Step by step guide from “night owl” to early riser
We’ve heard multiple benefits of waking up early in the morning, but do you know why it’s important to you? Most people don’t. We idolize and praise people who can make up early, but somehow we don’t believe we can make it happen for ourselves too.
Here is how waking up early has allowed be to enjoy more time in my day to spend with friends and family. Through consistency, I did it and here is how you can too!
But first off, let’s start with how it all started.
Remember when our parents used to drag us out of bed at 6am every day to get ready for school? How does it feel so unnatural so we grow older? Don’t even get me started about how I even did it all these years and made it even through high school,
Many of us are still shocked by this. In fact, no one knows what happens in between the changes. Where did the excitement go? Did we just lose ourselves and our reason to live purposefully?
I know these are deep questions and we’re only talking about waking up early here not some big life mission, but the truth is: it is a big deal. The time at which you wake up does matter. It matters because it determines the amount of time in your day. It will most likely determine your mood and you productivity throughout your day.
But here are the steps that will guide you wake up early without hating on your alarm clock.
Step 1: Acknowledge that you can change
It’s easy to come up with excuses and outline why waking up early isn’t for you. We use excuses such as “I’m a night owl” or we say “I could never do that” when it comes to waking up early. We place ourselves in a box and we don’t dare to be challenged outside of our belief.
Step 2: Take a moment to reflect on your current mindset
Ask yourself this: Why can’t you? If you’re already waking up each day, what makes you think you can’t change the hour at which you make up at. What is stopping you? Evaluate your mindset.
There is a famous African saying that says:
“La vie appartient a ceux qui se lève tôt.”
Translate: “Life belongs to those who wake up early.“
Here is how I found that to be true.
Step 3: Know why you want to wake up early
I started waking up out of desperation. I was desperate for more time during my day to finish more of my class assignments. I was desperate to enjoy quality time with my friends and my family without always feeling the need to rush to the next thing. Here is the truth: We’ll always be chasing time if we don’t learn to manage it well.
Maybe you just want a peaceful morning just like this beautiful nature shot, so serene, so calm and peaceful. I never got why waking up early was so important, but I noticed waking up later made me feel unmotivated throughout my day. All my days went by like the clouds coming and going without being noticed.
I knew I had to change my habits in order to feel accomplished about my day. I needed to feel proud of myself at the end of the day. I yearned for a sense of accomplishment, a pat on the back by myself for myself.
Find out why you want to wake up early. Why is it important to you and how would use that extra time in the day. Knowing this, will motivate you to wake up earlier over time.
Step 4: Find out what is stopping you
Remember when I told you my momma used to drag me out of bed? Yes, I wasn’t kidding. But the day she sent one of my siblings to wake me up was a nightmare. They would hold one of my leg and drag me to the far corner of my bed, while I was holding a firm grip on my pillow. It just wasn’t fun.
I would wake up so moody and ready to fight with whomever broke my peaceful sleep. I always did wonder how my mother survived this with 5 children, but this is a story for another day.
I knew why I wanted to wake up early but I kept telling myself that I was tired and I needed more rest even though my body was already well rested. I said “I’ll do it tomorrow,” then tomorrow turned into tomorrow into another tomorrow until I was tired of making excuses to myself.
Step 5: Trial and Error
The first few times was a struggle I had to do a slow progression of rising up 1 hour to 2 hours earlier over the next couple days days. I started with 9am, then 10am which were attainable for me then at the start. Then, I did this:
I arranged 5 different alarms, all 10 minutes apart. One at 5:50 am, and one at 6:00 am the time I really wanted to wake up at, 6:10 am in case I want the extra 10 minute, 6:20 am if I need another 10 minutes again, 6:30am that’s it I told myself: “this is the last resort” I can’t go past this otherwise.
I took me a few tries, but I eventually I started to wake up before 6:30 am. But, I had to snooze the alarm a few times to get to that place. This is to show you that it is a slow process.
Do not expect yourself to wake up magically at 6 a.m. everyday if your body is used to waking at 10 a.m. everyday. Take your time and make a slow progression. Mark it on a calendar and celebrate the days you do wake up earlier than what you are used to.
Step 6: The outcome is life changing
There is something unsaid about waking up early. You feel empowered– like you are ready to take off when the rest of the world is asleep. I don’t know about you, but this is the kind of victory that drives me during my day.
You can hear the early birds chirping outside, depending on where you are. You get to witness the sun rising, this is my favorite part! Even if your blinds are still closed in your bedroom, noticing the ray if sunshine slicing through your window is something beautiful that I can’t even be put in words.
These are the little things in life that put you in a grateful mode and therefore boost your mood throughout the day. No one wants a rough start to their morning so it is important for you to set up the right intention to your day and waking up early gives you inner peace in order to conquer your morning in a peaceful way.
There is power in knowing that you are awake when everyone is asleep. There is power in witnessing the beauty in the calm and quietness that the morning brings. Try it and you will see.
So now– Are you ready for the challenge?
Don’t make excuses for yourself by putting yourself in a box or labeling yourself as a “night owl.” You can be what you set your mind to do. Yes, it will be hard to change the habit of waking up later during the day, but small steps will take you there. Think of it as climbing the staircase. Just keep walking up until you attain your goal, whether that is to wake up at 5 a.m everyday or 7 a.m. everyday.
Just remember waking up 1 hour earlier for a year is about 15 days added to your year.
How dope is that? You are essentially creating more time for you, more time to spend with friends, to learn a new hobby, to do the things you love. Start implementing this small but meaningful habit in your life and you will see the results. Sleep on it and rise early.
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