“The best way to make your dreams to come true is to wake up.” -Paul Valery
We’ve all heard it. We’ve read about it. Our elders talk about it. Being an early riser is a personal quality that many successful people share. The CEO of Apple, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Kevin O’Leary, and Richard Branson are just a few names that come to mind and they aren’t giving interviews to talk about how much work they have to do - therefore burning the candle at both ends...so WHY are they up so early each day?
Morning routine, setting intentions, front-loading their day, feeling most productive when the office is quiet are the most reported reasons for being up at the crack of dawn.
I can relate. Up at 4, I start seeing clients at 6am. It feels like a well-kept secret; like my own hidden garden that no one knows about. Starting the day before the rest of the world is awake has a magical quality and energy that I have not found in other areas of my life. Getting to the office at least 60 minutes before seeing clients affords me the time to get paperwork and other tedious business tasks out of the way. Watching the sunrise over the Bridger Mountain Range energizes, inspires, and motivates me for the day to come. Witnessing the waterfowl and deer that come to enjoy the pond out my window for their morning drink feels sacred.
The advantages to being an early riser are tangible. Quiet solitude, greeting the day/seeing the sunrise, preparing your first meal of the day, time to exercise, be productive, set daily intentions, beat rush hour traffic, and punctuality for appointments later in the day are all positives that come to mind.
Are you an early riser? Do you want to be? Here are some behavior changes you can make to make your dream of being an early riser come true:
NIGHTLY ROUTINE. A night time ritual is necessary to set yourself up for success. Winding down, setting intentions for the next day, and being in bed at a reasonable hour will make it easier on you when the alarm is ringing at 5:30am.
What it looks like: Blocking blue light from electronics 1-2 hours before you intend to sleep (turn off electronics or purchase blue light blocker glasses such as: Blokz by Zenni). Maintaining a regular sleep schedule (for example, in bed by 10pm, lights out by 10:30pm). Lowering the temperature of your bedroom to 60*-67*F.
SET AN ALARM. Be mindful that waking up super early on occasion may be something you can easily tolerate for the temporary time frame. If you want to make lasting changes you may want to approach changing when you wake up a little more gently. Setting your alarm to wake you 5-15 minutes earlier is a great place to start. Let your body adjust - give it a week if you don’t tolerate change well. Then increase the increments until you are where you want to be!
UP AND AT EM’. Alarm goes off- out of bed. Don’t give in to the temptation to hit the snooze or ignore. This will only increase whatever fatigue you may be experiencing. Your body will do its job. Cortisol and adrenaline will soon be pumping through your veins - use it! **I know it is tempting to have your coffee immediately upon waking. However, research has shown benefits to delaying that first cup by 1-1.5 hours to allow cortisol to do its job!**
MORNING ROUTINE. Getting into the habit of having a morning routine will get you out of that morning stupor quickly. Alarm. Shower. Dressed. Newspaper. Meditation. Set intentions. Out the door. When there is routine, your energy can be used for the execution of all things needing to be done.
AVOID NAPPING. The midday slump hits and you may want to nap. If you do, practice power napping for a maximum of 10-20 minutes. Anything more will result in getting deeper into a sleep cycle- leaving you more groggy than before you laid down to rest! Better yet: Getting outside for a walk in the sunshine for just 10-30 minutes has the same effect at increasing our energy when we feel that energy crash coming on. AND it may increase the amount of sleep you get after.
Now that you know where you need to adjust - you just need to EXECUTE! Need some help? Use my Goal Worksheets to get you started!
POLL QUESTION: Comment below, are you an early riser or a night owl?