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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ICU (Japan) chapter.

Back in the days when in-person classes were a thing, I was pretty good at waking up early. Waking up and eating a full breakfast at around the same time every morning was my thing. But now? With only having a few online classes and no plans to go out, I’ve completely lost my rhythm. As we were approaching a brand new year, I knew I had to say goodbye to this lazy habit and get back on track. For the last few months I have been trying hard to stick to my early morning routine, and I’ve been doing pretty good. So today I am sharing some tips that have been working for me so far. If you’re also trying to turn around your morning habits in 2021, I hope you will find them helpful too!

Find out why you want to wake up early

This sounds basic, yet it’s the most important tip for becoming a morning person. Ask yourself why you want to wake up early. Is it because you want to exercise? Work on your essay? Read? Work on a project? Get a healthy rhythm? If you can’t come up with a specific reason, you might want to rethink waking up early and just sleep in. It’s hard to achieve something when you don’t know why you’re doing it. In my case, although I started waking up early to be less lazy, I’m now sticking to the habit to get things done. For me, I find myself being most productive in the morning, so I try to wake up and get my school work done.

Make a manageable to-do list for the morning

Having things planned after waking up will help you start the day smoothly. I would recommend starting off with things that are relatively easy to do so it won’t feel too stressful to wake yourself up.

Plan something you can look forward to

Say you decided to wake up early to be productive and get things done, but let’s be honest, there are days that this becomes extremely challenging. You just can’t let go of the temptation to sleep in. For those unmotivated days, just get out of bed to do the things you like. Plan something that makes you want to get out of bed. Be it making a cup of coffee or reading a book, or even listening to your favorite music and dancing around. Even watching something on youtube or immersing yourself in a hobby is fine. (Although if you decide to do this, it would probably be a better idea to set a time so you won’t end up procrastinating all day. ) When there is something to look forward to, it will be much easier to get out of bed and start the day. More importantly, you would probably start your day in a good mood.

Make your bed the second you get out of it

By doing this, it will no longer be a place that you can go back into.


Try starting your day with a short meditation session. I find this useful for gradually wake up and feeling relaxed as well.

Have your outfit set next to your bed before going to sleep

My theory is that the quicker you get out of your pjs, the easier it is to start your day. If you’re the type of person that takes time to decide what to wear like me, try having your clothes set next to the bed. This will allow you to save time getting changed and start your day smoothly.

Small steps

After watching a 5 AM morning routine on Youtube, you might be motivated to wake up at 5 AM. But if you are used to waking up at 10 AM, that is not realistic. Take gradual steps. Try waking up one hour or half an hour earlier than before and keep doing that for a week or two. When your body gets used to that time, try waking up another one or half an hour earlier. Keep doing this until you reach your intended time. This will take some time, but If you really want to become a morning person in the long term, this should give you a better shift.

Go to bed early

We don’t just want to wake up early, we want to wake up early in a good mood. If you are waking up earlier than before but going to bed late, you might feel tired from a lack of sleep. Obviously this would make it harder to wake up. How much sleep we need varies person to person, so make sure that even if you are waking up earlier, you are still getting the sleep you need.

Hope there were some tips that would work for you too. Wishing you the best!

Ellie Eshima

ICU (Japan) '21

Ellie is currently a senior at International Christian University, majoring in Psychology.
Articles anonymously written by HCICU Contributors.