A Harvard University study recently found that people who wake up earlier were more proactive than the night owls. You may argue that correlation does not imply causation, and that it might be being proactive that makes them wake up early and not the other way around. Be that as may, waking early overwhelmingly seems to be one thing that many high achievers seem to find propitious for both their professional and spiritual well-being. Starting your day early not just saves you from feeling frazzled and hurried, it also fills you with a sense of achievement by earning you that first tick on your to-do list. Positivity attracts more positivity (contrary to the magnetic rule of attraction), and starting off right is very important to have a great day.
Here are four ways to get the head-start you have always wanted:

Be an incrementalist

While some people may find it easy to just decide to wake up at 5 AM and be able to do it every day, most of us aren’t okay with such drastic changes. Sleep patterns are stubborn – they have been reinforced for years and often won’t tolerate abrupt shifts. Habits that push your body too hard may not last. If your goal is to wake up 5 AM, try waking at 6:30 AM for 2-4 days. Take off another 15 minutes of sleep for the next 2-4 days, and so on.

Start by sleeping early

get-ready-for-sleep-early

This may seem axiomatic – you must sleep at least 7-8 hours before you wakeup. But just like waking up early is a fresh habit, so is sleeping early. It too flies in the face of years of reinforced routine. It takes work to dismantle it and replace it with something else. Some things that help are avoid TV/internet around that time and exercise some time during the day. Just make sure you don’t exercise in the hour before sleeping. Exercise floods your brain with neurotransmitters and gets your pumped up.

Have a plan

Business people planning

Or a plan to make a plan immediately after you wake up. You may have a lot of things on your mind, but if you are unclear about the order in which you will execute them, you may feel underwhelmed by all that morning time. This may make you reluctant to keep the habit up. But morning time is probably the best time to get your creative juices flowing. Just make sure to have a plan – even a very general one will do. You will soon learn to fine-tune it, and end up with a solid routine. The idea is not to let you dither around, so you don’t lose the momentum.

Arrange for some accountability

We are all the sums of our habits, but most habits do not have a very dramatic effects on us. The effects are quite substantial, but only noticeable when they build up, each day adding an incremental change. To track and augment your habits, you have make sure you are accountable. It keeps you on track, but also gives you a sense of satisfaction. There are many ways to do this – keeping a journal for instance, or carving tally marks on your wall (kidding, don’t do that) – but possibly the best way is to use our cool habit formation app.
Waking up early is possibly the most valuable habit of them all. It is the keystone habit for many people and helps start many other fruitful habits. We hope waking up early will do the same for you.

What do you think?

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