Monday, September 20, 2010

Waking up early: 4 Easy steps

"It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom." -Aristotle

Are morning people born or made? I am neither born or made to wake up early in the morning. I am grumpy to rise and grumpy to sleep. I obviously need a more positive way to begin and end my present day. Waking up early is a productivity method of rising early and consistently so as to be able to accomplish more during the day. This method has been recommended since antiquity and is presently recommended by a number of personal development gurus. Within the context of religious observances, spiritual writers have called this practice "the heroic minute," referring to the sacrifice which this entails.

Living with such discipline obviously creates great character in an individual and helps you begin the day with a relaxed and ready attitude. I would like to experience more days when I wake up early in the morning. I feel as though I am able to accomplish all the things I have to do in a day. Waking up easy and taking it slow gives me time to have breakfast, enjoy the peace of the break of day and the time to reflect my thoughts on all the goals I would like to achieve for the day. I have come up with four, yes only four easy steps because it is all I can remember just before I go to bed and when I get up in the morning.

4 Easy steps to waking up early.

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Benjamin Franklin

1. Go to bed early -     It may sound simple, because it is that simple. Getting six to eight hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep makes all the difference when getting up early and staying focused through the day. Don't make excuses that you can not sleep until after midnight. You can -- you just have to start the process early. One thing that will help you hit the racks is getting off your computer at least an hour before going to bed. Also, don’t watch TV right before going to sleep, especially the news. Let your brain have time to wind down. Read a book or write in a journal.

2. Drink Water -   Don’t go crazy and down eight glasses right before crawling in bed, otherwise you’ll be up in two hours. The point is to drink a couple glasses of water, so you’ll be hydrated throughout the night and in the morning. Dehydration will cause you to feel sluggish and only make it that much harder to wake up early. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine for obvious reasons, it’s a stimulant, and while alcohol is a sedative, it commonly leads to restless sleep. Eating before bed doesn’t bother some, but for others it can cause heartburn and bad dreams. Use discretion with food, but definitely stay away from late night spicy dishes. 

3. Get up and stay up -   Get a new friend called an alarm clock and place it across the room. If the alarm clock is not your friend, (I hate alarm clocks) If the sun rises by  your bedroom window like my bedroom, open the curtains and let the morning sunlight wake you up. Set the timer on the coffee maker to start brewing. Run to the bathroom to relieve yourself and jump in the shower. The hardest part of the morning mountain climb is taking that first step out of bed. Don’t let that little voice start whispering, “Just 10 more minutes.” Ten more minutes is never enough and it will turn into another 10. Don’t hit snooze, just get up the first time. Whatever you do, don’t crawl back into bed once you’ve gotten out, no matter how inviting. Say no, to warm blankets.

4. Establish a routine -  Know what you are going to do each morning or you will just roam around your apartment wondering why you woke up so early. Make coffee, pour a glass of orange juice, brush your teeth, workout, get into the shower, check your schedule, plan your day; whatever works for you, do it the same each morning. That way you’ll get into your morning without having to think about it. Also, use an alarm clock with a battery backup to ensure a power outage doesn’t mess up your schedule. If you can, keep your routine even on the weekends even though I know it will take alot of willpower. But always remember to do what's best for you and for once, be the annoying happy-morning-person at work.

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