Mourning Mornings

Are you a morning person? You know who you are if you are one and although I don’t understand you, I can respect you. There is a reason why morning and mourning sound alike, even if they have different meanings—it’s because they are actually related to each other.

To me, mornings are a struggle. It’s the time of day I must emerge from the world of unconscious bliss to conscience reality. I barely get up in time to get to work on time—and consider this a big accomplishment.

Why do I bring this up? Because this struggle every morning involves a practical consideration that has a bearing on my attempt to understand and adopt habits of success. According to many sources, mornings are supposed to be an ideal time for doing lots of success related type things, like meditation and connecting with oneself or a higher power, working on projects and exercising—and drinking power smoothies. I have nothing against all of those things and love smoothies.

It’s just that I am not at my best in the mornings, by a long shot. For example, I have tried writing in the mornings—not so good. I have tried being all bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and chipper—but those who know me wonder if I am sick or possessed. It just doesn’t come off as natural—because it’s not.

If I didn’t set an alarm, I would rarely wake up in time to shower, eat breakfast and get to work. The problem is that all of this must happen in the morning. It’s not that I can’t get up earlier but I find no joy in it. I would prefer to stay up later and get up later. Am I a self-improvement heretic for feeling and thinking this way?

I find that when I do get up earlier I am tired at the end of the day, especially if I get up and go for a run. Exercising is supposed to give you more energy. I find that extra sleep does that a lot better. I enjoy running—in the evenings after a long day at work. Running is a great destresser, especially when followed by going to bed within a few hours of doing it. I also write better in the evenings—long after the mental cobwebs of morning have cleared away.

But what if getting up early is one of those habits (not one of the seven mentioned in the Seven Habits by the way) that count for something? I would find this very disturbing. I was all for adopting seven habits but now I am finding out that there are actually more habits involved for success. I fear one of them might be getting up early in the mornings.

I am committed to figuring out and living the right habits for success—but do they have to be so inconvenient? I relate more to what Chris Bailey, author of The Productivity Project writes, “I discovered I much preferred to meditate, workout, read, and plan out my day later on in the day, when I had more energy and attention to bring to the task.”

Here is the challenge, however, most of my obligations and commitments demand my time from when I get up in the morning to sometime late in the evening. I really don’t have the luxury of switching my schedule to accommodate my circadian rhythms. This means that I might actually have to start waking up earlier in order to work on accomplishing my dreams—the irony.

Surely, I am not the only person who has confronted this issue. I just wonder what I need to do with it—change my attitude about mornings? Is this a needed paradigm shift? What sacrifices does this monster of personal improvement and success demand? Will I be able to meet the monster’s price?

Just don’t expect to find me all chipper.

What has been your experience?

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