5 Ways Waking Up Earlier Will Change Your Life

By Nicole Tinkham


I hear the excuses all the time. You’re simply not a morning person and I get that. Guess what? Most of us aren’t. Even the ones who are morning people now most likely weren’t always that way. I know I wasn’t until I discovered the major benefits to waking up early and getting things done. Now there’s no way I could ever go back to sleeping in. I understand that it’s not for everyone but I want you to give it a try for 30 days just to see how you like it. Trust me when I say it will be totally worth it. You may be wondering “but why??”. I have the answer to that! Read on for 5 ways waking up earlier will change your life.

1.    It helps you be more productive

First of all, rising early can add HOURS onto your day in which you can get so much done. Aside from that, getting an early start and focusing on yourself gets your mind right so you’re ready to take on the day. I find this to be true in my personal life. During the week I wake up early and I’m able to get more done than on the weekends when I sleep in a little. Even waking up an hour later on Sundays will put me in a lazy mood and it’s difficult to get going.

One thing I want to mention before we move on is once you get into the early morning habit, do it every single day even on the weekends. This is something I recently changed in my routine and it helps when Monday morning rolls around and you’re already used to the early morning alarm.

2.    It’s better for your health

Of course this all depends on how you spend your morning time but I’ve found that as people begin to wake up earlier they also start making healthier choices. This allows more time to get in some exercise and a nice breakfast. Another thing I recommend is drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. It will help you feel refreshed. If all of these habits are too much to change at once, just start with the habit of waking up earlier and you can always work on your healthy habits later on.

3.    It relieves your stress

There are two ways waking up early can relieve your stress. First of all, you won’t be rushing around running late for whatever it is you have to wake up for. Secondly, many people practice meditation, prayer, yoga, reflecting or journaling in their morning hours which also helps reduce stress. I really enjoy reading my book with a nice cup of coffee before getting ready for the day.

4.    It helps you get in touch with yourself

When you practice the things mentioned in point #3 (journaling, reflecting, etc.) you’re working on yourself. You’re discovering who you are and what you want to do with your life. Why are these things great to do first thing in the morning? Because most other people are still sleeping and everything seems to be super quiet and peaceful so you can really focus and get in touch with yourself.

5.    It helps you sleep better at night

Think you can’t possibly wake up any earlier simply because you’ll be too tired throughout the day? Think again! Waking up earlier has actually helped me sleep better. It regulates my sleep pattern so I naturally wake up at the same time every morning without feeling groggy. Read more about the shocking dangers of hitting snooze

I’ll admit, waking up an hour or even a half hour earlier is a drastic change. That’s why I always recommend baby steps. Wake up just 10 minutes early and do something that you truly enjoy. Once you’re comfortable with that, increase the time. Every little bit makes a difference!

I’ve talked a lot about why you should wake up early and how doing so can change your life in so many ways. By now you’re probably wondering how to become a morning person. Here are some quick tips.

•    Wake up just a little earlier at a time and work your way up
•    Focus on yourself and things you enjoy doing in the morning
•    Drink a full glass of water when you wake up
•    Brush your teeth right when waking up
•    Jump in the shower first thing
•    Enjoy some morning exercise
•    Place your alarm clock at the other side of the room and don’t hit snooze!
•    Eliminate screen time before bed to help you fall asleep quicker
•    Stick it out for 30 days to get into a routine of doing it

Many people I hear from, artists in particular, say they just work better at night. I completely understand that and agree that you should get the important tasks done when you’re most alert and creative. However, I was also like that and I’ve seen an incredible change when I started waking up earlier to get things done. It feels good to start the day with a clear mind and vision of what you want to accomplish for the day. You don’t have to become a morning person forever but I want you to consider these 5 ways waking up earlier can change your life and take on the 30 day challenge. Can you wake up just a little earlier every day for a month? Comment below if you plan to give it a try and let us know how it goes!

How to act like a morning person even if you aren’t one

By Nicole Tinkham

If you haven’t noticed by now, there are two types of people in the office; the early birds and the morning zombies. The first group is full of people with energy pouring out of every inch of their being. They sometimes skip around the office and are always ready to start a conversation first thing. Then there are the zombies; the ones dragging their feet into work, serious expression on their face, and so not in the mood to talk until they’ve had their 5th cup of coffee. We have the feeling you know all too well the differences between the two personality types. Which category would you fall into? If you’re the zombie-like worker, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their peaks at different times of the day. But if it drives you nuts seeing the rest of the office in a cheerful mood when it’s just way too early, we’ve put together a few things you can do to act like a morning person even when you aren’t one.

1.    Be prepared
We understand that you’re not all there upon first waking up, but there are some things you can do to prepare yourself for the day that don’t require much effort on your part. Quickly check the news and weather forecast. You’ll be informed of any breaking news and you’ll know whether or not to grab an umbrella on your way out. Also read over your to do list so you know what’s on your agenda when you get into the office. Surprises first thing are never fun!

2.    Get ready the night before
We don’t expect you to sleep in your office attire, but you can lay out your clothes the night before. This allows you to just roll out of bed and throw it on without having to think. You can also prepare your lunch the night before and set your keys and anything else you need to take with you conveniently by the door. While you’re at it, set the timer on your coffee pot to start brewing automatically when you awake and have an easy breakfast ready that you can grab on the go. You’re basically setting yourself up so you have no thinking to do in the morning whatsoever!

3.    Reward yourself
If the only thing you have to look forward to is heading to work, there’s no wonder it’s so difficult to get out of that comfy bed. Reward yourself for getting up by doing something you enjoy but rarely have time for. Maybe it’s reading a book, watching TV, or playing games on your phone. Whatever it is, it has to be good in order to get your butt out of bed!

4.    Get into a routine
A nightly routine is just as important as a morning one when it comes to getting your act together in the AM. You’ll most likely have to train yourself to fall asleep earlier to feel refreshed in the morning. Practice shutting off all electronics at least 15 minutes before you plan to fall asleep, avoid caffeine late in the afternoon, and turn off your brain as it gets closer to bedtime. Aim to reach 7 hours of sleep per night as most people consider this the perfect amount of sleep to feel refreshed. As for your morning routine, we recommend waking up at the same time every single day- even on the weekends if possible!

5.     Wake up peacefully
Wouldn’t it be magical to wake up to the sunrise every morning? Unfortunately, most of us are expected to be up way before the sun rises. The thing about alarm clocks is they tend to wake you at the worst possible time in your sleep cycle which can leave you feeling groggy. To start waking up refreshed, we recommend getting an app (Sleep Cycle is one) or other device that is able to measure your sleep cycle. This type of alarm clock will wait until you’re out of that deep sleep before going off.

Now that you have some great tips, try practicing them to become a morning person for real. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? There are some people who believe a component of success is rising early but others believe it doesn’t make a difference. We’re not sure which is accurate but we’d like to hear from you! Are you more productive in the morning? Do you tend to make more life changes at this time? Let us know in the comments!

10 Ways to make the most out of your morning commute

By Nicole Tinkham


Many people find that the worst part of the day is surprisingly the commute to work, not the actual workday itself. It doesn’t matter how you get there or how long it takes, morning traffic is enough to drive you insane. A normal five minute drive could take 20 minutes depending on what time you leave the house. How crazy is that? This kind of frustration can set the mood for the entire day. Instead of letting backed up traffic or the boring bus ride predict how to rest of the day will go, check out these 10 ways to be productive so you can have a happier morning and day.

1.    Podcasts
Ever want to learn a new language or skill but feel like you have no time to get it done? There are podcasts on just about any subject matter you can think of and your morning commute is the perfect opportunity to fit it into your schedule. Listen to it in the car or use your ear buds on the bus or train.

2.    Reading (audio if driving)
Reading is another activity that busy professionals rarely have time for (so they think). Whatever you do, DO NOT read books while driving! Leave that to the bus and train riders. An alternative you can try out are audio books. You have a choice- you can listen to boring morning radio or you can listen to an engaging book. What do you think is the best use of your time? For those that are able to read on the commute, a Kindle will become your best friend. Or you can always use your oh so versatile smartphone.

3.    Organize your inbox
A cluttered inbox leads to a chaotic start to your day. It seems like sifting through emails and sending responses takes up half the morning. This simple task can be done anywhere, even before you get to the office. Use your extra commute time to open up your email and get it organized so you can start your workday as soon as you arrive.

4.    Sing loudly for all to hear
There’s purpose behind this one, we promise! Turn up your favorite song (preferably in your car without any passengers) and sing your heart out. Singing boosts your endorphins which relieves stress. Less stress = better workday. You may also want to do this on your way home on stressful days as well.

5.    Make a mental gratitude list
The commute to work can be stressful whether you’re stuck in traffic or on a crowded bus. Take a deep breath and list off all the great things you have in life. The commute to work is unpleasant but it’s a small price to pay for all the other amazing things a job can bring.

6.    Make a to-do list
We always recommend starting the day with a to-do list. You can either make your list the day prior or the morning of. The important thing is to have an idea of what your day should look like. This will help you stay on track and meet your goals. Sure, unexpected tasks are bound to pop up but having structure will help you stay focused. We recommend getting a to-do list app on your phone so you can reference it at any time.

7.    Catch up with family and friends
Let us know if this sounds about right. You tell yourself you’ll give your family and friends a call once you get home from work when you can actually sit down and relax. Then all of a sudden you have a million more things on your plate with no time to take a breather. Next thing you know, it’s been months since you’ve talked to them last. Here’s what to do: Make those phone calls on the way to or from work. It’ll make your commute go much quicker and instantly put you in a better mood for the day.

8.    Meditate
If you’re the one doing the driving, we don’t recommend meditating. You can take a deep breath and work on clearing your mind but don’t take your eyes off the road! If however, you’re the passenger, close your eyes and completely clear your head. Say goodbye to all the stress, worry, doubt, and drama going on in your life. Putting yourself in a positive mood first thing in the morning will greatly improve your day.

9.    Exercise
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to bike or walk to work but if you can do it, why not? It saves on gas plus you can squeeze in your workout for the day. Another bonus is not having to deal with traffic. Just watch out for drivers when you’re crossing the street! You may want to take the back roads if possible.

10.    Play games
If nothing else on this list appeals to you, we’re sure you’ll be down for this one. Ever hear of the game Candy Crush or Words with Friends?  These aren’t just good (and addictive) time wasters. They actually challenge the brain so they aren’t a complete waste of your time. We do however recommend stopping once you get to work which is extremely difficult to do! 🙂

It’s obvious your time is valuable which is why it’s important to understand how to manage your time wisely and get in as much as you can during down times. You can also use these ideas when you’re waiting in the doctor’s office or anywhere else. Throughout the day ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time”? You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in just a few minutes here and there.

How do YOU survive the dreaded morning commute? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page!

The Shocking Dangers of Hitting Snooze

By Nicole Tinkham


Sleep is hard to come by and the logical thing to do is get it whenever you possibly can, even if that means hitting the snooze button for an extra 5 minutes of shut eye. However, this may not be in your best interest. What if we told you that you’re going about it all wrong? What if that extra little bit of sleep could actually make you feel worse in the morning? If you’re a lover of the snooze button, read on. Here’s why you need to break that bad habit!

FACT: Drockling is the technical term for hitting the snooze button, or drifting in and out of sleep in the early morning.

Did you know that your body prepares you to wake up in the morning? It does so by increasing your core temperature, which makes you feel more alert. This happens a couple of HOURS before you wake up.

Now let’s talk more about “drockling” and how drifting off to sleep for a few minutes is not what you should be doing. You see your body goes back into a deep sleep and isn’t ready to wake up after only a short period of time. Waking up in this fashion is what makes your bed feel even warmer and cozier than normal.

Every time you hit the snooze button, you’re tricking your body into thinking you don’t need to get up after all. Ever get that groggy feeling (known as sleep inertia) after the alarm buzzer? That’s because your body and mind are taken by surprise. They aren’t prepared to get up!

On top of all that, you’re also throwing off your body’s internal clock (yes, it is a thing). Waking up at different times each morning totally confuses your body. Keep it CONSISTENT and your body will automatically know when to start feeling sleepy for bed to ensure you get enough sleep.

What you need to do:

The solution is simple. Set your alarm for the time you need to get up and then actually get up at that time! We suggest moving your alarm away from the bed to force yourself to physically get up and shut it off. Make sure you’re setting it for the same time every single day. Eventually, you may be able to wake up on time without an alarm. Imagine that! But it might be a good idea to set it anyway 🙂

Note: It’s possible to still feel groggy even when avoiding the snooze button. If that’s the case, you may have an even bigger problem – lack of sleep. If you’re getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night, you may have “social jetlag”. Try going to bed earlier and turning off your devices (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) before heading to bed.

Do you really get a GOOD sleep after hitting snooze? Most likely not. So why hit snooze in the first place? Oh and that grogginess we talked about earlier? That can last up to an hour and a half after finally waking up. What a time suck! Ask yourself this: Are the extra 5 minutes really worth it? You may find it difficult to break the habit but we’re in this together. Try it out tomorrow and let us know how it made you feel by leaving a comment below.