What Waking Up at 5am Everyday Has Taught Me

I’ve always been amazed at people who wake up early. I like to think I’m a morning person, but I’ll be honest, it’s pretty challenging to pull yourself out of bed at 5 am every morning. After doing a ton of research on the benefits of waking up early – the conclusion came to the same thing. Succession is a result of getting up at an early hour. Happy people get up at an early hour. People who are most productive get up in the morning.

Everyone from Oprah, Michelle Obama, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, President of Ariel Investments, Mellody Hobson, and even Kris Jenner rises at 4:30 am to get in her exercise regimen. Everybody gets up at 4:30 am to start their exercise routine.

Now I had to ask myself, “what in the world we’re all of them doing this early in the morning?!”

All it came down to was one. Before the day began, they were investing in their own well-being. They kept returning to exercise and mediation.

Michelle Obama said, “If I don’t exercise, I won’t feel good. I’ll get depressed.” Kris Jenner said, “So I feel like I’ve done my cardio; I’m prepared mentally, emotionally, and physically to go and tackle a day.

Scientists have shown that waking up earlier equals better quality life

Tim Cook has even said that he goes to the gym every morning to keep his “stress at bay.” Even Oprah says she meditates for about 20 minutes and does a morning workout afterward. There is obviously something I’m missing.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. The science is supporting this. The study was published in Harvard Business ReviewIt was found that people who perform best in the morning hours have a higher chance of achieving career success. Additionally, the study revealed that morning workers are usually more proactive and more likely anticipate and to deal effectively with problems.

And to add, according to a study carried out at the University of Leipzig – it proved that there is a strong association between early risers and greater satisfactionYou will live a fuller life with less risk of developing mental health issues.

Now I thought to myself, “well, I’d like to be successful, happy, and productive, so maybe I should give this early rising thing a try.”

The only thing that made these people so successful was their lifestyles. I also knew that their wealth, power and fame were a result of their habits.

However, I realized that if I was able to model the positive habits of successful people, I would experience more satisfaction and health. This would also lead me to be more productive. So that’s what I did.

I think I tried every textbook “waking up early strategy” I could.

Moving my alarm from one room to the other, forcing me to get up and go into another room to turn it off. Three alarms being set within 10 minutes of one another. To make it easier, I had already laid out my gym clothes on the previous night.

I was able to find an escape from each of them. Because I had two phones, I would set one alarm and move it to another room, but when it ranged off in the morning, I’d use my other phone in my bedroom to call my alarm phone so that it would turn off.

There were even moments where I did wake up, and I would tell myself, “just five more minutes.” You know how this goes. I ended up spending 45 minutes on it, after five minutes. I finally got up, and was then very upset throughout the remainder of the day.

It was also difficult to go to sleep on a regular schedule. A bedtime was important to me. This was something that I had never experienced before. I honestly thought “bedtimes” were just a childhood thing. Wrong!

With all the distractions, pings, social media timelines – you can easily distract yourself well into the night, which can have huge ramifications when you wake up in the morning.

Although I didn’t like feeling groggy or tired and having my eyes burn, it was something that I did every night. Falling asleep with my phone – trying to scroll to see that last picture on Instagram or finishing an email I need to send off in the morning.

For two months, I set myself a challenge to get up at 5 AM every morning. It was tough, but it wasn’t until one morning that really did it for me.

Something had to be changed

One morning I arose, and just like I always do, my phone alarm rang in the other room, and I woke up quietly trying not to wake my fiancée, Kiara, to tippy-toe to the other room to turn off the alarm.

After I turned it off, I crept back into our bedroom, and Kiara said, “back in the bed again, huh?”

That’s when it hit me. My reaction was depressing. All I could see in my head was a pathetic husband and future father who couldn’t show up for himself to be a caretaker and provider. As you can see my imagination exaggerated quite a bit. This is what I felt at 5 AM, standing in a cold darkened room, trying to get into my bed.

My thoughts kept turning to something that would make a difference, but it didn’t. If I wanted to have real results in my life, I realized I needed to change.

It’s like that famous saying goes, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Well, this was me, and according to this quote, I was insane to think that my life would change if I didn’t change myself first. I didn’t change, so the same results continued to manifest. What was the point? 

Kiara told me that I should immediately get on my clothes to go to the gym. My willpower was sparked and something clicked.

Following a shower and workout, I decided to work from home. It was around 9:00 AM that I experienced a great sense of satisfaction.

The satisfaction stemmed from knowing that I can muster up the willpower even when I feel like I don’t want to do anything and, of course, the famous “runners high” after you get from a good workout.

After waking up at 5 am for a week after that day, I felt like I was getting some “pep in my step.” I felt like I wasn’t at the effect of circumstances in my life. My life felt more in my control. I felt that life worked for me and not against me.

This gave me a feeling of calm and ease that flowed through my entire day. I found it incredibly attractive. I was able to control my day and bounce back quicker from any adversities.

Since that cold dark morning of March 2020, I’ve continued to wake up at around 5 am every morning because of the benefits its provided me.

Here are some tips to incorporate into your morning ritual:

  • Gratitude journaling
  • Meditation (my favorite and by far the most significant habit that’s played a role in my success and health.)
  • Going to the gym
  • Read a leadership, inspirational or self-help book in 20 minutes
  • You can visualize your future goals by doing visualization exercises

Addicted 2 Success’s post, What Waking Up Everyday at 5AM Everyday Taught Me originally appeared here.

Addicted 2 Success published the article What Waking Up Everyday at 5am Everyday Taught me.

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