We all have one thing in common: every night we all go to bed and every day we all wake up. Each day we have the opportunity to start again, seize the day and create the life we want. It is such an amazing opportunity that we should all be jumping out of bed every morning with total excitement to start our day. Alas, I know that is not the case for many people. The truth is, many of us get up late, rush through our mornings, feel behind and play catch up most of the day while trying to accomplish 27 important tasks. Sound familiar? It’s common for people to hit snooze several times and lie in bed until the absolute last moment before getting up for their day. Many highly successful people start their day early because they know the advantage it gives them in their work and in life. While most people are in dreamland or savoring their last few minutes in bed, early risers are up exercising, reading, writing, meditating and working. Business icons like Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been said to wake up as early as 4:30am to exercise and do their most important tasks before breakfast. Let’s look at the reasons waking early can help increase your success in life:
- Your willpower is strongest in the morning. Contrary to popular belief, willpower is a finite resource that runs low by the end of your day. Your willpower it is like a muscle that becomes tired with overuse. This means you have a higher chance of accomplishing something challenging or important earlier in the day.
- Your morning rituals set the tone for the rest of your day. Rising early gives you time for reading, journaling, gratitude practice, exercise, and other rituals that set you up to feel good for the rest of the day. Creating positive energy in the morning significantly shifts the way you engage with the world throughout the day.
- You have more focus and less distraction in the mornings. The quiet morning allows time to do top-priority things before other people’s priorities creep into your day. Once you are at work your attention and time might be pulled in several different directions. Rising early, however, gives you the morning to yourself.
- You have time to plan, organize, and anticipate. You can use the early morning to set goals, plan the day and solve problems. This often leads to higher productivity and better achievement of goals. The early bird catches the worm, as they say, because the early bird is a step ahead of the crowd and has their day under control.
Believe it or not, if you were to start getting up one hour earlier each day you would gain 15 days a year. That is an extra 2 weeks you can gain by waking earlier! Imagine being able to spend that time on a passion project or reading books or setting yourself up for success. It’s all possible, you just have to commit to rising early. Try these four tips to slowly shift your waking habits:
- Set your alarm only 15 minutes earlier than your normal wake up time. Make the change incremental so your body can adjust slowly.
- Move your alarm clock across the room so you have to get up when it goes off. This is a good way to force yourself to get out of bed.
- Get up and brush your teeth. Moving your body helps you wake up.
- Drink a big glass of water right away. This gets your metabolism going and is cleansing for your body.
Here is to your early morning success! —— Stephanie C.N. is a life coach with a background in hypnotherapy and NLP. She blogs about wellness and self improvement here and runs an online membership program called Align With Wellness. Read more about her and contact her if you want to connect.