“One key to success is to have lunch at the time of day most people have breakfast” – Robert Brault
It’s been said many times, from Oprah to the motivational (and slightly annoying) influencer on social media that if you’re looking to make big changes in your life, in particular your career, changing the time your alarm goes off could be the difference between you cancelling your much needed haircut and debating whether your amazon prime subscription is really necessary; to booking that dream, completely guilt free getaway to the Maldives and living yo’ best life. But is it really all that it’s cracked up to be? And can you really be arsed? Here’s an article from an optimistic (and arguably delusional) self-help fanatic who gave it ago.
From Michelle Obama who routinely wakes up at 4:30am to get her morning workout in before the rest of her responsibilities command her time, to Apple CEO Tim Cook who wakes up at 3:45am every morning, I repeat every morning, to do an hour of emails before heading to the gym. What’s more, nearly 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before their workday actually begins, as found by Thomas C. Corley in his five-year study of self-made millionaires. This information is particularly intriguing, if like me you’d quite like to be a millionaire and getting up early is what it takes, then I’m prepared to give it a go! It’s a habit as simple as this which can allow you to tackle your most pressing tasks before your partner, kids, and job take up your time. Like everything in life, although the concept is simple, the execution on the other hand, not so much.
The reported benefits of those who greet the morning at a time when the sun is still rising are undeniably appealing, and the best thing is it’s accessible to all.
The benefits include:
- Sets the tone of your day, so you’re more likely to make better decisions
- The opportunity to accomplish something right away
- More time to achieve things
- Increased energy and motivation
- Increased confidence and self esteem
The Grim Realities
Getting up early isn’t all enthusiastic high fives like you’re the first customer in a US Apple store, and you won’t suddenly have bag loads of motivation. You actually have to get up early, which sounds like a great idea when planning it mid-day when the painful memories of hitting your alarm button at an unholy hour are long forgotten. But when it’s early af, you’re tired af, and it’s dark af outside. Getting up early to tackle administrative tasks or do a workout requires some steely determination. Here are some of the grim realities you may face when adopting this new lifestyle:
- You have to wake up early.
- You will be tired.
- If you have a partner, disrupting their sleep will likely annoy them.
- You have to leave the comforts of your warm bed to do not-so-fun adult responsibilities.
- It requires effort, planning and organisation. You need to be highly organised in all areas of your life, so you can get to bed at a reasonable time to ensure you get enough sleep.
- You are at risk of becoming one of those annoying morning people, and your friends may potentially disown you.
- And, let’s not forget, you will be really tired.
Truly Top tips
If the grim realities haven’t put you off, congrats. You’re either a very disciplined, resilient individual, or naïve, or drunk. Whatever the case maybe, don’t worry. I’ve armed you with some top tips when adopting this new go-getter lifestyle:
- Be consistent
Creating a consistent morning ritual where you get up at the same time everyday can help cement this new lifestyle habit. Self-made billionaire Richard Branson wrote; “I have always been an early riser. Like keeping a positive outlook, or keeping fit, waking up early is a habit, which you must work on to maintain. Over my 50 years in business I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life.”
- Start with small changes
To create lasting long-term effects, start with setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier, after a week or so increase to 30 minutes, and so on until you’re waking up at your ideal time.
- Plan your morning
Plan your morning the night before. Making sure you know exactly what you plan to do as soon as you wake up and have your things ready. If your morning routine comprises of exercise, have your trainers and workout clothes out ready so you can get up and go. If you plan on meditating, consider buying a cushion and have an exact spot where you go sit.
- Keep it simple
Don’t overwhelm yourself with an unrealistic long list of tasks, otherwise you’re more than likely to hit your snooze button and avoid getting out of bed.
Before you go to sleep visualise yourself getting out of bed early feeling energised and refreshed. Picture yourself going through the day completing all your tasks with ease, and confidently handling whatever comes your way.
- Have a bath
Having a relaxing bath before bed will aid in making sure your body rests and recovers from the busy day you’ve had and ready for the day you’re about to wake up to. Why not try Truly’s Night bath powder? It’s a favourite for a truly relaxing snooze.
The Honest Conclusion
It’s true. Once you get in the habit of getting up early, it will no longer feel painful, just normal (which is always slightly painful, right?). I felt more energised and optimistic about life when regularly exercising, mediating, and tackling some projects before my day at work began. I achieved more, felt better, and became an actual morning person much to my housemate’s dismay (FYI – no one likes a chirper person pre-8am on the commute to work).
Yet, this lifestyle does require discipline and getting to bed early. Which means choosing early nights and health as oppose to going down the pub to socialise with your friends. And, let’s be honest, after a long day/week/month at work, the latter is far more tempting. Once you’re out of a routine, sticking with it is seemingly difficult.
However, if unlike me you’re ready to make changes in your life, why not start with something simple like adjusting the time of your alarm? It could be time to stop hitting the snooze button on your life and time to make the most of the golden hour. You can use this sacred hour to keep your mind and body in shape and become the best version of yourself. I haven’t managed to do it yet, so take one for the team!
If you’re an early riser, comment below and share your top tips! x