A typical day for me plays out like this: I wake up at 6 in the morning, usually ten minutes before my alarm gives off that dreaded sound that makes me want to throw my phone against the wall. I get up, fix my bed, and unroll my yoga mat. I open the Headspace app to do some meditation and clear my head, and then I do some light stretches. I go to the bathroom to splash my face with some water, then change into my workout clothes and jog outside for a good hour and a half. I then return to my apartment, fix myself a nice cup of green tea (I ain't about that caffeine life), prepare some oatmeal and toast, and sit down to enjoy my breakfast while I read the newspaper — a physical newspaper. After all of that, I take a quick shower, do my morning skin care routine, put on the outfit I had prepared the night before, then head to a cafe or a co-working space to work.
Of course, everything I stated above is a blatant lie, but I think you already knew that.
I am not a morning person. I probably never will be. Every single day, I ponder upon my younger years — my elementary and high school days — when I used to happily wake up at 5 a.m. every morning to get ready for the day and catch my school bus. How I even managed to do that, I absolutely have no idea. I would gladly offer my arm — actually, all my limbs, to quickly return to my earlyriser self.
Over the years, I gradually turned over to the dark side and became what you would call a #NightOwl. Nights are when I prosper, nights are the time period when my brain actually works, and nights are when I'm usually at my happiest. In turn, mornings have become my archnemesis, and if there's an alternative universe where days start at noon, I'd gladly live in it.
But then I came to learn that ridiculously successful people are early risers. I suppose there really is some truth to the adage, "The early bird gets the worm," because how else did they get ALL the worms if they didn't get there so damn early?!
To challenge (and torment) myself, I did a little digging to find out what successful people do in the mornings because I decided that I would try, to the best of my abilities, to replicate them. I would like to believe that I, too, will be part of the success gang someday, and if that means that I have to change my lifestyle to achieve that, then so be it.
So yes, I tried the morning routines of highly successful people for a whole week, to see if any of them would work for me, and...
Day 1: Kim Kardashian
Listen, say what you want about Kim Kardashian, but you can't deny that she's one of the most successful people in the world. She's one of my personal heroes, and because she's a #Kween on my book, I decided that she'll be one of my morning role models.
Kim usually starts her day at 6 a.m., and the first thing she picks up is her phone to check texts and emails. Then she talks to Kanye and checks on her kids, then goes for a run around the neighborhood, or workout at the home gym. She listens to R&B songs or classical music while she exercises, which is strange if you ask me. She then tries to eat breakfast really quick before her tiny tots wake up, and she says she usually has scrambled eggs or oatmeal, or a protein shake with fruit. Otherwise, she has breakfast prepared by a chef. Right after, she takes a nice long bath and then meets her glam squad for hair and makeup.
My version: I don't have a husband and kids, nor a personal chef, nor a big ass home gym to work out in. I live in a shoebox with a makeshift workout area, but hey, that's not going to stop me from living the Kim K life. Right off the bat, I already failed, because I hit the snooze button a total of 6 times before I got up. I managed to pull myself together at 6:45 a.m. anyways, which was a struggle because I fell asleep at 2 a.m. the night before. Then I changed into my workout clothes and decided that I will do some pilates. I usually watch videos on YouTube to do this, but for a change, I put it on mute and played Boyz II Men and Mozart. While I love Boyz II Men with all my heart and soul, "I'll Make Love To You" and "End Of The Road" aren't enough to keep me energized. If I had continued playing them, I would undoubtedly fall asleep on my mat in no time.
I finished at around 8:00 a.m. and then proceeded to cook some scrambled eggs. To my horror, Kim isn't a big coffee-drinker, so I replaced it with fruit juice like the ones I see them chugging down on KUWTK. And surprise, surprise, I gave up around lunch time and made a cup of joe with my precious Keurig. I took a quick shower after eating and called up my glam squad so they can do my hair and makeup for the day. Just kidding. Of course, I don't have a glam squad, just as I don't have a net worth of $175 million.
My verdict: While Kim's morning routine are similar to most people's, I didn't particularly find it special. I can see myself sustaining it, sure, but it isn't enough to make me rip myself off the bed every day at six. No, thank you.
Day 2: Jessica Alba
Next on this list is Jessica Alba — actress and entrepreneur. She's the founder of The Honest Company and Honest Beauty; companies I greatly admire. Seeing as she's running a business currently at valued at $1.7 billion, Jessica must be doing something right, right?
She starts her day at 5:30 a.m. using the alarm clock on her phone, or via her children. After she gets out of bed, she washes her face, puts on moisturizer, and finishes with a spritz. She likes to take morning workout classes before she heads to the office, and her class of choice is either hot yoga or spinning. And she always does this with her girlfriends. After working out, she does a quick beauty routine which is comprised of putting on primer, tinted moisturizer, concealer, brow filler, bronzer, mascara, and a lip crayon. Her breakfast is often a cup of coffee with almond milk, an avocado toast with gluten-free bread, or a coconut water smoothie. As she eats, she checks her CNN, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Buzzfeed apps. She gets to the office by 9 a.m., but not without engaging on a snuggle sesh with her kids.
My version: Oh my god, 5:30 a.m. is practically still the middle of the night, but I tried to do it anyway. Voila, after only four snooze button hits, I got up at around 6:15 and headed to the bathroom to get ready. I washed my face with a gentle cleanser, put on moisturizer, and sprayed my face with rose water. I booked a SoulCycle class that morning, and since none of my pals wanted to take an AM spinning class with me, I dragged my sister instead. It was my first ever SoulCycle experience btw, and it sucked the life out of me, but let's save that for another story.
When I got home, I found out I didn't have avocado nor gluten-free bread, so I just prepared coffee and added in almond milk. I didn't enjoy the taste, as I prefer adding creamer, so I did just that. I sat down on the couch while enjoying my cup of coffee, and read the news. I ended up on Reddit browsing through skin care routines of other people, but what the hell, sue me. I took a shower, then followed Jessica's morning routine. I quickly realized that I didn't even have plans to get out of the house that day, but at least I looked pretty while I worked in the comfort of my home.
My verdict: Never will I attempt to wake up at 5:30 a.m. ever again. Not unless you pay me with $1.7 billion. I did enjoy SoulCycle though, even though it killed me, but I don't see myself shelling out $30 a day just to technically bike in place. Oh, and while I'm a fan of almond milk on its own, I won't ever pair it again with coffee.
Day 3: Barack Obama
Nothing but respect for MY president! Barack Obama is one of my favorite people in the whole entire universe, and since he successfully managed to run a country for eight full years, that means he must be one of the most insanely productive people in the history of ever.
During his presidency, Obama clocked in a total of six hours of sleep a night, yet he started his day two hours before his first scheduled event or meeting. He always begins his day with a workout, along with an episode of SportsCenter, and he never ever skips his breakfast. He typically eats eggs, bacon, and wheat toast, but had to give up bacon when his doctor advised him to. While having brekky, he reads the newspaper, and not the digital kind, but the paper kind. He doesn't drink coffee, but he keeps himself hydrated with tons of water and orange juice throughout the day.
My version: Since I work from home, I don't usually have scheduled events, and my meetings are often relegated to Skype or Google Hangouts calls. But since I often start working at around 9 to 10 a.m., I set the alarm for 7 a.m., and what do you know, I got up on time! I hope Obama doesn't read this because I have a confession to make: I skipped the working out portion. To be fair, my muscles were unbearably sore due to the SoulCycle session the day before, and no matter how hard I had tried, I couldn't lift a finger. I proceeded to prepare a hearty breakfast but decided to keep the bacon bit, because I felt that I deserved it. I also tried just drinking orange juice instead of coffee, but newsflash: I broke down in the middle of the day and immediately had to gulp down a mug. While eating, I read my latest copy of The New Yorker because honestly, I wasn't about to subscribe to a newspaper for just one morning.
My verdict: I think my favorite part was devouring a big breakfast, as it gave me the energy to power through the day. I also found reading the paper, albeit mine was a magazine, was somewhat refreshing, as I spent a good half an hour not glued to a digital screen. Obama's morning routine was actually nice, and I didn't even think about mourning the entire time. But then again, I skipped working out, so that played a part in making my morning a bit more bearable.
Day 4: Arianna Huffington
If you don't know who Arianna Huffington is, that's okay, because you've probably read her website anyway. She is the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post and is listed by Forbes as the 52nd Most Powerful Woman in the World. Seeing as she's a powerful woman in media, an industry that I would like to break into, and the fact that I've spent hours of my life reading her website, I thought that she's a great woman to emulate.
Arianna is a big proponent of sleep. In fact, she is now a recognized sleep evangelist. 95% of the time, she gets a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night. Before going to bed, she disconnects from her electronic devices for the sake of her sleep and overall wellbeing. Most nights, she's in bed by 11 p.m. because her goal is to catch the “midnight train.” If there's one thing you should know about her, it's that she is not a fan of alarms, and she doesn't believe in the snooze button either. And if she does have to use an alarm, she always sets it for the last possible moment she has to get up. Arianna isn't a breakfast person, but she loves her morning coffee (although she has a rule of not consuming caffeine after 2 p.m.). More specifically, the Bulletproof Coffee. She spends 20-30 minutes meditating and then spends half an hour on the stationary bike, or does some yoga.
My version: By the time I realized I was supposed to follow Arianna Huffington's routine the next morning, it was midnight, so I already broke her rule of sleeping before 11 p.m. I then tried my hardest to stay away from my smartphone and read a book before snoozing off. I didn't set an alarm, a decision which I immediately regretted when I woke up at freaking 11 in the morning!!! I already wasted half the day, so I skipped meditation and did some stretches instead and attempted to do some arm workouts. My body was still a bit sore, so I didn't manage to power through. I had no idea how to make Bulletproof Coffee, so I made a regular one, and then proceeded with my day.
My verdict: Never will I ever fail to set the alarm again! While I admire her dedication to catching the required hours of sleep a night — something I would try to do in the future — I am highly dependent on my waking device, and I don't see myself changing anytime soon.
Day 5: Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston is one of my favorite actresses of all time, so I figured I would try her a.m. process. Seeing as she's 48 years old and looks like she hasn't aged since her days on Friends, I assumed that she has some secret sauce for getting that youthful glow, and I was bound to replicate whatever it is.
Jen wakes up at 4:30 in the morning on a workday and 8 to 9 a.m. on weekends. She immediately prepares a cup of hot water lemon and her morning beauty routine consists of cleansing her face with soap and water and applying a moisturizer with SPF. She then spends 20 minutes to meditate, or 10 if she's short on time. Afterwards, she eats breakfast, usually a protein shake, toast, and poached eggs, or cereal with almond milk and bananas. She then does a workout with her personal trainer, who she takes spin and yoga classes with. As if that's not enough working out for the day, she heads to the gym to do strength training, or just keeps to herself on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical.
My version: I already learned my lesson that I could not, for the life of me, wake up in the wee hours of the morning, so I got up at 8 a.m. instead. I prepared a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon, which I enjoyed so much that I decided to make another cup. I washed my face with soap and water, put on some sunscreen, then unfurled my yoga mat. I opened the Headspace app and did some meditation, something I found relaxing. I don't have a personal trainer, obviously, so I just did my usual workouts with the help of YouTube videos. I then ate breakfast which consisted of regular cereal, almond milk, and bananas.
My verdict: I don't think I'll ever have the initiative to wake up at 4:30 every day, but I found waking up at 8 a.m. manageable. I also think that Jen's morning beauty routine isn't for me, as I suffer from rosacea, so just soap, water, and moisturizer won't cut it. Everything else though, I loved, like setting aside time for motivation, chugging down a cup of lemon water, and eating cereal with almond milk and bananas. It really is quite tasty!
Day 6: Kayla Itsines
If you don't know who Kayla Itsines is, then you're missing out. She's my all-time favorite fitness superstar, and I follow a lot of her online workouts. You might have seen a couple of her transformation pictures sprawled across the Internet, or perhaps on Instagram video commercials. As someone who wants to achieve a bikini bod someday, I figured Kayla's routine was worth trying.
Kayla wakes up at 5:30 a.m. every morning and switches on the light to wake herself up. The first thing she reaches for is her phone and spends about 15 minutes to check everything. Surprisingly, she doesn't do her usual intense workouts in the morning because she gets nauseous when she does, but she works out on the treadmill for half an hour. Her skin routine consists of scrubbing her entire body, washing her face twice, and putting on moisturizer. She has the same breakfast every day, which consists of two pieces of toast, two scrambled eggs with sumac spice and kale, an espresso shot, and a cup of green tea. She also brings her dogs to a local park and lets them roam free.
My version: As stated before, I gave up on trying to wake up before the sun is up, so I woke up two hours later instead at 7:30. Surprisingly, I didn't find it particularly dreadful! Maybe it's my body's way of telling me that I can be a morning person after all. I check my phone for texts and emails, then I got up and went outside to walk around my apartment complex. I took a shower after and scrubbed my body from head to toe. I then prepared breakfast which consisted of toast, scrambled eggs sans the sumac spice and kale, and a cup of green tea. I don't have dogs, but god I wish I did.
My verdict: I found walking outside in the morning kind of stimulating, even though I didn't attempt to run or sprint. I also found taking an extra long shower in the morning to be super refreshing, and found that it also gave me an added boost of energy. The only thing I didn't like was consuming green tea, as it didn't give me the caffeine I needed, so as usual, I resorted to coffee later in the day. Maybe I'll get used to this. Maybe.
Day 7: Taylor Swift
Ah, of course. Taylor Alison Swift. While I'm not particularly a massive fan, I do enjoy her music and her inspiring work ethic. Her $280 million net worth is hardly anything to sneeze at, and as she's been included in Time's 100 most influential people in the world list not only once, but TWICE, Taylor made me want to have her life. Look what you made me do, Tay.While there's no accurate account of Swift's morning routine, I followed Bustle's made up version, which is actually what I imagined Taylor's morning looked like. According to that, she wakes up at 7 a.m. every morning and begins her day by making some tea, eating some toast, and, playing with her precious cats Meredith and Olivia. She then goes to the gym to work out, and then grabs brunch with her girl gang right after. Then, of course, she heads to the studio.
My version: At this point, waking up at 7 a.m. was a breeze, so that was not a problem. After making my bed (I know, right), I made a cup of green tea and prepared toast before heading to another SoulCycle class. I had purchased their beginner's package, so after my first session, I got a free one. I wasn't in the mood to have brunch that day, but I grabbed a cup of yogurt from a bougie store called Pressed Juicery (and let's face it, Taylor is bougie), and thought that would suffice.
Also, if you didn't take a workout selfie, did you really work out at all?
My verdict: Even though it's made up, I highly enjoyed Taylor's no-fuss morning routine. (I can't believe I just typed that.) I am also slowly becoming a SoulCycle fanatic, so I purchased more classes when I came home, much to the qualms of my bank account. I don't have a musical bone in my body, and cannot bust a tune to save my life, so I just proceeded with my day doing what I do best: write.
So I could be a morning person?
Yes. Maybe. Possibly. TOTALLY. I had found that it's entirely feasible to train yourself to become an early riser if you just stick to a strict schedule and dedicate yourself to it. While I don't think I would stop being a nocturnal (I really really enjoy my quiet nights), I learned that waking up early isn't so bad after all! Over the next few months, I'm planning on creating a modified version of all the morning routines that I tried, and conjure one that would best for me. I really believe that I could find a balance between being an early bird and a night owl, and if I manage to do so, I'll maybe write a book about my experience. Just kidding.
Now, if you don't mind, I have to take a nice long nap.