All throughout college and the beginning of my post college career, I have been a night owl. I got used to staying up late and waking up late, I should say my body got used to staying up late. As time went by, I realized that by staying up late and getting up just in time, the day was not as productive and things seem to be much more out of control. I think this is the fact for many of us as we seek to improve our lives, we realize that we should get up early.
We honestly give it a try, but the nights we do try, we end up lying in bed forcing ourselves to get to sleep. As the morning alarm or maybe multiple alarms go off, we have the conversation in our head that we need to get more sleep since the night before, we were unsuccessful at falling asleep. Sounds like you so far? Well, keep reading…
I feel that we need the proper motivation and desire to want to wake up early for us to be successful. It is also important to understand the benefits, get motivated, set a plan, learn how and then implement our plan and then reassess our changes and review the benefits and how it applies to us. Sounds good, of course… but doing it is the hard part. If you are ready to take the steps, I will begin by sharing some of the many benefits of waking up early and being an early riser. The motivation series is a way to motivate you and have you understand what is in it for you. I have read numerous articles and advice on waking early, but without the proper motivation and solid planning, we usually just fall back into our normal routine.
To give you some encouragement, I want you to know that it is possible for even the most night owls of us all can change our sleeping habits and be an early riser. I WAS that night owl, and I convinced myself that my mind worked better at night. Since I changed to waking early, I must admit, my life is much more organized and I am in much more control. My mind actually works just as well once I got in the pattern of sleeping earlier and waking earlier by switching my habits of staying up late to do things, versus in the morning. Balance in life is also another main benefit of rising early, but for this article, I am focusing on Motivation and Control.
I hope that the previous paragraph sparked some kind of motivation in you to want to change your pattern of sleep and waking cycle. Without motivation, all the best advice in the world is just nice to hear, but unless you truly feel the motivation within yourself and within your mind… you will not want to go through the tough changes that is required to break years of training your body and sleep cycle. I could begin this series with telling you how I did it, but first, you must be motivated.
Let me ask you, or better yet, ask yourself, why do you want to wake up early? Maybe you have thought about a few benefits here and there and gave it a try… but failed and went back to the same routine. I want to ask you to explore the many benefits that is important to you, get excited about the changes and truly want the change. I suggest writing down on a single sheet of paper why you think it is better to wake up. This will be the source of your “game plan” to waking early. Write down the negative reasons why waking up early is bad as well. Then write down in a few words what you hope to accomplish by waking up early. This way, you have it on paper…. keep this paper to remind you when you fall off track. Keep this in a folder labeled with your name and keep this as a reminder for yourself. I will continue to explore motivation more in future posts, but this is a good start for now.
One of the main benefits I find about waking up early is that you control your day versus having the day control you. Do you wake up feeling late, rushed and find yourself swearing and wishing you had a few extra minutes? You probably skip breakfast, exercise is out of the question and you still feel tired because you probably went to bed late and didn’t get enough sleep. Is this a good way to start the day? You begin the day out of control and the day sets the pace for you as you chase the clock without the energy or control.
Waking up early allows you to control the day versus the day controlling you. What I mean by this is that you can spend some time having a healthy breakfast, plan out your day and commitments. Take your time and get dressed and walk (not dash) out of your house and into your car as your state of mind is in control. If you want to exercise, doing this in the morning usually gives you more control because, sometimes plans change throughout the day and you are much more likely to skip working out if you do it later in the day. If you are motivated to get into the habit of exercising in the morning, you are in full control of your day and eventually your life.
Another great benefit is the peace and control of your mind. You are in a state of relaxed motion and conrol versus the craziness of feeling late brings. You will be on time for your appointments and get things done so that you can enjoy the end of the day when our body begins to tire a bit due to the productive day. When you rise early, you will have more time later in the day to spend with family and friends, since you do your tasks in the morning or plan them for the next morning, you have time to relax and prepare for a good nights sleep.
Motivation and control are just a few benefits of waking early. If you are interested in exploring more, revisit this site as I go through the series.