Women

Janey Holliday knows the benefits of productive mornings better than most. The personal trainer, wellbeing and motivational coach, and single mother to four-year-old twins, runs two businesses: outdoor bootcamp company Fit For A Princess (fitforaprincess.co.uk) and the international online coaching hub for women, Making Things Easy (makingthingseasy.com). She rises at am and works until 6.30 when her twins wake up, gets them ready, then heads off for her own workout once the nanny has arrived.

Regardless of the fact I’m an early bird, what I’ve found through my work is that once people get into the habit of getting up early, it completely changes their lives,’ she says.

‘The only thing you miss out on when you rise early is sleep, but you can always gain that back later. And it’s worth noting that sleep experts say an hour of sleep before midnight is worth the equivalent of two hours after midnight. So the more sleep you get in before midnight, the more refreshed you’ll feel when you wake.’

Description: Regardless of the fact I’m an early bird, what I’ve found through my work is that once people get into the habit of getting up early, it completely changes their lives,’ she says.

Regardless of the fact I’m an early bird, what I’ve found through my work is that once people get into the habit of getting up early, it completely changes their lives,’ she says.

Getting things done early on also means once you’ve finished work, you can do what you want and enjoy more relaxed evenings. Still, if the thought of waking at am or 6am still fills you with dread, Holliday says fear not; with time and training, anyone can get to bed earlier and change their sleep patterns over time.

Don’t snooze

Holliday suggests having three alarm clocks set to go off within a few minutes of each other, with the final one on the other side of your bedroom to get you moving about. (And this is stipulated in all her trainers’ contracts!) ‘Snoozing is the worst thing you can do, because you go into a deep sleep state that makes it even harder to get up,’ she explains. Set different songs to play that you find inspiring or motivating. Also, make a mini vision board and keep it by your bed. Make it really personal to you, filling it with statements or images that relate to the goals you want to achieve - visual tools can really help to remind you why you’re getting up early and stop you going back to bed’

Description: ‘Snoozing is the worst thing you can do, because you go into a deep sleep state that makes it even harder to get up,’ she explains.

‘Snoozing is the worst thing you can do, because you go into a deep sleep state that makes it even harder to get up,’ she explains.

Weekend magic

Holliday also suggests you gradually go to bed and get up five to 10 minutes earlier over time. This will help you to reset your body clock gradually, rather than shocking your body into early starts. She also suggests going to bed an hour or two earlier at the weekend if you’re tired, rather than sleeping in late. Research from the University of Texas says that, contrary to popular belief. sleeping in doesn’t help you catch up on lost sleep from the week, but rather plays havoc with your body clock, making you feel sleepier come Monday morning.

‘It’s all about your priorities,’ says Holliday. ‘To effect change, you have to change your behavior. You can’t change your lifestyle, have more energy, fit in more exercise and do better at your work without making the most of the hours of your day. Mornings can become the most magical part of your day, but you have to train yourself to be able to enjoy them.’

Description: Holliday also suggests you gradually go to bed and get up five to 10 minutes earlier over time.

Holliday also suggests you gradually go to bed and get up five to 10 minutes earlier over time.

Make more of your mornings!

These tips will make your early hours the best of the day

1.        Track your time

‘To spend your time better, you need to know how you’re spending it now. Track, in detail, Because the solution to morning & dilemmas often lies in other time of the day. Ask yourself: “what absolutely to happen in the morning and what doesn’t?” You might think many things are necessary, but understand that many of them are choices and not something you “have” to do.’

2.        Picture the perfect morning

‘Once you know how you’re spending your time, assign your priorities. Ask yourself what a great morning would look like for you. It might include a work out, a morning run, having sex as the sun rises or a hearty homemade family breakfast. Or it could be the time when you formulate and plan your personal, defining project. Dream big.’

Description: You might think many things are necessary, but understand that many of them are choices and not something you “have” to do.’

You might think many things are necessary, but understand that many of them are choices and not something you “have” to do.’

3.        Think through the logistics

‘Ask how this vision can mesh with the life you have. Map out a morning schedule and establish how much time you’d need to make it work. What time would you have to get up and (most importantly) go to bed to get enough sleep? Do you need to trade off child-care duties with your partner? Come up with a plan and assemble what you need, but whatever you do, don’t label this vision as impossible. Explore all your options.’

4.        Think through the logistics

‘Turning a desire into a reality requires lots of willpower and takes time. So start slowly. Choose one new habit at a time to introduce, and put all your energy into making that activity a habit before trying something else. Chart your progress. Habits take several weeks to establish, so track how you’re doing for at least a month. Choose things you actually enjoy doing, so you want to get out of bed.’

 

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