âFor most people, mornings are great for habits,â Rubin explains. And she would know. The bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Happier at Home is finishing up a new book all about habit formation. (Better Than Before comes out next March.)
âOur self-control tends to be strongest in the early hours,â she says. âAs the day goes on, it gets depleted by all the temptations and choices we face.â Plus, the morning tends to unfold in a predictable way. âLater on, complications arise and you may end up pushing off the activity.â
But resetting your alarm clockâand your bodyâs natural rhythmâto start a new habit, whether itâs meditating or jogging, can be painful. (For me, it has become a daily habit of hitting snooze, with the hope that any day now,Â I really will hit the gym before work!) That's why Rubin suggests seizing the end ofÂ Daylight Savings Time, when getting up early doesnât actually feel like getting up early.
If youâve been thinking about joining a yoga studio, instituting a regular walk with a friend, blocking out time to read for pleasure, or picking up any other healthy habit, try starting this Sunday. Just make sure itâs an activity you enjoy, says Rubin. âIf itâs something you want to do, youâll be more motivated to get out of bed every day going forward.â
One caveat for night owls: ThisÂ trick probably isn't for you.Â âThere are some people who prefer to stay up late, but struggle in the morning,â Rubin says. âFor them, a morning habit wonât make sense.â Heed your true nature, she says, and schedule your healthy habits at times that work best for you.