Becoming a morning person is easy – if you take baby steps
After leaving a law career to launch a women’s workwear fashion brand in 2017, Stephanie Ray was already thinking about her life-work balance. But owning her own company, Grayes, women is as time-consuming, if not more, as being a lawyer. So she needed a change. She needed to become a morning person.
And that meant working out in the mornings.
“By getting my workout in early, I can have a leisurely morning afterwards, which is definitely new for me,” says Ray. “It’s time to myself that I don’t feel guilty about because it’s still so early.”
It was important for her new business, she says. “One of our objectives with Grayes is to give women the confidence to take them through their work day and beyond. I realized that I needed to start practicing what I preach, and find confidence in my personal health and wellness as well. I’m proud to say that I took my own advice to heart, and it’s paid off.”
Find out how she made being a morning person a priority and her #BHmoment.
Sleeping in until a certain time is a very hard habit to break. How did you do it?
“It was a daunting goal at first, because [it feels like] there are so few hours in the day and it’s hard to find time for everything,” says Ray. “I altered my routine to go to bed a little earlier so that I could wake up early to get my workout in before my day gets too crazy. It was just one small change, but it’s had a significant impact on my day to day wellness – it gives me a few extra hours in the day for myself, and is a huge stress reliever.”
How did you make this habit stick?
“I gradually set my alarm earlier and earlier to get to my desired wake up time,” says Ray, frankly. “I knew that trying to make that change all at once just wasn’t realistic for me. I also started laying out my workout clothes the night before and booking my classes ahead of time, so that once I get out of bed, the rest of my morning is streamlined. I find signing up for workouts in advance is a great trick because I won’t hit snooze knowing that I’ve already paid. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference.”
Did you learn anything about yourself?
“Discipline is key,” says Ray. “Even on the mornings you just want to stay in bed longer, push yourself and you’ll feel better. I always regret it when I hit snooze, and I always feel amazing after a workout. Treat the time you set aside in your calendar to work out as anything else you commit to doing. If you wouldn’t stand up a friend or skip an important meeting, why should you do it to yourself and your workout? It can be hard to remember this when you’re feeling groggy at 6 a.m., but the more you ingrain it into your mindset the easier it becomes.”
How does being a morning person affect the rest of your day?
At 6 a.m., “e-mails, calls and meetings haven’t started,” she says about why it is the perfect time to exercise. And after, “I can take my time to eat breakfast, enjoy my coffee, and catch up on the news. From there I jump into my work feeling energized, rested, and ready to take on the day.”
What is the biggest tip you tell friends?
“Find a routine that works for you and have the discipline to stick to it. I don’t love doing intense cardio, so I tend to stick to yoga, Pilates and barre, but I still try to schedule in a spin or cardio class once a week for balance. You have to hold yourself accountable, because nobody else will! That’s why I love booking my classes ahead of time and making a weekly schedule. This way, I won’t back out, no matter how much I want to.”