Are you a morning person, or do you wish you were one?
Do you find yourself wondering how all the morning people are so filled with jubilee so early in the day? It doesn’t matter what end of the morning person spectrum you are on. There is hope for creating more joy at the start of your day! In this article, Jay Shetty is joined by Liz Plosser, a powerhouse leader in the health and wellness space. She is the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health magazine and recently launched Own Your Morning, a book filled with ways to set new morning routines and find the potential in your day.
Plosser has a unique educational background. From her early days in college as an English major, Plosser tells Jay Shetty she loved business and learning about business. Hence, she also took economics classes in addition to her English classes. Plosser also spent her free time and money pouring over the magazines she bought.
Plosser, a self-described fitness enthusiast, shares with Jay Shetty that health, nutrition, and fitness are in her DNA. From playing sports as a kid to running and training for marathons, Plosser still maintains a fitness routine as a wife and mother. In her senior year of college, Plosser interviewed for positions in the investment banking field. “I had enough background in economics and math courses to get an amazing job offer,” Plosser explains to Jay Shetty. “Even at the time, I thought, ‘I cannot believe this is happening. I'm an English major.’ But to their credit, I think they saw value in somebody with a slightly untraditional background and perspective.”
With her ticket punched, Plosser moved to New York to start the job and capture the life she wanted. Unfortunately, she soon realized she wasn’t actually living the life she wanted. “I learned very quickly that it was not my life's passion,” Plosser recalls to Jay Shetty. “I knew in my heart this was not meant to be my life's work. Having that experience and feeling that in my gut really catapulted me to start learning about what I wanted to do. It never occurred to me that you could do something you love and get paid for it. I thought work had to be hard.”
Once Plosser realized she could combine her love of health and wellness and magazines, she explored the possibilities of a dream job encompassing both. “Fast forward to today, it's literally a dream job,” Plosser shares with Jay Shetty. “I still wake up every day and feel the immense responsibility, joy, and gratitude that I get to do what I do every single day.”
Leading a life as a mom, wife, and career woman, Plosser established a morning routine to start her day on the right foot. She unpacks some of the strategies she uses each day to set herself for the best day possible.
Own Your Morning
Life as an investment banker was anything but typical for Plosser. She would wake up with the best intentions to get a workout in, but more often than not, work would throw a wrench in her best-laid plans. “I learned very quickly that a workout is an essential part of my day and has been since I was a kid,” Plosser tells Jay Shetty. “I learned that if I said, “Okay, I'm going to hit the gym on my walk home from work tonight,” maybe up to nine out of 10 times, something would happen, and I would get derailed. I wouldn't be able to get there. Within a week of starting that job, I figured out that I had to set my alarm clock for way earlier and get myself to the gym and get showered before I started the workday.”
Plosser explains to Jay Shetty she could not control what happened during the day, but for the most part, she could control what happened in the mornings. “When I got in my workout and did the things that powered me up in the morning, the whole rest of my day went a million times better,” Plosser shares with Jay Shetty. “Morning is a powerful time to set up a successful day.”
Take control of your time in the morning, and use it to benefit you throughout your day. If meditation is the thing you enjoy taking time to do, do it. Perhaps journaling is your thing. Whatever it is, don’t let the chaos of the day keep you from doing the things that keep you focused and grounded.
Become a Morning Person
Does the thought of becoming a morning person make you cringe? It doesn’t have to. Being a morning person doesn’t mean you have to miss out on sleep or wake up when the rooster crows. Plosser tells Jay Shetty that being a morning person is mostly about making the most of your time after getting out of bed and setting yourself up for a successful day. It doesn’t matter what time you decide to start your day. It might be five a.m., or it might be nine a.m. Plosser admits she has not always been an early riser, and sleep is something she has always loved.
“There is a lot of science that suggests that we have a chronotype,” Plosser explains to Jay Shetty. “You might be more predisposed to enjoy popping out of bed in the morning or to staying up late at night. So you have early birds and night owls. Some people get their rush of energy in the middle of the day. The cool thing is it's constantly changing over time.”When you get up in the morning, exposing yourself to bright light will help get your motor running. Plosser shares several tips in her book, Own Your Morning, on waking up earlier and creating a healthier, happier life for yourself. Establishing a healthy bedtime routine is a beautiful precursor to starting your day off right as well.
Changes You Can Make to Set up a Better Morning
Being a morning person is not as simple as waking up and saying, “Oh, I’m a morning person.” It takes some commitment and routine. One of the most important things to know is the optimal amount of sleep you need to function at your best. Experiment with the number of hours you need. Once you establish what works for you, count back to set a targeted bedtime. When you’ve set a bedtime, it's time to power down your devices at least an hour before you crawl into bed. There’s plenty of research proving the blue light your devices emit affects the production of melatonin, which controls your sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep. If you need something to fall asleep, Plosser tells Jay Shetty it’s better to grab a book to help you drift off to dreamland. Keeping the temperature of your room cooler helps you sleep more soundly. For Plosser, taking a shower before bed is her way of washing off any bad energy from the day and creating a clean slate to get the sleep she needs. “The later phases of our sleep cycle are called REM sleep and that's where the magic and restoration happen,” Plosser explains to Jay Shetty. “If you're that type of person who snoozes your alarm button for like an hour, or even just a time or two, you're actually disrupting that really powerful time of sleep.”
Jay Shetty agrees and adds if you set multiple alarms, you are conditioning yourself not to hear them, so they become less effective.To help preserve every last minute of sleep, try setting your alarm for the last possible minute you can before you need to get up and start your day. Once you get your alarm set, pick a pleasant tone to wake up to. It doesn’t need to be the loudest, most obnoxious sound you can find. Find a sound that wakes you up with a more peaceful start to your day.
Making time for things that are important to you is essential. Get clear on what your values are. What makes you happy? What motivates you to be your best self? Those are the things you need to make time for in your day. When you take action on the things you value, it prepares you to be better in every aspect of your life. Take a calendar inventory to see how you spend your time. It can be eye-opening to see where your time goes. Perhaps you are already spending enough time doing the things you enjoy, or maybe you need to tweak it to add more time for the things you value.
One thing that can help center yourself is meditation. Try meditating with Jay Shetty daily for seven minutes in The Daily Jay, Jay Shetty’s new mindfulness series on Calm. Save 40% off your subscription when you join now at https://calm.com/Jay.
Embrace the Mess
Plosser admits to Jay Shetty that although she’s got a good thing going with her mornings, not every morning goes as she envisioned it would.She tells Jay Shetty how the first day back to school for her kids after the pandemic took its best shot at derailing her day.
“I had to put all the stuff I talk about into practice that morning,” Plosser tells Jay Shetty. “For me, that meant doing a lot of prep the night before, like pulling out what my outfit was going to be, having my children do the same. I had them get their backpacks. I made the lunches the night before. But despite it all, it was like a morning of madness. I did get them to the bus and everybody got to school with lunches in their backpacks. But when I got to my desk, my hair was still wet, and I was slightly disheveled and frazzled, and I did not feel like I wanted to that morning.”
Plosser credits the steps she took the night before school in the success of getting everyone out the door. She knows if she had not prepared the night before, the day would have been a two instead of a seven. Real-life isn’t perfect. There are going to be messy days. When you equip yourself with some tools, you can learn to embrace the mess.
Prioritize Your Time
If you’ve ever flown, you’ve heard the instruction to put your oxygen mask on before you help someone else. The same applies to taking time for yourself. If you are not healthy and happy, how can you help the people in your life who are pulling you every which way? “The reality is once you start making time for yourself, you very quickly see the benefits, and you can give so much more to everybody, and everything you do, explains Plosser. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
The Power of No
It can be hard to say no in a world that’s always on the go and where social appearances are expected, but no is a word you need to be better at saying. “I think a lot of us feel like to live fuller, happier lives, we need to add things,” Plosser tells Jay Shetty. “So as a lifelong people-pleaser, I squirm at the thought of somebody being mad, upset, or disappointed. It's taken me a long time to learn the kindest and most authentic thing is to say no quickly and not let the invitation sit there and fester. It occupies your brainpower and probably stresses out your friend who invited you.”
You don’t have to have an elaborate response listening to all the reasons you can’t attend. Simply thank them for the invitation and tell them you are sorry you can’t attend.
The power to say no gives you the ability to schedule your time in a way that works for you. Making the most of your time, whether in the morning to start your day or in the evening, the first step is learning how to become a morning person. You don’t have to get up at 5:17 a.m. like Liz Plosser to be a morning person, but applying some of her strategies to your life could have you looking forward to your next alarm.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode with Liz Plosser on “Becoming a Morning Person Even If You Aren't One” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.
Take my new quiz to discover your deeper purpose.Take the Quiz
Looking for greater meaning? This quiz shows you how to live with purpose every day.Take the Quiz