Every day I wake up before anyone else in my home. I wake up well before anyone else. During the week, I wake up at 4am. On the weekends, I wake up at 5am. Why do I wake up so early?
To take control.
Waking up so early allows me to take control of the first hour of my day which allows me to take control of my week, my month, my year, my life. That may sound a bit extreme, but it is the truth. With repetition you will also understand why that is.
That first hour is mine. Its my time. My time to do as I wish before anyone else asks for my time. My time to make myself into the person I want to be.
There are no emails to read or write, no calls to make, no kids to tend to, no need to get ready for work, etc. It’s a time just for me that may not be available throughout the rest of my day. It’s usually an hour or two that I have to myself. That time is used to work on myself.
I write. I journal every single day which allows me to release my thoughts and feelings onto paper. I reflect on the days past and lessons I have learned. It’s 6:18am on a Sunday morning as I write this.
I read. I read books that will help improve my life. Personal development, personal finance, business, leadership, psychology, and any other book that will develop me. Before I knew it, I’m knocking out a book a week. That’s 52 books a year when most people barely read one book a year. There are so many lessons and practices to be learned from reading books. However, you just can’t read. You must apply those practices. Through these books I have improved my thoughts, financial situation, relationships, use of time and so much more. I read fiction as well, but I save those for reading before bedtime.
Rising early and going through my routine allows me to take control of the day. I can read and write and go through the rest of my day without feeling cheated because I did what I wanted to do, what I must do. This allows me to focus much more at work. More importantly, it allows me to focus on my family.
Reading and writing are not the only thing you have to do when you rise early. Hell, you don’t have to read and write at all first thing, but I highly recommend it. You can exercise early, especially if you have huge fitness goals, you can meditate, do yoga or anything else that will get you focused and give you control of your day. With repetition and consistency, you will see how it will begin to snowball and ultimately give you control of your life.
What about sleep? No one can function on 4 hours of sleep and it’s not healthy at all. This is true, but waking up early doesn’t mean less sleep. GO TO BED EARLIER. This is hard for many people to do. Even though I wake up at 4, I still get a minimum of 6 hours, but usually 8. The thing is, you need to set up your environment up to allow you to go to bed earlier. Put down the phone, turn off the television and start getting ready for bed at least an hour before bedtime. Quit mindlessly watching tv and scrolling through your social media in bed until midnight or 1 am.
This is the reason I read before bed. Reading allows me to calm down and relaxes me getting me to fall asleep comfortably and a lot quicker.
Start taking control of your day. Wake up at least an hour before your time starts getting pulled in all different directions. Take control of your day. Forget about the snooze button. Hitting the snooze button is pretty much telling yourself that a better life is not worth it. Put your alarm clock in a place where you must get up and walk to it to shut it off. Put it in your restroom if you have too. Don’t make your phone your alarm clock. It’s too easy to hit the snooze on it and its too tempting to start checking your phone for any updates. The moment you hop on your phone to check email, texts or social media, you surrender yourself to everything and everyone else. You are no longer in control.
Use a traditional alarm clock. Don’t snooze. There’s a reason for the saying “you snooze, you lose”. Go to bed earlier. Rise before the rest and take control of your day and life through a productive morning routine. You won’t regret it.