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Saturday, 11 October 2014

5 Steps to Waking Up Earlier and the Benefits

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Since returning to work I have been trying to make myself wake up early to workout before beginning my day. 
I had been doing really well with it and feeling great, but last week I was finding it very hard to wake up at 5:30am. 
This week I'm back on track and I'm glad because I just get so much more done in the mornings. This morning I worked out first thing, jumped in the shower, made a cup of coffee, got ready, emptied the dishwasher and the made a list of my goals and tasks to do for the day. 
I can tell you that when I workout in the morning I feel so much happier and energetic through out the day. I feel like rising early just sets the tone for my day. 
I have read that the most successful people wake up early and start their day much the same way I have been. So I did a little research and here is a short list of benefits from getting up early:
  • Better grades in school
  • More proactive/able to anticipate problems
  • Better planning/organizing
  • Time to exercise/in better shape
  • Better sleep
  • More optimism
  • Easier commutes
  • Better focus
  • More family time
I also found some great information on how to reprogramme yourself to wake up earlier here and I'll share some of what I found. 

If you struggle with the idea of waking up early here are the 5 steps to waking up earlier:

1. Pick your goal wake-up time. If you'd like to get good at being ready and raring to go by 6 AM, great! There's your goal. This will be the goal you're working toward every day of the week. You're going to do it gradually, though, as to avoid shocking your system.
  • That's right, every day of the week, including weekends. Until you're completely reprogrammed, there won't be any sleeping in. But once you get it down, you won't need to!

2. Set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than normal. If you're normally sleeping till 9, going cold turkey and aiming for 6:30 just isn't going to happen. Well, it could happen once, but then you spend the entire day drinking coffee and regretting your life decisions. For the next day, set it for 8:45. The next day? 8:30. And even when you hit that glorious Saturday, chuck off 15 minutes until you hit your goal wake-up time.
  • If mornings are a serious issue for you, stay at one level for two days. Monday and Tuesday can be spent at 8:00 and then on Wednesday bring it down to 7:45.

3. Give yourself enough time for a good night's rest. If you're used to sleeping from 12 to 9, you can't still go to bed at midnight and expect that 6 AM wake-up call to be all trumpets and roses. As you get up earlier and earlier, go to bed earlier and earlier. The goal isn't to need less sleep (sleep, after all, is wonderful), the goal is just to wake up earlier easier. Science tells us that if you get the recommended amount of sleep during the night, it's easier to do just that.

4. Get excited. In order to hop out of bed in the morning with gusto, you may need something to hop out of bed for. So find something to get excited about! If nothing comes to mind, use this experiment as something to do full-force. After all, the path to new, more productive habits is certainly something to be proud of.
  • What do you have going on in the next day that you can't wait to get up for? Its size does not indicate its efficacy -- small things work just as well. Even getting excited for the morning's cup of joe works! Yum. Can you almost taste it? Or maybe a new workout program will get you out of bed.  A goal is always a good motivator!  

5. Get ready for the benefits. Waking up early is linked to a bunch of different, positive things. Research says that early risers get better grades, are generally more proactive, can anticipate problems and plan better than their late-rising counterparts. Hope you can handle your own impending awesomeness.
  • It's sort of a chicken before the egg thing. Early risers have more time for exercise, family, and more quiet time at the office (and an easier commute). Is sleep making their lives better or do they sleep better because they have good lives? Try it out for yourself!

Now I just need to work on going to bed a little earlier AND waking up early on weekends too! 

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