On a scale of 1-10, how in control of your life do you feel? If you’re like most people, and you’re honest with yourself, you probably will only rank around a 5 or maybe even a 6. On the contrary, I can tell you that 99% of successful people will rank off the charts. I can also tell you that it’s not necessarily because people who succeed are smarter or more talented than you; rather, the secret to their success can be attributed to their consistent, daily routine. For many, it all starts with waking up early and getting a jump-start on their day.
What seems like a daunting task to most is actually where many of the super successful gain their competitive edge. The hours prior to entering the hustle and bustle of the 9-5 work hours are often referred to as the “productive” hours.
Do you find yourself waking up with just enough time to get to work or wherever it is that you need to be every day? If so, you may be doing a huge disservice to your body, mind and long term goals.
Waking up early in it of itself does not exactly provide a direct plethora of benefits earning you that “secret sauce” you’ve always been searching for. Instead, waking up early gives you the opportunity to do what is necessary to formulate the sauce. So what exactly are the benefits of waking up early and what can be done first thing in the mornings to give me that competitive edge?
Immediate Feeling of Increased Control
Biologist Christopher Randler conducted a survey of over 300 University students in an attempt to discover the differences between those who wake up early and those who do not. The differences may be eye-opening and even relatable to those of you who do everything in your power to preserve every second of sleep you’re able to get.
Christopher found that those who wake up early are more productive. He noted that those who believed themselves to be a morning person identified with statements that denoted productivity and proactivity. Statements such as: “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen” were both agreed upon by the early risers far more than they were with the opposing group.
When you wake up early enough to properly prepare and plan out your day, you may feel less stressed and have increased opportunities to achieve small successes throughout the day.
Set Your Metabolism For the Day
If you wake up early enough, you can even get in some much needed exercise to start your day. This is crucial because not only will the exercise help you stay healthy and in shape, but it will also set your metabolism for the day and place your body in a fat-burning mode. On the contrary, when you remain sedentary throughout the day, your body is naturally in a fat-storing mode. Stay in shape and get to the gym every morning. Your body and mind will thank you graciously.
Actual “Me Time”
One of my personal favorite things about waking up before the sun, is that no one else is awake. Everything around you is still. There’s no business emails to tend to, no one asking favors of you or reminding you of required tasks. Life seems so simple and peaceful. I take a few moments every morning to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of life and my surroundings before the craziness of the hectic day consumes my focus and energy.
This is an opportunity to appreciate, reflect and align your mindset for the day to come. You can even get some of your personal work done prior to entering your full time job (if your schedule is similar to that of myself). Proper planning each day will take you leaps and bounds further than those who miss this step and are thrown into their day with no plan of action for what’s to come.
Now, all of this sounds great. But you may be asking yourself how the heck are you actually going to be able to wake up so early? I’ve found a few strategies that work amazing for me, and I’m sure can work well for many of you as well.
- Set your alarm clock across the room. Force yourself to get out of bed if you want to silence the archaic indicator of the beginning of the day.
- Align your mindset the night before. Every night before you go to sleep, reaffirm why you’re going to be waking up in the morning and what will be different and better because you’re doing so.
- Feed your mind motivation ASAP. As soon as I wake up, I walk across the room to turn off my alarm and I immediately throw on a motivational video on Youtube as I prepare to head to the gym.
- Stretch, do some jumping jacks, some form of movement. You really just want to do anything that gets you going and the blood flowing.
- Cold showers. Cold showers will wake you up REAL quick.
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin