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Waking Up Early


Most days, my alarm goes off at 4am. My goal is to be in my garage working out before within 30 minutes. It‘s taken me quite a few years to develop the habit of early mornings. These are some tips that helped along the way.


Why?

The day is hard. All day is a fight to get done what is important and what is urgent. At the same time we are constantly reacting to what other people need. But the mornings are my time. My me time. The morning is when i can improve myself, physically, mentally, spiritually. The mornings are proactive, not reactive. The mornings are planned and focused. Whatever happens the rest of the day, i know my morning was a success. (Affiliate link: Book: The Miracle Morning)


How?

Prepare your Mindset

Create that great reason WHY for yourself, and envision it before bed. Make it clear and strong. So you can go back to it immediately when you wake up. When you feel tired and staying in bed sounds and feels so good. Go back to your WHY, and remember that getting up is way better for you than sleeping more.


Prepare your logistics

Just like getting the mind ready, get all your other crap ready too. Set your water out, gym clothes, everything you need in the morning so it is as easy as possible from “bed to bench”.


Remember that tired feeling doesn't last

Having a kid taught me that even if you feel ridiculously tired. If you get up for like 30 seconds and walk around, you’ll realize you weren’t as tired as you thought.



Motivate

First thing I do when the alarm goes off is headphones on and some YouTube motivation. I feed on competition, so when i am up at 5am i think about how its gonna put me ahead of the race. While most are sleeping i'm already grinding on my goals.


Hydrate and caffeinate

While continuing listening to the motivation talk I take my preworkout(affiliate link) with a big glass of water. Then start to stretch and hit the weights.


Slow progression

I didn’t jump straight to 4am. I started with 7am. Then after a long time 6:30. Then after months, 6. Etc. I used every daylight savings fall back every year to push it a bit earlier.


No big variations on weekends

Sleeping in til 10 on Sunday made Monday impossible. Today I only allow an extra 30 mins of sleep on Sunday that’s it. Most Sundays now, my body wakes me up at 4:30 anyways.


Don’t quit

It takes at least a few months to form a habit. One of my favorite habit formation tricks is the the ONE thing 66 day challenge. Basically you write Xs on a calendar everyday that you complete your habit, waking up early in this case. So for 66 days i forced myself to wake up early no matter how tired i was. No excuses. I told myself to just get through the challenge and then i could re evaluate my schedule and energy levels. This gives the body and mind time to adjust to the new schedule. I believe it also forces you to adjust when you go to bed, and also how well you sleep once you are in bed. that is, the more tired you are in the morning and throughout the day, the easier it is to go to bed early and the less likely you are to toss and turn at night. Bedtime is variable. The wake up time is NOT. I think overall this habit took longer than 66 days to really dial in, but 66 days was definitely enough time for me to see that the benefits outweighed the cost.


Signals vs noise

Now that i have the habit, and i actually much prefer waking up to sleeping in, i can better listen to my body's signals for burnout. If i feel crazy tired for 2-3 days in a row, and i don't feel like ive got the best workout results, then i let myself take a nap during the day or sleep in more to try to rest my body. But was very important that i ignored these signals at the beginning while i was forming this habit, because lots of times your body is a liar and it is just trying to take the easy way.


Wrap Up

It’s a mix of motivation and discipline. A lot of it is tricks for “feeling” like getting up or making it easier to do so. But more than half of it is discipline to do it even on the sucky days when you don’t want to. It's definitely worth it.


Hope this helps.



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