I wake up really early–I mean really early. Seven days a week, come hell or high water I wake up at 2:36 a.m. I know, it’s very specific but bare with me and you’ll soon find out the method to my madness.
Waking up early has a ton of benefits from increasing productivity to enhancing our mood. And while there’s plenty scientific evidence to back this up, let’s first start with the practical evidence:
The first thing I try and do every morning before my feet hit the floor is say thank you. I thank the universe for providing me with another chance at life, for my family and various other things. From day to day it changes. Sometimes, I just simply say thank you. Greeting the day with something positive can set the entire tone of your day. Setting some intentions, reciting a mantra or simply having a morning ritual that includes things like exercise can definitely get you off to a great start. My morning ritual typically consists of running, strength training, stretching and meditation. But keep in mind, everyone’s morning ritual will vary. It doesn’t matter what you do once you’re up, just the act of getting up early and doing something productive, already means that you’ve won the first of many battles that will inevitably await you throughout the day.
Laura Vanderkam, author of ‘What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast’, says that getting up early can hold the key to improving your health, career and personal life. There’s some great research that has suggested that our supply of willpower is at it’s strongest in the morning. For instance, most poor eating habits take place late in the night. Choosing to devote early morning hours to things that empower us such as exercise, creative visualization, meditation or journaling–means you devote your most focused hours to these things before other priorities arise.
Robin Sharma, a leadership expert, author and optimization coach, believes that we can break free of our addictions to distraction by waking up either by or before 5am everyday. He says that getting this one habit right allows us to achieve more in one day than most people do in a month. This is what the most successful achievers do everyday without fail. The early hours are the hours of least distraction in our day and when our energy is at its peak.
So what does science say?
According to a Harvard Health study conducted by biologist Christoph Randler, on proactivity, early risers are generally more proactive and procrastinate less than ‘night people’. They typically spent more time setting goals for themselves, problem solving, brainstorming and anticipating problems before they arise. Waking up early also helps with mental health and wellbeing.
Discipline is at the root of all good habits. Cultivate it into your routine and it’ll be there even when your not feeling entirely motivated. It’s worked wonders for me!