This was originally sent via our Wakeout newsletter. Sign up here if you’d like to get these in your inbox.
Waking up early is hard, which is why you should do it.
I wont try and convince you to wake up early by telling you that a lot of very successful people (like Tim Cook and The Rock) do. Instead, I’ll try an approach that’s more at home with our Wakeout audience — you guys like a challenge!
Waking up early is damn hard. I’ve been waking up at 5:30 every day for years and it’s still hard some days. There’s an inner voice that whispers “10 more minutes” that’s very seductive. The bed is warm, your eyelids are heavy and your body is deliciously relaxed.
And that’s the challenge! Defeating the seductive clutches of your bed early in the morning is one of the hardest things you can do. Harder than most things you’ll do the rest of your day. The pride and satisfaction you’ll get from overcoming drowsiness will carry you through the day, ready to face the next (less daunting) challenge.
I’m a firm believer in setting off productivity-chain reactions early in the morning. Waking up early is a big victory that sets the mood for the rest of the day.
The quiet hours
There’s few comparisons with the peace and quiet one experiences waking up before the world around you gets going. Life stands still. The sun is barely showing itself and the chill of the night still lingers.
This is a wonderful time to get creative, to meditate and reflect, to plan the day’s victories. Your serene surroundings will give you the calm necessary to dive deep into your mind.
Morning people are happier, healthier people
It’s true! Studies show morning people report feeling positive more often than night owls. They also report feeling healthier more frequently. The reason isn’t fully understood, but I’ll venture to guess it has something to do with the satisfying feeling we get when we get a lot from each day. Whatever it is, waking up early makes you smile.
You wont feel cranky and groggy when you actually have to wake up early
Whether it’s an early flight, or an early meeting, being a morning person makes you ready for the inevitable early life events. If you’re a night owl, you’ll dread it and have a bad day. But if you’re already a morning person, it’s business as usual.
How to train yourself to wake up early
Make it gradual. I started waking up consistently at 6:30 am. Every 3 days I would shave off 5 minutes on the alarm clock. Within a couple of months I was at 5:30am, my goal.
Have something to do immediately. If you don’t have an activity to do right when your alarm goes off, you’re likely to obey your inner voice that makes you hit that snooze button. Have something to do right off the batt: make some coffee, prepare a protein shake, write in your journal.
Sit up! As soon as your alarm goes off, sit up on the edge of your bed. Doesn’t matter if you’re still tired. Evaluate if you want to hit the snooze button only after you’re sitting, and see if you’re still tired.
Let natural light in. This tip changed my waking up habits quickly. Letting the sun in is a natural, healthy alarm clock that’s proven to get your body going. If you live high up north or south of the equator, you should consider buying a natural light alarm clock .
Get active with a Wakeout! Before Wakeout, I would do situps, pushups and jumping jacks as soon as I woke up. This habit was one of the inspirations that became Wakeout. It works wonders, gets your blood pumping quickly, ready for anything life throws at you.
Go to bed early, duh! If you’re going to bed late every day, waking up early would be counter productive. Getting a good rest is key to waking up naturally and early with energy to conquer the day.
Have an awesome week!