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One of my coaching clients asked me about retraining herself from a night owl to a morning person. I’m not sure if the night owl or morning person are actual things or just labels we have put on ourselves.

As a self-proclaimed night owl, I remember a big reason for wanting to stay up late was a huge resistance to going to bed. I didn’t want to end my day, I would hang on to it as long as possible. I would feel a slight depression about ending the day because it felt like I was losing something precious.

The mornings were dreadful because I was still trying to hang on to the night before. I got too little sleep. I HAD to wake up because I was going to school or work, two things that I didn’t wanna do. At night, I was free, I could do whatever I wanted. Watch TV, play video games – and eventually creating art, drawing, making music, etc. I got in the zone at night with no distractions. It felt like ME time. Going to bed was a last resort, a thing I did when I couldn’t stay awake any longer.

When I started getting up early, making that ME time in the mornings, I started looking forward to mornings as my “cheat” method of stealing time for myself. It began to change how I viewed mornings. It no longer was something to dread, but something to look forward to. And then my nights are SO much more peaceful, I feel like I put in a good days’ work and I feel content and grateful when I go to bed now.

I get tired earlier and I have no expectation to try to squeeze in more productivity or fun at night because I’m already happy/content most nights and going to bed feels wonderful. But then there are nights I stay up late because I am in the zone or am with friends or having fun. And I’m going with the flow and it’s spilling over after midnight. I will allow it and be grateful for it.

If I need to sleep in, it feels like a gift rather than the same old routine of resisting the day.

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Jeff Finley
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