How to get up earlier

Just because I’m a morning person doesn’t mean that it’s not hard for me to get up early — and some mornings it feels downright impossible. But once  I’m up, I LOVE mornings. I’m much more productive in the mornings than in the evenings (this never used to be the case. Hello all-nighters in undergrad AND grad school?!!). In the past, I’ve gone through streaks of being a morning workout person, but this typically goes much better if it’s for a class where I’m signed up and they’re expecting me or I will get charged if I don’t get up. If getting up early means going to the gym to hit the treadmill or go for a run outside – forget it.

But with the summer that lies ahead, getting up early is going to be necessary for me to fit everything in. Besides working my full time job (oh, and did I mention that the summer is our busy season at work?), I just accepted a part time summer job (I feel like I’m in high school again) to save to buy a new car in the fall, and both J and I will be training for the Twin Cities Marathon. So I’ll need to get up early to get in my runs, to blog, to get to work early, etc.

I read this article by Peter Shankman and it really changed my outlook an how I was approaching trying to get up early. The part that I can completely relate to is his #3 tip on how to get up earlier:

3) THERE IS NO TRY. Don’t think, just do. It’s amazing what we can rationalize at 5am. “Oh, I’ll just sleep for an extra hour, then do the treadmill at double the speed for half the time so I can still make it into the office. You know that’s BS, you know you’re not going to, and you know there will be no working out for you today. Don’t think. Just get your ass out of bed. Think later.

I sometimes have to laugh and how I rationalize resetting my alarm for a later time.

My five reasons to get up early

To eat a proper breakfast: when I’m rushed in the mornings I’m more likely to grab something on my way to or at work (likely unhealthy and expensive) or skip breakfast altogether. This usually also means that I’m starving by the time lunch comes around.



To fit in a workout: it’s the best feeling when I know that I don’t have to work out after work – this also gives me more time to make dinner.


Keep an eye out for “how to” on how to make pizza on the grill — coming soon!

To pack a lunch: I try to prep things the night before but it’s still easier to thoughtfully pack your lunch and bring it to work if you have a little extra time in the morning.


More “me” time: my “me” time mostly includes catching up and commenting on blogs, snuggling with the pets on the couch, meal planning, planning or writing my own blog posts and just being alone.

To take the bus: on days where I don’t have anything going on right after work, I really should be taking the bus/train. I’m lucky to live close to a bus stop and there is a stop off of the train that is right in front of my office building. I’m also trying to drive my car less to hopefully retain whatever value is left for when I trade it in. Not to mention that I have unused money on my bus pass.

My approach going forward (I’m pretty much going to try out most of Peter’s ideas, tailored to what I think will work best for me.)

  • Work on getting up just fifteen minutes earlier each week. I’m thinking that this will ideally work best if I get up fairly early on the weekends, too. That shouldn’t be too difficult since I usually get up at the same time on the weekends as I do during the week.
  • I love the idea of keeping a glass of water by my bed and drink it right away when my alarm goes off. (I think I’ll shut it off first though. My husband might appreciate that)
  • Use the silent alarm on my fitbit (awesome feature) in addition to my cell phone alarm, which I’ll set for five minutes later and will put somewhere where I have to get up to turn it off. The goal will be to go turn it off before it actually goes off.
  • I love his comment about feeding your pet. My cat is relentless when she wants to be fed. I could also take the dog out for the last time a bit earlier than usual, but that just seems mean.
  • I already go to bed pretty early so I don’t think I’ll be moving my bedtime any earlier, but maybe it just means shutting down and unplugging earlier. This is going to be all about improving the quality of my sleep going forward.

(and yes it’s on purpose that all of my photos are of food. I guess food is a bit motivator for me 🙂


8 thoughts on “How to get up earlier

  1. Andrea

    Nice post! I don’t like waking up any earlier than I have to, but I would like to work on getting up for an early morning run every now and then when I can’t workout after work, so some of these tips could be very helpful. I want to hear about the new part-time job!

  2. Danielle @ I Eat Therefore I Run

    I have never been a morning physical activity person. I was always useless in early morning softball and volleybal games, and even now, 9 am is the earliest I will go for a run. And that’s only with running group people, I would never do that on my own otherwise.

    Good luck fitting everything in!

    1. hyedi Post author

      Mornings are definitely not the best for everyone! My husband used to be the same way — although I think he’s slowly shifting earlier 🙂


  3. Julia B.

    I can never wake up early when I want to get up early- only when I’d like to get an extra 15 minutes of sleep! The thing that helps me get up early is moving my alarm to a place where I have to physically stand up to turn it off (my husband doesn’t like this..sorry not sorry). I like your tip about drinking water right away though. If I move my workouts to the morning I’ll give it a shot!

    1. hyedi Post author

      Yes — and report back! I like that tip, too — just need to remember to set it out the night before 🙂

  4. erin

    Great ideas! I’ve always been a morning person – I love the quiet before the world is awake. Shankman’s idea that there is no try is spot on!

    Your cookin’ looks GOOD! Can’t wait for the pizza on the grill recipe!


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