How to Start Waking Up Early [Up Your Game Excerpt]
Set Yourself Up For Success
This habit helped me in two ways. First off, It boosted my confidence because getting out of bed that early was my first big win of the day. But it also taught me that removing distractions is the key to quality work. When you wake up at 5:30 am, you look out the window, and no other lights are on, it fires you up because you know that you're getting ahead of everyone else. It's the visual proof that if you repeat this action over an extended period of time, you are bound to do something great. When you wake up early, and you conquer a big chunk of your to-do list before 8:00 am, you feel a sense of accomplishment throughout the day that helps you stay grounded and in control.
That all sounds great, but when the alarm goes off at 5:30, and you have a headache from not sleeping enough, it's impossible to get up. Don't mistake waking up early with sleep deprivation! The key is to start the habit from the night before. Don't see bedtime as something to avoid. Make it into an activity to look forward to. Like I explained earlier, when I come across an exciting new book, I only allow myself to read it after 9:00 pm. That act, coupled with a few more cues, puts me in a state of relaxation I wouldn't be in if I were staring at my phone until right before bedtime.
If you are sleeping by 10:00 pm, you should be able to wake up by 5:30 am, but feeling rested is only half of the battle. To make sure you are consistently waking up early, you have to be excited about it. When you wake up, you can't think about how cozy your bed is. You have to be looking forward to getting up and conquering the day. Just like with going to bed early, you have to plan a pleasant activity that you get to do only between 5:30 and 6:00 am. This habit serves two goals. First, it should be the primary motivator that helps you get out of bed, and second, it should clear your mind from all the mental clutter you accumulated overnight and the day before. If you like running, for example, schedule a morning run and listen to your favourite music. If you wish to meditate or have a sauna, then do that. I prefer enjoying a cup of black coffee and spending time with my two cats. I like to gaze out the window and listen to the early morning sounds. I genuinely enjoy that feeling of relaxation that I get when I stay still. If that's not for you at the moment, that's fine! You should, however, come up with an activity that makes you happy, and that puts you in the right mindset.
When you combine these two habits, you will be much closer to starting and maintaining your early morning routine. As you practice, in the beginning, you'll feel more focused than ever. Your productivity and confidence will skyrocket, and those factors alone will be enough to get you to stick to your new habit. Just like anything else, when you start seeing results, you get addicted to that feeling of accomplishment, and it will be hard to stop.