I often hear people talking about their morning habit or waking early with statements like these:
â€œIâ€™m not a morning person!â€
“I just can’t get into writing in the morning.”
â€œI donâ€™t like waking early.â€
â€œThis habit is really hard.â€
And those statements might all be true, but theyâ€™re not helpful. They frame the habit change in a way that makes it less enjoyable, more doubtful, less likely to succeed.
I suggest a reframing. One that is more likely to be helpful.
Try these statements:
â€œIâ€™m now a morning person!â€
“Writing in the morning is a beautiful way to enjoy quiet solitude the mornings.”
â€œWaking early is a wonderful way to enjoy some quiet time for myself.â€
â€œIâ€™m grateful for this lovely change.â€
These statements can also all be true. How can the first set of statements, and the second set, all be true at the same time? It all depends on how you decide to look at the change, how you frame it.
This is also largely a matter of you deciding what your identity is. You say you’re not a morning person, and that’s how you see yourself. But you can also choose to see yourself differently.
What your identity will be is up to you. And it matters. If you say, â€œIâ€™m not a morning person,â€ you’ve made that choice, based on past experiences, that youâ€™re the kind of person thatâ€™s not good at waking early. This is a totally rational thing to do, if you havenâ€™t enjoyed waking early in the past â€¦ but it limits you. It means that youâ€™re not likely to enjoy waking early in the future, because you already have decided youâ€™re not going to like it based on the kind of person you think you are.
What if this identity could change? Why not try it? Say to yourself, â€œIâ€™m now a morning person.â€ It might seem strange to just change this statement about yourself, when past facts donâ€™t match up with it, but in fact your self-image is just a picture youâ€™ve made up in your head. You can change the picture, like magic.
What this means is that if you say, â€œIâ€™m now a morning person,â€ and actually picture yourself as a morning person, then this image can actually affect your outlook and future actions. You can now wake up early, and though youâ€™ll be groggy, think, â€œIâ€™m now a morning personâ€ and go forth to enjoy the morning.
What if you donâ€™t believe the image to be true? Well, it wasnâ€™t true in the past, but it definitely could be true in the future. You donâ€™t actually know how your mornings will turn out â€” perhaps this change of self-image could be the key to transforming how you feel about waking early.
Seeing the good
As for the other reframing statements â€¦ these are just a matter of seeing the good in this habit, and being grateful for those good things.
Mornings can be tough if you are looking at how groggy you are, how much youâ€™d like to be asleep, how little sleep you got because youâ€™re having trouble changing your sleep patterns.
Or you can see the good in your new mornings: they are quiet and peaceful, a great time for productive work or exercise or creative pursuits youâ€™ve been putting off. They have a beautiful early morning light, and if youâ€™re lucky you can catch a sunrise as I did this morning.
Mornings can be really hard, or they can be great. Itâ€™s all a matter of perspective.