I know there a couple different rhythms – some people are more naturally wired to stay up later and are quite effective. But I have found that getting up early helps me not only set a more positive tone for the day but helps me accomplish more. You don’t just happen to get up early and have a great morning routine. You have to plan for it.
Somewhere along the way, I started waking up early. Most of what you read in my blog has been written before 6:30 am. Most all the books I have read have been read before 7:00 am and most of the exercise I do is done before 7:45 am. For this to happen, I typically wake up a little before 5:00 am every day of the week.
Here’s a handful of tips for waking early:
Decide to get up early
Part of becoming an early riser is to overcome the mental barrier. Don’t say you can’t get up. Decide you’re going to get up early. If you had a job that required you to be there before 7:00, you would make it happen. Decide to create a morning routine, start small and do your best to make it happen as often as possible.
Sleep to prepare for the next day
Going to bed on time is key to being effective as an early morning riser. In fact, it can all backfire if you just wake up early without proper rest. One perspective that helped me was to consider sleep as a preparation for the next day, not just to recover from being tired. If you wait until you’re totally exhausted from today before going to bed, you’ll start the next day exhausted too. But if you go to sleep at a proper time with the mindset of “starting your next day” with good rest, I find more motivation for going to sleep earlier.
It’s a benefit to you and your whole family to carve out good bedtimes and waking times. It especially helps teens and kids with discipline and good habits in life.
Set out your stuff
Since reading the Power of Habit a few years ago, I have set out everything I need the night before. Part of my evening routine is to set out my tennis shoes, my Fitbit, socks, book, etc near my bed. It takes just seconds, but it signals my mind that I will be getting up to start a routine. In the Power of Habit book, Duhigg argues that just the act of setting stuff out will eventually motivate you to take action.
Make a list of your morning routine
I have an official morning routine written out. It morphs a bit here and there, and I haved posted about it over the years. But most evening, I still write my list down, which begins with 1) get up, 2) read, pray journal, 3) read, 4) write 5) walk… etc etc. I know now everyone is a list writer, but this helps me jump start.
Keep your phone plugged in another part of the room
Sleeping with your phone by your bed is an encouragement to wake up and look at your phone – for who knows how many minutes. This is a time-waster. A much better way of doing things is to put your phone on a table across from where you sleep. It will lessen the temptation to sleep through the alarm and will help you actaully get up and get moving when the time comes.