Waking up early in the morning is something that most people hate, but that’s because most people don’t choose to do it. We have memories of having to wake up every morning for school, and then mom waking us up early on Saturdays to help get things done around the house. Sunday morning for many of us meant crawling out of bed early to get ready for church. There was always a reason to have to wake up early, but the importance of it was never explained well if at all.

Short Version
  • Go to bed earlier
  • Set the alarm clock out of reach
  • Be up and going within 60 seconds
  • Have an agenda for the morning
  • Set new goals you can work on in the morning
  • Exercise in the morning helps¬†your day
  • Creativity often blossoms in the early morning

There are people who function better as night owls, but the majority of us would be at our best with a routine that follows Ben Franklin’s early to bed, early to rise maxim (which he stole from Aristotle, by the way). The habit of waking up early is an important part of increasing productivity and establishing a solid foundation for the day ahead. It can indeed make us healthier, wealthier, and wiser.

It’s also not the easiest habit to establish, especially if your sleep routine has been one of staying up late and waking just in time to get where you need to be for a long time. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and the results will be well worth the initial discomfort. If you want to become an early riser and get more out of your life, read on…

Prepare Ahead of Time

It should go without saying that if you set 6 am as your goal for waking up, you shouldn’t be up playing your PS4 at one in the morning. Set a bedtime that gives you at least 30 minutes of laying still and quiet before your sleep time goal. If you want to be asleep by 10 pm, make sure that you start getting ready for bed in time to be laying down at 9:30. If you plan on watching TV or reading before you sleep, make sure you stop 30 minutes before you plan to sleep.

Don’t drink caffeine after dinner if you can help it. It’s best to cut off the caffeine by five or six in the evening to be asleep by ten or eleven. If you have a habit of hitting snooze on your alarm clock, move it out of reach. You need to be up and out of your bed within 60 seconds of your alarm sounding or you might try to rationalize another ten minutes, which might turn into an hour or more. Turn a light on as soon as your alarm goes off.

For at least two weeks, spend a few minutes before bed thinking about waking up in the morning. Visualize yourself hopping up and getting dressed as soon as the alarm goes off. Picture the time being whatever your goal time is. This visualization exercise conditions your mind to accept and prepare for the action ahead of time, which makes it easier when it comes.

Set Your Agenda

Unless you have a reason to wake up early, you probably won’t. Any reason will do, as long as it’s something important to you. Your reason doesn’t have to be anything remarkable or noble. It can be a simple as wanting to enjoy the sunrise on the deck with a cup of coffee, but it needs to be specific and not vague. You should walk through in your mind exactly what you are going to do after you wake up.

I recommend having an agenda for at least the first two hours you are awake. The more you plan the better, but at least don’t start the day’s momentum floundering around with no plan. You might work out as soon as you get up (a very good idea), or you might fix breakfast. You may just make a pot of coffee and go straight to working. Whatever it is, assign it in advance. Having a set schedule for first thing in the morning will set you on a productive and rewarding pace for the day.

 Accomplish Something

The combination of having a desire to wake up early for a reason and setting an agenda should yield goals. You might start out with specific goals, or you may develop them as you go, but either way you should decide on some kind of goal from the outset just as motivation. That goal can be changed or altered at any point if need be. As you settle into a routine of having more time available, you’ll probably come up with some new goals.

Again, these goals don’t have to be massive. You may finally get around to having a quiet time every day. You can read the books you’ve wanted to for so long. That start-up idea that’s been floating around your head could get fleshed out. Maybe you sign up for a class somewhere. Just make sure that whatever your goal is, it will somehow improve your life, and preferably the lives of others as well. On any kind of goal, some sort of self-assessment is a marvelous, if underused, tool for improving.

Benefits of Rising Early

If you take full advantage of your early-rising habit, a feeling of accomplishment and possibility will be obvious benefits, but there are plenty of others as well. Increased productivity would be another benefit that should be rather obvious. When your productivity increases, your stress generally decreases, so there’s another very nice side effect.

When you wake early and at a specific time every morning, your body will adapt to the new routine. Your bedtime will also become more consistent, which means your entire sleep pattern will be more regulated. This is an important and valuable health benefit in many ways. If you make the decision to get more exercise with your new schedule, your health will get even more of a boost.

For many people, the early morning is the most creative time of the day. If you write, paint, make music, or do anything else that requires creative thinking, the first part of your day could take you to new places within your creative little mind and unleash your best ideas.

Challenge yourself and try it for 30 days. Let us know in the comments how your experience was.

  • You’ll have to force yourself to get up at first, but it gets easier
  • Make a point to be grateful first thing in the morning. Another day, another chance.
  • Sunrises are almost as beautiful as sunsets
  • Accomplish great things
  • Make sure you have some quiet time to yourself every day

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About The Author

Wally Peterson

Wally Peterson is a writer and aspiring beach bum living sixty seconds from the sand in the southern Outer Banks of North Carolina. He has a face made for blogging and his idea of fashion is wearing socks.

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