“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” There’s a reason this old saying has stuck around: getting up early benefits your health, your career, and your sanity. Breaking ties with your warm bed in the morning is painful, but it’s like removing a band-aid: one way or another it has to be done. Try ripping off the band-aid a little faster and giving yourself the luxury of enjoying some or all of these perks.
You may think that those extra fifteen minutes in bed will make you more relaxed for the morning, but will they really if you then have to rush like crazy to get out the door? Go to bed fifteen minutes earlier the night before instead, because you don’t really need to watch another episode of whatever you’re currently addicted to.
Then, do yourself a favor and slow down your morning by getting up a little bit earlier—you’ll be calm and collected as you begin your day. Hell, maybe even give yourself time to read the news. Start your day by informing yourself about the world, because knowledge is power.
Dare I say this? Exercise in the morning. I know, exercise is probably the most difficult thing in the world. However, no one EVER regretted getting up early to exercise after the fact. Even if your workout consists of a few yoga poses while you’re still in bed, you’ll get your energy levels up and start your metabolism for the day.
If you wake yourself up with exercise, then you might be able to resist that pastry at the office because your body won’t be craving a quick sugary energy shot. So, pull it together and set a reachable goal for yourself--maybe you can’t get outside to run in the morning, but you can do twenty crunches in your bedroom. Start small and focus on developing consistency.
Dawn is probably the most under-appreciated time of day. There’s dew on the ground, the air is fresh, and the sunlight is just starting to creep into the sky in beautiful sunrise colors.
At dawn, there’s a feeling of rebirth as the new day begins. Go for a ten-minute walk to get your blood flowing and soak up that splendid dawn energy. What better way to begin your day than to embrace that feeling of new life and channel it into your ideas and actions? Get inspired.
Breakfast, done right, is hands down the best meal of the day. Take a little time to make it delicious—cook a fancy omelet, brew a great pot of coffee, or even just make sure your toast is browned the way you like it.
Think about the difference between how your body feels after (1) a late-night pizza binge and (2) an awesome a.m. smoothie. There’s just no comparison. Skip the midnight snacks and go to bed, then wake up and fix yourself a breakfast of champions, because you are one.
…and with that…
Be a champion
If you have the willpower to set your alarm an hour earlier and actually obey when it calls you out of bed, you are a champion. You can then apply that willpower at the office, in class, and pretty much anywhere else you want to accomplish something.
Showing up to wherever you need to be in the morning with a workout under your belt (and a nutritious breakfast literally under your belt) gives you so much more energy than if you arrive still wiping cobwebs out of your eyes and nursing a triple-shot latte.
The better you feel, the more likely you’ll be to make positive and productive choices. Getting up early sets you up for success all day long.