“Early bird gets the worm” or so they say. But is waking up early all it’s cracked up to be?
In my experience, the answer is yes.
Since I started freelancing full time in the fitness world, waking up early, usually between 5.15-5.30am almost every single day has become a habit. So much so that if I don’t do it for a while, I miss it.
The first question I get is “Why”. That’s easy to answer: my clients inspire me every single day. If they’re willing to get up to train at 6am, then I better show up with my game face and ready to work. On days I don’t have an early client, it’s *me* time. My son is sleeping, I have an espresso and I get to do personal development homework or reading. Or, I can go workout if it’s a training day. All of these activities put me in a great mental state for the day because I have quiet time to think and prepare for the day.
Ok, so you’re almost sold on the idea of getting up a little earlier. Here are a few more benefits:
- Mentally, you’re ready to take on the day in a more positive mindset. Time to #crushthemgoals
- You’ll feel more productive. Productivity = profits (got your attention now, haven’t I?)
- Enjoy more quality sleep; this can have a positive effect on your overall health and wellbeing.
- You have more time to exercise. (Yep, I went there #obvs).
Now… the other piece of the puzzle. Where do you start?
- The obvious: Set your alarm. Do this gradually and wake up 15 minutes earlier every morning until you’ve reached an ideal wake up time. Trying to wake up a full hour or two before your usual time can feel overwhelming and also exhausting.
- Less obvious (maybe?): Go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you’ve reached your ideal “bedtime”. And no, this doesn’t include scrolling on your phone once you’re in bed – turn it off!
- Plan. How you want to spend your morning? Is it having a coffee and reading the paper? (do people still do that?); morning meditation, workouts or even planning out your day are things that can help you get on the right track for a productive and positive day. Have an idea of how you prefer to spend your time. And it’s YOUR time so there’s no right or wrong or “I should”.
- Prepare. Once you know how you’re spending your newly found morning time, prepare what you’ll need to make it happen. Like your gym bag, having your wallet / car keys by the door so you’re not searching for them. Have your clothes picked out and your yoga mat ready in the living room.
- Be ready for it to suck. I’m not going to sugar coat this one – there are days that it is hard. Especially in the beginning. So, embrace the suck and do it anyway.
Keep in mind through this process that lifestyle changes or “positive habits” like this don’t happen right away (which is why I recommend a gradual approach). Having an accountability partner, or telling your family you plan to do this can help keep you motivated. And remember, the more you do it, the more habitual it becomes. Good luck!
Are you an early riser? How do you spend your time?