accomplished before 10am since i’ve already been up for 3.5 hours. usually this includes breakfast with my husband, a workout and starting to work (of course with some puppy love in between).

how to become a morning person

as scary as it makes me to realize this, we aren’t guaranteed to wake up and see each morning. i try to remember this as i turn off my alarm and pull on pants (pants are required when you leave your apartment to walk a dog. boooo). i’m grateful that i get to see another day and i’ve changed my thinking to focus on what i’m gaining by getting up earlier instead of what i’m giving up.

i am able to greet the mornings with more ease when i go to bed by a reasonable hour (i’m someone that functions best with 8 hours of slumber). i also try to keep my boozing to a minimum and drink lots of water because all of that aids in feeling less groggy in the morning.

if you aren’t a morning person but want to start becoming one, start by taking action. set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier this week and then put it across the room so you have to get up to turn it off. also think about what you are gaining and not giving up by waking up earlier. i can guarantee you will feel super accomplished and impressed with yourself by having even an extra 30-60 in the morning to shape your morning how you want.

so, are you a morning person or a night owl? what works for you?


  1. Dave

    August 24, 2015 at 9:17 am

    I’m a night owl, but the older my son gets, the earlier his school starts and that means earlier starts for me, too. I am well-aware of how much more productive I can be when I get up early. It’s very rewarding! Sometimes I open my eyes at 4am (crazy!) and start thinking about the things I can do by getting up and, so, wake up. I don’t actually recommend this, though, as it usually leads to afternoon grogginess. 😀

    • chelsea

      August 24, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      wow 4am would probably be too early for me, dave! but it’s true…it’s apparently once you get up early and see all that can be done – makes you feel accomplished! i am sure with kids it totally adds to the early mornings!

      my friend read this and texted me “become a mom and you’ll instantly have to become a morning person!” ha!

  2. Elyse

    August 24, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Welcome to the club! I’ve always been a morning person contrary to my very night owlish husband who has tried to change my ways. I like rising early, taking in the true quiet of the day. It feels like sometimes it’s the only time I can truly think.
    Elyse recently posted…10 Date Ideas for $10 or Less

    • chelsea

      August 24, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      yes good point about feeling like the quiet mornings are the only time you can really think, elyse! i feel that too! ha, funny that your husband has tried to change your ways but you know the benefits! now anytime we travel or something and i sleep past 8 i feel like my day is going away much quicker!

  3. Elizabeth T

    August 24, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Yep! I feel soooo much more productive when I start the day with an early morning and it’s funny to me how I feel like I’m running behind the whole day when I sleep in. I love that you start your day with a walk–those photos are just incredibly gorgeous!
    Elizabeth T recently posted…So Why Life in Cadence?

    • chelsea

      August 24, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      so very true elizabeth about feeling like you’re running behind all day when you start off by sleeping in or feeling rushed! i am grateful for the pretty scenery by us 🙂

  4. Megan

    August 24, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Thanks Chelsea! I’m not a morning person… and neither is anyone in my family. Late nights and late mornings have become a ritual but your post has given me the motivation and a strategy to begin to change my habits. Cheers to that!

    • chelsea

      August 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      i’ve been there too, megan! i know some people who don’t get their bursts of energy or creativity until late in the day so it works for them but now i’m realizing how much more i can actually DO when i start early!

      hopefully you start seeing those positive changes soon 🙂 thanks for your comment!

  5. Audrey

    August 24, 2015 at 10:32 am

    As you know I am trying desperately to become a morning person. I have always been a night owl but I think I find it more helpful when my husband and I wake up at the same time. I like having company in the mornings and I wake up faster when I have someone to talk to! (It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I notice a difference!)
    Audrey recently posted…This Raw Life

    • chelsea

      August 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      ohh that’s a very good point audrey! it’s way more fun to have someone to talk to and get ready with in the mornings. another perk! it’s sort of hard to adjust to at first because you are used to a different routine but i’ve noticed a positive change for me 🙂

  6. Paula Howley

    August 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    I’ve always been a nightowl too- always afraid I’m going to miss something maybe. During the spurts of time where I manage to do mornings early, I really love it. I like the quiet time too and feel like I have accomplished so much more.
    It’s a challenge because my husband does shift work so our routine is constantly changing which makes it not a routine.
    Summers have been traditionally a time for me to dick around and sleep late but this summer, it was strange. Meaghan went away for 3 weeks and I found myself luxuriating in time. I went to bed when I was tired (SHOCKING~!) and woke at 7ish in the morning. I got 8 hours every night.
    This little experiment was eye opening. I want to be a morning person because I get so much more done and being a night owl is almost a part of my DNA now. It requires a lot of psychological sacrifice.
    Paula Howley recently posted…Year End Speeches From Awesome Kids!

    • chelsea

      August 25, 2015 at 11:55 am

      i just learned there is a corny abbreviation for that paula and it’s “FOMO” (fear of missing out) and it’s reaaaaal.

      that would be tricky with your husband doing shift work so it’s tough to get in a routine but glad you’ve experienced the power that quiet mornings can bring to the soul!

  7. Kristi

    August 24, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I’ve been a morning person as long as I can remember.

    I enjoy my 6:15 morning walks with my dog too. I sometimes let her out around 5:30- shh don’t tell my condo association.

    Also grocery shopping at the supermarket at 6:30am for non perishable things is nice. Usually the clerks are morning people and there is no line.

    The downside is I’m usually beat by 7 or 8 at night.

    • chelsea

      August 25, 2015 at 11:56 am

      5:30am!? you are a morning person kristi 🙂 it’s taken me some getting used to but now i really do love it. those early morning walks with dogs add an extra special bonus!

      hadn’t thought about grocery shopping that early but sounds like a good scene! yeah i usually need to be asleep by 10pm!

  8. Vivien

    August 24, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    When I was a kid I was a morning person, hands down. Be the first one up (my dad was a close second) and watch the sun rise. That shifted to a night owl sometime around my University days as I needed to stay up to try to cram more info into my brain. Nowadays I’ve turned into a sloth: I could sleep for 20 hours, except I get hungry and I often need to wake up to go use the bathroom.

    Very slowly I’m trying to kick myself back into being a morning person. When I wake up early I feel like I have more time to get more things done. I miss seeing the sunrise. And when I get up early in the morning, I feel like I’m sharing a quiet moment with the world. Can’t describe it, but I do miss it at times.
    Vivien recently posted…From Toastmasters to Real World

    • chelsea

      August 25, 2015 at 11:58 am

      good call on shifting to night-owling during university, vivien! that happened for me too. we would always dread if we had a class before 9am boooo.

      i know what you mean about sharing that quiet moment with the world and the sunrise will reward you 🙂 right now it’s the sweet spot in the PNW where the sun has stopped getting up SO early nor is it rising SO late. now is a good time to see that sunrise!

  9. chelsea jacobs

    August 25, 2015 at 8:06 am

    My pup forced me into being a morning person, but now I love it!
    chelsea jacobs recently posted…I am Becoming my Mother: The 27-Fling Boogie.

    • chelsea

      August 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      glad to hear it chelsea! we can either be bitter about it or embrace it!

  10. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    August 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Ahhhh I’m trying to become a morning person SO. BADLY and I absolutely SUCK at it. I’m hoping to start waking up at 6:30 to go on a short run and then spend some time praying and reading my Bible but every time my alarm goes off, I wake up and then convince myself to go back to sleep. Maybe it’s time to put the alarm clock across the room. Eeeek.

    • chelsea

      August 26, 2015 at 8:20 am

      yup…sounds like your alarm clock needs to be far enough away from your bed that you have to get up to turn it off and can’t immediately just crash on your bed! it’s totally worth it (though hard in the beginning)! focus on what going for a short run would give you, with time to yourself to read and pray nina! you got this 🙂

  11. Lise

    August 26, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Not a morning person at all but trying to be since I have to drop my 4 year old to preK accross town 30 min away. It is literally a huge sacrifice for me as i work late with offshore teams but I also need to Fufill my mom role . Looking forward to becoming a Happy morning person . Because right now I am barely awake until 10 am . But after 2 days I am realizing I get more done before 10 am in the morning ,

    • chelsea

      August 26, 2015 at 8:21 am

      that sounds like a tough balance, lise. i think you have to do what’s best for you and your family but it is good that you can see that you do get more done in the morning!

  12. Amanda

    September 6, 2015 at 9:54 am

    OMG I need so much help with this too. I despise mornings. I love the idea of embracing them and not being so rushed out the door, but I just can’t seem to do it. I do imagine that a refreshing walk in the crisp outdoors helps wake up your senses. Maybe one day I’ll figure it out.
    Amanda recently posted…Summer TV Update

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 8:48 am

      try for just 10 minutes earlier and put your phone/alarm across the room so you have to get up! try it for a week and then increase it because i think you’ll be pleasantly surprised what it does for you amanda!

  13. Diana

    September 8, 2015 at 5:04 am

    I’m so jealous of the beautiful morning walks you and your pup are able to have!

    I’m definitely a morning person, and I find that I get the most done in them morning also. I HATE that afternoon drag, it’s the pits.

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2015 at 8:46 am

      i feel very grateful to live where we do right now, it is especially fitting for dog walking 🙂

      that afternoon drag is the woooorst!