Photo by jurvetson
By Peter Clemens
Waking early is without a doubt one of the biggest changes I have made since starting my personal development journey. Previously I was one of those people who would continually hit the snooze button on his alarm and would only get up when it got to the point where I really had to. Why wake up early then you may ask? Well let me explain how and why I won the Battle of the Bed….
Why Wake Early?
The 2 following reasons are why I decided to start waking early each day:
- I believe that if you wake early each day it is a sign that you are happy with your life. It shows that would are excited about the coming day. It shows that you are motivated to succeed.
- The morning is the best time to work on yourself. Take what Robin Sharma calls a “Holy Hour” to read from the great books, meditate, exercise or some other positive action such as reviewing your goals or personal mission statement. For further ideas of how to spend the morning read my post 24 Daily Habits.
How I Won The Battle of the Bed
Here are what I consider to be the three most important things that have allowed me to start happily waking up early each morning:
- Watch what you eat & drink each night: after 5pm each night I avoid caffeine and sugary foods and drinks. I also avoid alcohol on weeknights. I can guarantee that doing this will make a huge difference to you. Instead of acting like a retarded zombie when I first wake up (my fiancee once called me this) I now bound out of bed full of energy.
- Go to bed early: this can be summed up by the saying: “early to bed, early to rise”. I try to go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 5am during the week. I also suggest reading a novel just before bed, to give your brain an opportunity to wind down.
- Do something you love in the morning: I love reading, I love blogging, I love spending time with my little boy. Waking up early gives me a chance to do these things in the morning. If you hit the snooze button each morning and wake at the last possible opportunity, everything is going to be a rush.
I think its important to note that the benefits of waking early come when you use your extra time productively. Don’t spend too much time “surfing”.
If you are still not convinced or can never see yourself as being an early riser, I would recommend what Steve Pavlina calls a 30-day trial. That is, you don’t need to commit to it forever. Just give it a go and see what impact it has on your quality of life.
If you do follow this approach, do give it the full 30 days as you really need some time to adjust to a new habit. It won’t necessarily be easy to begin with, and I would actually suggest a gradual approach. By this I mean if you traditionally wake up at 7am, don’t set your alarm clock for 5am tomorrow morning. Set it for 6.30am, and when you are comfortable with that, set it for 6am, then 5.30am, and then 5am. I was actually stuck on 5.30am for sometime before I felt comfortable setting my alarm clock to 5am.
If you are considering taking up this challenge, good luck!