The Power of Mornings

Sonny Kang
8 min readJun 4, 2020


8 Simple Steps to Becoming a Morning Person

Image by @kate_kasi

Want to become a morning person? If the answer is yes, then you’ve come to the right place. I don’t know what your goals are for waking up early, but I do know its life-changing benefits.

Maybe you want to get up early enough to exercise before going to work. Or you’re an aspiring writer who wants to write in the morning. Whatever your goals are, getting an early start in your day can transform your life.

I began my journey to become a morning person because I wanted to write and exercise before I went to work. In the beginning, becoming a morning person seemed impossible. I didn’t understand how people could wake up feeling refreshed early in the morning. This whole concept seemed like a mystery.

So I got curious and started researching. I read articles and books about waking up early. I then discovered that I had many misconceptions about early mornings. If you feel this way about mornings, let me first demystify it for you.

Misconceptions About Early Mornings

Imagine yourself waking up at 5 AM in the morning. What emotions do you feel? Some of you might feel intimidated by this idea. Maybe you even hate it.

But here’s the thing. People don’t hate early mornings. They hate feeling tired when they wake up. It’s not the mornings that make us feel bad. It’s the lack of sleep.

We stay up late and we’re forced to wake up early for our jobs. And when we lose sleep, we dread the mornings. There’s no worse feeling than forcing yourself to stay awake when you’d rather be asleep.

But here’s the good news. Anyone can learn how to love their mornings in three simple steps:

  1. Get to bed early.
  2. Get 7–8 hours of sleep.
  3. Have activities you look forward to doing

We often mystify the life of early risers. We see it as a practice reserved for spiritual people. But in reality, many people wake up early because it has practical benefits. But don’t get this wrong. Waking up early in the morning alone won’t make you healthier or happier. It’s all about what you do with the time that you’re given.

Why? Because it provides you the time you need to do what matters. It’ll give you the time for activities that build your health and boosts your mood. You also give yourself an opportunity to conserve your energy for your most important activities.

The opposite is true when you wake up late. Waking up and rushing off to work is a big waste of your energy. Your best energy should be reserved for what’s most important to you.

I’ve heard many of my friends complain that they don’t have the energy after they get home from work. So the most practical way to solve this problem would be to do what you want to do before you get to your job.

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Quality Sleep is Non-Negotiable

You have the most amount of willpower for the day the moment you wake up. If you disagree with this statement, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. “When is the last time I had a full 7 hours of sleep?”
  2. “How did I feel after a good night’s sleep?”

I’m sure that most of you felt energized and ready to take on the day. If you’re having trouble getting to bed early, I recommend my article on “How to Get the Sleep You Want.” Creating a morning routine that you love requires you to get enough sleep every night. This is non-negotiable. Why?

Because sleep is the basic building block for a great day.

There are too many benefits of sleep for me to list them all, but here’s some that might surprise you:

  • Heart Health
  • Stress Relief
  • Increased Alertness
  • Improved Memory
  • Reduced Risk of Depression
  • Healing in Your Mind and Body

In other words, the quality of your sleep plays a crucial role in the quality of your day.

8 Simple Steps to Transform Your Mornings

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1. Make Your Bed

The best way to begin your morning is by making your bed. Begin your day with a small win. Your first goal should be to get your mind and body into motion. As Newton’s First Law of Motion states, an object in motion stays in motion. Once you’ve got yourself in motion, it will be much easier to stay on track with your goals.

Image by @yasuotakeuchi

2. Drink a Glass of Water

Having a glass of water first thing in the morning will help alertness in your senses. I feel refreshed when I drink a glass of cold water in the morning. It acts as a mental cue for me to let my mind and body know that it’s time to begin my day.

Image by @linaverovaya

3. Wash Your Face

After a glass of water, I would suggest washing your face and brushing your teeth. This will bring up another level of alertness. Splashing cold water on your face will feel refreshing. This is because cold water on your skin improves your circulation and raises your endorphins (pain reliever and happiness booster) according to this research.

Even though this step might seem insignificant, it will continue building your momentum. The idea is to start with as many small wins as possible. When those small wins accumulate, you’ll be ready to take on bigger goals.

4. Use Guided Meditation

Now that you’re feeling more energized, it’s time to take a deep breath. Rather than rushing off, starting with meditation will help you stay present-minded.

When you worry about what you’ve done in the past, you fill yourself with regret. When you worry about the future, you fill yourself with anxiety. Instead, ask yourself this question.

What do I need to do today to get to where I want to be tomorrow?

Then focus on the present and what you can control. Stop focusing on things that are out of your control.

Are you new to meditation? Then I recommend using meditation apps like Abide, Headspace, and Calm. These apps will guide you through the meditation process. All you need is a phone and 5 to 15 minutes of free time.

5. Start a Gratitude Journal

Journaling after meditation will give you a sense of purpose for your day. I like to start by listing out three things that I’m grateful for. For example, I am grateful for a steady income, my health, and having the freedom to pursue my passion.

Living in gratitude boosts your mood and helps you see what’s possible for your life. Why? Because focusing on what you have rather than what you don’t have, opens up your mind to see the opportunities you have in your life. By raising your awareness with gratitude, you’ll spend your mornings appreciating life instead of dreading it.

6. Get Physical

Exercise is the most demanding thing you can do during your day. Because it takes the most willpower, you want to get this done before you go to work. Exercise will bring your mind and body to a higher level of alertness. Breaking a sweat and getting your heart pumping will energize you.

Exercise helps strengthen your willpower according to this Macquarie University research. I’ve experienced the benefits in my life as well. I noticed that my mind stayed clear longer on days I worked out in the morning.

Image by @sidekix

7. Take a Shower

There’s no better feeling than having a victory shower after a tough workout. Yes, I call them victory showers. Why? Because it marks the end of my daily morning routine.

At this point in my morning, I’ve already had a glass of water, meditated, journaled, and exercised. I’ve taken care of my spiritual, mental, and physical health. And with these morning accomplishments, I’ve built up positive momentum for my day. This gives me the peace of mind I need to pursue my passion.

Showering in the morning can decrease stress by providing the oxygen your brain needs.

Image by @romankraft

8. Pursue Your Passion

Once your morning routine is complete, pursue your passion before going to work. Some of you might not have passions and that’s okay. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, then pursue your interests. My passion is writing, so I dedicate at least an hour to write every morning. By the time I get to the office, I walk in with a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

I feel great knowing that I’m another step closer to fulfilling my dreams. I don’t know what your passion is, but what I do know is that everyone has a dream. Whatever it is you’ve always wanted to try, the early mornings will give you the freedom to pursue it.

If you need help figuring out which passions to pursue, check out my article, How to Get Direction for Your Career.

Image by @sagefriedman

Resources to Help You Love Your Mornings

If you’d like to dive deeper into the topic of making the best out of your mornings, I have a list of books that helped me transform my life. And I’m sure they will do the same for you.

Now that you know how to harness the power of mornings, what will you do with this opportunity? Whatever it is you want to pursue, my hope for you is that you will use it to create a healthy and fulfilling life.



Sonny Kang