There's nothing inherently better about being a morning person versus a night person; you should be whatever kind of person works for you. But if you've always wanted to be a morning person and have this goal in your sights for the new year, don't stumble into a major lifestyle change unprepared. Consider this your road map and guide to finally being a morning person in 2016.
Start inching your wake-up time up now
Start with very, very tiny increments — five minutes here, 10 minutes there — and start inching your normal alarm time up now. Don't wait until January 2nd to try to wake up two hours earlier than you normally do. By starting now and not putting a lot of pressure on yourself, you might not reach your ideal wake-up time by January 1st, but you'll be closer and your goal might be easier to attain.
You're going to be strict about your bedtime and nightly routine
You're going to set hard end times to work, play, television, exercise, caffeine and more. Only you know your limits (and if you don't, now's a good time to experiment). When the new year rolls around, you're going to master being a morning person by being a really great nighttime person — you're going to go to bed early with plenty of time to get lots of sleep, and you're not going to do activities that you know will keep you up too late or from getting good rest.
Make your bedroom be all about the wake-up
If you have no trouble falling asleep, you might turn your bedroom from a cozy cocoon for sleeping into a bold and energetic room for waking up. We're talking about maximizing morning light, incorporating light or bright colors and maybe even throwing some busy patterns into the mix to get your energy levels up. Instead of investing in soothing scents to lull you into sleep, keep energizing scents like citrus nearby to give you an olfactory boost. Keep your alarm clock away from your bed so you have to crawl out to turn it off. Keep your yoga mat right near your bed so you can roll out and do some push-ups to get your blood pumping. Make your bedroom the kind of space you'll want to wake up early in.
You're going to aim to wake up at the same time every day
Yes, even on the weekends. If you want to be a morning person, an important aspect of that is going to be consistency. Waking up at the same time everyday has science-backed biological benefits. (This Fast Company article speaks about it. And this Huffington Post article explains it might even help you weigh less.)
You're going to choose to do an activity in the morning that will have a positive impact on the rest of your day.
Maybe the biggest part of transforming yourself into a morning person is claiming (or reclaiming) a piece of your day that's just for you. Not for kids. Not for a spouse. Not for your employer. You can do that by doing something in the mornings that's something you'd actually want to wake up for — making a healthy breakfast, going for a walk — and that's something that would have a positive impact on the rest of your day ahead.