I wake up at seven every day. Some people think I’m crazy for waking up at an “ungodly hour” and proceed to say they could never wake up so early because they don’t like it.
However, I’ve come to learn that there are two types of people.
The first kind of person genuinely hates mornings and prefers to wake up late in order to stay up until the wee hours of the night (also known as a night person).
The second type of person doesn’t actually hate mornings. They’re simply too lazy to wake up early. They’re not a night person — they just haven’t learned how to stop hating arising early.
I went from waking up at nine every day to seven. Here’s how I did it.
1. Set your alarm ten minutes before you normally wake up
If you wake up at nine, you won’t suddenly be able to wake up at seven. Waking up early takes practice.
Every one or two weeks, set your alarm ten minutes behind your accustomed times until you get to the time you’d like to wake up.
2. Turn off your cellphone notifications
If you’re using your phone as an alarm, then you should turn off all of your notifications.
When you turn off your alarm, you go back to your home screen. Seeing notifications will make you want to click them. You won’t unlock your phone if you don’t have any, though.
You can turn them on later.
3. Get up
This is the hardest step. Anyone can wake up, but not as many can get up from bed. The first thing you want to do is turn off the snooze option from your alarm so you can’t click it.
Then, use Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule.
The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5–4–3–2–1 and physically move or your brain will stop you.” — Mel Robbins
The trick is simple. Once your eyes are open, say 5–4–3–2–1, and don’t give yourself space to think or feel. Shoot up from the bed and stand up.
If you pause after you count, you’re not going to get up because you gave yourself time to think about it. You gave yourself time to feel.
Don’t give yourself a choice.
4. Wash your face/brush your teeth
There are some people who go straight to work the way they woke up. I learned that if I don’t wash my face, I still feel sleepy throughout the morning.
Wash the grogginess from your face with cold water — even if it’s chilly outside. You’ll hate yourself for it for a moment, but once you’re more awake, you’ll feel refreshed.
Don’t shower right away — if you shower in the mornings, that is. If you’re waking up early, it’s because you want to get work done.
A shower will only make you waste more time. Get some work done for an hour or two, and then shower.
5. Let in the light
Whether you’re working in your bedroom, office, or living room, open the windows and the blinds. Let in light and fresh air.
Forbes shared in their article, How Does Lighting Affect Mental Health, “Often just 13–15 mins of exposure to natural light are enough to trigger the release of endorphins or ‘happy hormones.’”
5. Get straight to work
If you work from your laptop, you can’t go on social media, check your email, or do any other distracting thing.
I’ve found that when I do either of those things, I end up feeling like crap and as though I lost the momentum I was building.
None of that crap matters so early. You can check once you’ve gotten real work done.
This is one of the most important steps. If you want to feel great in the morning, avoiding distractions and doing fulfilling work is the way to accomplish that.
7. Bonus tip: make coffee and listen to music
Hazelnut coffee or hot chocolate always makes mornings more relaxing. The same thing happens with music, especially jazz. However, both of those are a matter of preference.
The rest is a breeze from there. You did the hard part, getting up and sitting down to work. The rest of your morning should be enjoyable. Practice every day.
Some mornings, you’ll sleep in, and other times you’ll cave into social media. That’s okay. Learn from your mistakes and be better tomorrow.
“Rise up, start fresh see the bright opportunity in each day.” — Mohsin Jameel