Photo by Thomas & Dianne Jones
Waking up early is one of the best changes I made in my life. I gradually increased my wake up time. I went from 8 a.m. to 7 a.m. After a week I went from 7 a.m. to 6 a.m. and finally going from 6 a.m. to 5 a.m.
It’s great to have all that extra time and do the things I love to do: Playing guitar, running my business from home, writing blogs, writing songs, working out, running, reading and spending lots of time with my wife and children.
It’s the greatest reward and reminder for waking up early.
I wake up early at least 5 days a week. I like to wake up early two or three days in a row and then one day sleep late. (7.30 a.m.) At night I go to bed at 11 p.m. Not a minute later. If I go to bed at 12 p.m. and try to wake up early it won’t work.
I tried many different ways and figured out the one that worked best for me. I think this is different for everyone so you have to experiment with this. Originally I am a night owl and waking up early is not something that came naturally for me, but it has become a habit and it’s the best thing ever!
Here are 15 ways and benefits to make this thing work:
1 – Excitement
You got to have at least one or two good reasons that will make you want to jump out of bed of Excitement. When that alarm clock goes off you got to know what you are doing it for. A dream goal or something you are incredibly passionate about are reasons that work pretty well. Build up that excitement the night before, so when it’s time to wake up you are still on steroids.
2 – Wake up early enough
To stay excited you got to wake up early enough so you can really get some work done.
Wake up at least one or two hours earlier than you would normally do. You can build it up gradually from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. The next week you can go from 30 minutes to an hour and finally you can try to wake up 2 hours earlier. This is where you can seriously get some amazing work done.
3 – Focus
Spend your time wisely. The moment you wake up start working on your passion. Don’t take your eye off the ball. Get away from distractions. Turn off electronic devices such as mobile phones, Internet and TV. Be focused and just work on the one thing that will make you happy.
4 – Prepare
Prepare the night before. Write down what your plan is for the morning. What are the things that will make a difference and will be worth while waking up early. What is your longterm plan to keep the exitement going. Make a step by step plan to reach your dream goal.
Prepare your breakfast for the morning and get some stuff together the night before to make things easy and comfortable.
5 – Time limit
Set time limits for the things you do. To keep the focus on your project or for the sake of productivity set limits of 30 minutes or an hour if you have different things you need to work on. Time limits will keep you from being distracted or wasting any time. Time limits work.
6 – The long term
To make this thing work you need to wake up early for at least 3 to 4 weeks in a row. It’s okay to have 1 or 2 breaks a week, but wake up early at least 5 times per week for a month.
By this time waking up early has become a habit and you have overcome all the beginners obstacles. Now you’re in it for the long term. Congratulations!
7 – Rationalize
The moment you wake up don’t you dare to rationalize. Every second you try this you are lost. Stop your thinking process immediately. Trying to think of the exitement ahead could work but it’s also dangerous because your opening your mind for discussion. The devil on your shoulder will give you the cons of going out of bed and pros of sleeping in. Don’t give in to the dark side. Just turn off the alarm clock and step out.
8 – Mantra
If you do get trapped into rationalizing, speak out your mantra. Create a mantra for yourself to make sure you wake up early. The mantra should contain a few brilliant keywords to define the reasons why you want to wake up early.
9 – Accountability
Let your family and friends know you are going to wake up early. If you tell people about it you feel more accountable to do so. You want to live up to what you preach. Share your excitement on waking early on Twitter and Facebook. The more people you tell the better it is.
10 – Reflect
Reflect everyday on what you have accomplished by waking up early. Most people only think about what they still have to do and don’t think about what they have already done. By reflecting on your accomplishments you get a feeling of fulfillment. This is important to keep you motivated at all times.
11 – Go to bed
Go to bed early. Don’t stay up late to watch some more comedy series or late night shows. They won’t get you anywhere. Instead get something amazing acomplished the next morning.
If you don’t go to bed early you won’t succeed in waking up early. It’s important that you do.
Make this thing work!
12 – Mark your calender
Write down each day you’ve accomplished to wake up early. This way you become concious of your successes throughout the weeks. The more marks you see on your calender, the more you want to stick with it.
13 – Healthy lifestyle
You need to be in a good mental and physical condition to wake up early. A good health also gives you the spirit to motivate yourself. Exercise, workout or start running to get yourself in shape. Eat healthy foods and drink enough water to make the best out of your day.
14 – Alarm clock
If you have an alarm clock with a built in CD player or a MP3player with a built in alarm clock you can wake up with your favorite music. Choose music that will get you excited and that will motivate you to get out of bed.
You can also put your alarm clock a few feet so you really need to get out of bed to turn the alarm off. Once you are out of bed it’s easier to get out of the bedroom into the bathroom to fresh up.
15 – Reward
Reward yourself for waking up early. Make yourself a nice breakfast, a delicious cappucinno, relaxing afterwards, etc. There are many ways to reward yourself but eventually the best reward is waking up early itself. The work you’ve done, the art you created, the things you studied and the progress towards your dreamgoal will be the best reward you can give yourself.
How to enjoy and get the most out of your morning (enrich your life):
– Prepare a heavenly breakfast.
– Relax, listen to the birds and watch a beautiful sunrise.
– Find your life passion if you haven’t yet.
– Start working on your dreamgoal
– Read a book
– Learn a new language
– Learn to play an instrument
– Write a novel
– Make yourself a hot cappuccino.
– Start a blog
– Start working out, go running, cycling, walking or yoga.
– Create a painting or a sculpture.
– Take a distance learning course
– Get some important work done first thing in the morning.
– Have some toast with ham, cheese and pineapple.
– Declutter your home.
– Listen to your favorite music
– Organize and backup your photos and movies.
– Put a pitcher of water on the table and pour a glass once in a while.
– Start your own business from home.
– Simplify your life
Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it. – Richard Whately