I posted recently about waking up at an early hour, and I wanted to expand on that a bit. If you have ever tried it for a stretch of time, you know that it can feel something like a drug. When you’re used to it, your body really likes it, and craves it. Recently, I have been exercising some sort of peer pressure. More by accident, some friends have been very interested in my behavior, and have focused more on waking up early, consistently, themselves. This is awesome to me. It makes me feel inspirational and motivates me to wake up early even more. Because of this, I’ve been sharing some tips that helped with me that I have learned.
One that I talked at length about with a friend was the idea that it won’t be perfect right away. If this is your goal, to eventually wake up early and be super productive and feel great without an alarm clock, you might be disappointed. It is difficult, especially if you are used to dragging yourself into bed at 4am and out of bed at 4pm. However, it can be done. When you do it, don’t focus on doing it perfectly. Just do it. One method that accounts for this is slowly receding your wake up time, around 15 minutes earlier each day, until you get to your desired time. I did not use this method. Instead, I forced myself to get up at 4am, and was content with just achieving that for a few days. Once you have built up experience, your habit will become more perfect, but it won’t be perfect right away.
When I began getting up at 4 (a lot of what helped actually), I began getting tired around 8:30 each evening. I don’t always go to bed at this time, and sometimes I will sleep until 5 or even 6 if I feel the need. The point is, the earlier you are waking up, the earlier you will be ready to sleep each evening, and you have to listen to that need. If you don’t, you won’t get enough sleep, and your body will fight hard to sleep in every day.
Another thing that helps a great deal is looking forward to something to do that early in the morning. You can think of it as your reason for getting out of bed. A friend tells me that in order to get her daily walk and read the newspaper, she has to get out of bed at 5:30, or she will miss at least one of them, and not enjoy the day as much. For me, it’s writing by myself in the dark and quiet. It helps me think before everything gets busy. I have a friend who gets to the gym right at 5:00, so he can beat the morning rush. Think of something that’s more enjoyable than being in bed. Now think harder and find something.
Acknowledging that you are more important than your job or classes is the most rewarding part of the process. If you get out of bed at 6:45, with just enough time to get ready and be at work by 7:30, you are essentially admitting that work is more important than yourself, and whether you want to sleep, you woke up to be at work. If you wake up well before work, you are demonstrating that you woke up by choice, because you wanted to, and it was not something that you felt obligated to do. This shows a high respect for yourself. However, it helps to have a commitment for some people to feel motivated in waking up. Whether this is a commitment to the self, or to a friend to meet at the gym, it can be helpful in persuading you to follow through when more relies on it.
It is something I really enjoy doing, and I can’t tell you how invigorating it is to tell people what time I woke up each day. It is something I will likely write about in the future. Many reactions exclaim that they roll out of bed, late and groggy, and they seem envious. I encourage them to do it too!