We all want to be better, more productive versions of ourselves. Especially when we’re busy, rising early will help us gain back those lost hours in the day. I know it may sound horrible to wake up earlier than absolutely necessary, but TRUST ME it’s so, so worth it. I even listed it in my 10 Habits of Successful People to Start in 2018 post. Especially if you always feel behind and stressed, this post is for you!
GO TO BED EARLY
Of course, this is a given. The message behind this tip is important. You have to do more than just want to rise early – you have to live it. Giving up late night Netflix binges may be necessary, but after a few days of the extra time and productivity rising early affords you, going to bed early won’t be nearly as bad.
Ok, so you went to bed early. But before you do that you need to remove absolutely all barriers to you waking up early in the morning. One of these barriers is having to look for things (like, gym clothes) and it will discourage you from getting up. Remember, getting up is the hard part so you need to make everything else easy.
GIVE YOURSELF SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
If you’re going to the gym, when you get home reward yourself with a nice and healthy breakfast and do something relaxing while you eat. Or maybe make yourself a nice coffee. Whatever you enjoy, leave it for the morning.
KNOW WHY YOU WANT TO GET UP EARLY
Is it because you want a fit, healthy body and there isn’t time to go to the gym after work? Or maybe it’s to grow your online or side business so you can hopefully quit your 9-5. Knowing why you do this will get you up on the days it is especially hard. I know this post is quote-heavy already, but the mantra by Jerry Rice that helps me is: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”
GET OFF YOUR PHONE
Screen time before bed hurts our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you’re in the habit of checking Instagram or other apps before bed, do that an hour or so before you plan to fall asleep.
PICTURE YOUR PERFECT MORNING
You can plan your perfect, productive day working on your passion projects but that isn’t always feasible if you’re working a 9-5 in a completely unrelated field. The wonderful thing about mornings is that you have all the control in the world over them, you just have to take the leap and wake yourself up. Half the time, this is what wakes me up in the mornings. As I wake up, I think “this single effort is going to keep me on track and happy for the rest of the day. If you don’t get up, then you will feel tired, grumpy, and unproductive.”
DON’T MAKE EXCUSES FOR YOURSELF
They simply don’t exist anymore (unless you’re sick, of course, but thats not an excuse). You can’t get it done later. You won’t go to the gym after work. You need to hold yourself accountable to do the things you don’t want to do at that get you where you want to be.
GET YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER ON BOARD
Especially if you sleep in the same bed. Evan had this terrible (but wonderful) way of pulling me back into the bed when I wanted to wake up early. We had to have a serious talk, because in the mornings at that point I did not have enough willpower to say no. Now my willpower is a little stronger and Evan understands that me waking up early is necessary to me being a happier, more productive human which will also benefit our relationship. He still won’t get up with me, but maybe one day!
DON’T PUT PRESSURE ON YOURSELF
Once you’re able to successfully get up early – that’s awesome! The mornings are yours! Keep in mind just like any other day, mornings can still feel unproductive. Have the mindset that you are capable of having productive mornings, but just like any other day it’s ok to have a morning where you watch Youtube or scan Pinterest for inspiration. You are accomplished just by having the discipline to rise early. The productivity will come with time, but in the early stages it will take some adjustment from your mind and body. Even after, it’s important to savor those sweet morning times to yourself and give yourself some love every now and then by doing a morning meditation or going for a nice long walk instead of being chained to your computer.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Knowing what you’ve accomplished in the early mornings will give you motivation to keep your productivity going. This will also help you when you have those off mornings that make you feel like you aren’t productive. Realizing your accomplishments and keeping them on your mind will also help you to feel like a happier, more effective human being.
DON’T MAKE TOO MUCH OF A CHANGE TOO SOON
Instead of shocking your body with waking up 3 hours sooner than normal, set your alarm for 15-30 minutes earlier than your normal wake time to make the change seem less severe. Adjust your wake up time weekly until you reach your desired time.
These tips may seem overwhelming, but you can take a few at a time and incorporate others as you see fit. Getting up early has changed my life considerably for the better and I feel so much more productive, energized, and capable because of it!
What do you do to help wake yourself up early?