Your relationship with your mornings has a huge impact on all areas of your life. Most successful people get up early and many of them follow a morning routine. There is nothing like proactively starting your day to make progress with your goals, whatever they may be. It also helps you to become a happier person.
Four Reasons for Getting Up Early:
- Proactive versus Reactive
When you get up like most people – reactively instead of proactively then you are starting your day with resistance. It is very bad to use the snooze function as it just amplifies this negative mindset (I used to snooze heavily, but since a few years I don’t do this anymore). If you get up with purpose and by consciously choosing to get up then that creates a state of flow and motivation. You feel empowered rather than disempowered. That’s the way to start your day if you want to make the best of it.
- Morning Rituals
If you get up early and motivated then you can do a morning ritual – this can be exercise, meditation, reading something that is important for you or that is motivating, affirmations. Doing something that will benefit you in the long term and that conditions your mind to function at a high level during the day and that energizes your body. You can set the tone of the day and have a positive impact that will make things go more smoothly throughout the day. I like to write out things I am grateful for and plan the things I want to do during the day.
- Morning Time is precious
The morning time is a very quiet time. You will especially appreciate this if you are living with a family or in a crowded space. You can do something where you need good concentration. Your mind is fresh and not yet overloaded with stimulation and outside demands and distractions. This clarity is great for creative work, for example for writing.
- Identity Level Change
Like with Making Your Bed and the Smiling Meditation getting up early in the morning is a way you can change your identity. If you change your identity then you are going to feel differently about yourself and certain things that didn’t feel familiar are going to become second nature to you. This way you can become a more driven, productive and happy person – because your identity changes and you feel happier with yourself. You are living your life in a more beneficial way for yourself, a way that is in alignment with your goals and values. Getting up early with a purpose gets you in the habit of being proactive instead of passive. This is an extremely important attitude to cultivate.
The first twenty years of my life I hated mornings. I never liked getting up and even skipped eating breakfast so that I could snooze a little bit longer before going to school at the last moment. A few years ago I did a meditation retreat and for ten days I was getting up at 4:30 each morning. People were walking around with a gong in the morning and the first few days were very rough. But then I really grew to appreciate it. I grew to appreciate how in the morning the sun was just coming up, everything being quiet and really making use of that time int he morning because it is such an amazing time. It can feel so great to get up in the morning. When you go by public transport in the morning and you see people being really tired or angry and in resistance and you are sitting there and you know: “I’ve done my morning routine, I’ve exercised, I’ve done my meditation and I feel great.” You are feeling completely different and instead of sabotaging yourself right in the morning you are kickstarting your day with enthusiasm, mental clarity and purpose. After the meditation retreat I experimented with getting up early but I didn’t manage to do it consistently. I still had this belief of “I’m not a morning person”. I didn’t feel comfortable getting up early all the time. But then I read an amazing book called “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. In this book he says that if you read the book and apply it then you’ll become a person who even on the weekends wants to get up early. I thought: “Yeah right…”. The funny thing is that’s exactly what has happened for me. Even on the weekends I’m getting up early because I enjoy getting up and I have stuff to do. I feel that there is a purpose to my life and a meaning to getting up early. I feel like it is significant and I feel motivated doing it, I enjoy it. I don’t enjoy sleeping in like I used to. It doesn’t feel right to me. I changed my identity around that. If you feel inspired to get up earlier and to establish a morning routine, to start your day proactively and with motivation:
Here are five steps you can do (from the book):
- A clear intention
The last thought you have before falling asleep carries over to your morning. So set a clear intention before falling asleep (I do this every evening before I fall asleep). I think to myself: “I’m gonna wake up in the morning and I’m going to feel happy, and I know that there are some things I’m going to do in the morning”.
- Put your alarm clock away from bed
Moving your body in the morning right away will help you wake up. You might be very motivated to get up the next morning on the day before, but then after you actually wake up it is a whole different story. This is why having a clear strategy and a strong reason for getting up early is very important. Then you are going to do it. You are going to feel great once you are doing it.
- Brush your teeth
That’s a very simple mindless activity. It does not take a lot of mental effort and further wakes you up. You can also say to yourself: “Okay, I’m just going to brush my teeth and afterwards I’m allowed to go back to bed.” That’s how I did it in the beginning. But the thing is that once you are up and moving it becomes increasingly easier to stay awake and continue.
- Drink some water
It’s very important to hydrate yourself in the morning as a lack of water can make you feel fatiqued and tired.
Put on your workout clothes or whatever is suitable for starting your morning (ritual).
Also remember to turn on your lights as soon as possible. It’s a little uncomfortable for the first few seconds but it helps to wake up. I know that might seem obvious but it’s really helpful.
If you change your attitude towards your mornings – the attitude in your whole life is going to shift. The way you start your days and what you bring to your mornings is going to impact your whole day. Your life is simply one day after another after another. If you change your mornings you change your days and you change your life. It’s really that simple. It has a huge impact. I’m not kidding. It completely changed my life and how I feel. It takes some effort to change that but once it has become a habit it will actually be easier to get up early than not. You’ll feel more comfortable getting up early and proactively starting your day than lying in bed or kind of wasting your morning and not making use of this precious time and opportunity.
I hope I was able to motivate you to try this and I’m excited to hear if you have tried this because this has helped me so much and I really wish that someone else can also benefit from it. I totally recommend “The Miracle Morning”, by Hal Elrod. It’s a great book and it is going to motivate you a lot.