How Do I Wake Up Early?

“I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love.”
(Psalms 59:16)

Chanced upon this question on Quora and found the answers to be excellent and very useful/practical. Below is one of the better answers:

People operate from two platforms:  Fear or Excitement.  That’s it.  Just those two.  Think about this for a moment now and later throughout your week.  It will help you to understand motivation in yourself and others. These are the only two organic motivators.  They will dictate the things that you do or don’t do.

There’s two tricks to waking up early:

1.  You have to be excited about something to do in the morning.  If you’re not, then sleeping in as an option is always gonna feel better.  You probably can remember a time when you didn’t want to sleep in or couldn’t wait to get up.  That’s what we’re going to create here.

Trick number 2Be exhausted at night to get a reasonable bed time.

I don’t really believe that you should set an alarm clock EVER unless you have to wake up for something like an early flight. Getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep makes a day more enjoyable instead of feeling like a drain from being tired.  Your body tells you when you’re tired and if you ignore it it comes back on you by way of a half-assed day.  There’s people that sleep for 4 hours then drink a bathtub of coffee or 5 hour energy drinks to compensate for feeling like shit.  This is a shitty way to live.  Old people have this figured out.  They go to bed when the sun goes down and they get up when the sun rises.  Maximizing the amount of sunlight in your day will positively reinforce this habit.  You will be happier if you maximize the sunlight exposure you have in a day.  It’s science.  Once you get used to this this, you will be pissed at yourself on the days when you don’t get up early.  I love drinking beer and hanging out with my friends but I rarely ever do this because I’m addicted to how I feel in the morning when I’ve done all the most difficult things on my plate and have already exercised by 6AM.  It’s the best legal high you can have.

So here’s how to get excited even if you don’t have anything to get excited about:

Write 5 things down the night before that you need to get done. I’m not kidding this actually works and I thought it was bullshit when I first heard it so I didn’t do it for a long time.  Ironically, even if these are not fun things to do, you’ll have a purpose when you wake up and you’ll be excited to get them done.  But don’t say to yourself, “ok I know what they are I’m ready”. Actually write these down with a box next to them.  Even the prospect of accomplishing a difficult task this early in the morning is a great feeling.

Do the hardest thing on that list first.  Don’t check instagram, facebook, email or any of that shit.  Just get that first thing done.  It’s gonna suck but power through it.  If you’ve gotten this far, your life is about to significantly change for the better.

*other supplemental tricks that help with creating an environment that’s exciting to wake up to: 
*Clean your room or kitchen or car or all of those the day before so you can wake up to this. 
*If you like coffee or have a coffee machine, have that bitch queued up and ready the night before so all you have to do is push a button in the morning.

Then, the last thing you do after those 5 things are done is exercise for 35 minutes to an hour.  I recommend a crossfit class, swimming, riding a bike or running.  Something that’s difficult.  If you hate exercising, put some music on and just go for a run.  It’s 10-15 songs if you want to think of it that way.

Now eat a good breakfast.  Not before all of this.  And enjoy that shit ’cause you earned it.  And not waffles or donuts or mountain dew.  Eggs, vegetables and or fruit. 

You’ll have a whole day to do things you want to do.  I’d recommend reading, listening to music at coffee shops or researching a new hobby you wanted to try.  Change your scenery every two hours.  These things will perpetuate the excitement for a change in schedule that you can be excited about.

Suck it up and just do this for a week and see if you don’t get excited to keep doing it.  If you can get through the day without taking a nap you’ll be tired enough to go to sleep then you’ll get excited to actually go to sleep early which I thought was never possible.  But it is and it’s awesome when you do.

LASTLY:  Email me or skype me and let me know how it goes:  paul@ecquire.comor pauldejoe on skype

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