31 Days

Day 15

Become an Early Riser

Want to get a lot done? Beat the rush and get a leg up on your colleagues and competitors? Interested in ensuring that you never feel like "there's just not enough time in the day"? Well, then you're going to have to get up early. After all, it's the go-to move for pretty much any successful person.

In a five-year study of hundreds of self-made millionaires, author Thomas C. Corley found that over 50% of them woke up at least three hours before their actual work day began. Waking up early to get things done gives you more control over your life, Corley writes in his book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. "It gives you a sense of confidence that you, indeed, direct your life. It gives you a feeling of power over your life."

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston, somewhere between awake and asleep, in Breaking Bad.

Maybe you'll use the time to catch up on emails before heading into the office. You could get in a proper workout and enjoy a nice breakfast without feeling rushed. Or put the time towards a hobby or a side project before your kids get up. Whatever you decide, make the time work for you. Just know that becoming a morning person isn't about self-control. It's about forming good habits.

"Habits eliminate the need for self-control," says Gretchen Rubin, author of Better Than Before. "Habits make change possible by freeing us from decision-making." Here are four ways to harness that morning energy and put it to good use.

Commit the
Night Before

There is some will-power involved. Ex-Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, who wakes up at 4:30 am, says that you have to impose some discipline to make it work. You've got to decide to attack the day but your best time to do that is not when you wake up, but before you go to bed. Get a good pre-bed routine in order to help you fall asleep faster and ensure enough rest. Set your alarm knowing what you're waking for, so when the alarm goes off, you're mentally ready to attack the day.

Never (Ever) Snooze

That extra sleep you steal back by hitting the snooze button comes in small chunks and isn't good quality, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And it can actually do you some harm. Since the snooze session doesn't last long enough for you to finish a complete sleep cycle, you could end up feeling super groggy for the first hour and a half of your day. Your body and mind aren't recuperating. You're really just wasting time.

Be Consistent

Wake up at the same time every day. You can sleep in a little on the weekend, but be consistent with your wake up times. Your body becomes conditioned to this and regulates your sleep patterns accordingly. You'll not only getting more of that precious REM sleep, but when your body becomes accustomed to a regular wake time, you actually begin the process of waking up long before your alarm sounds.

Start With
Something Positive

Research has shown, getting out of bed on the right foot can impact your mood for the entire day. Which is why experts suggest planning a positive, healthy and motivating first activity. It could be a workout, you could meditate, listen to an inspiring podcast or journal your intentions for the day.

Wise Words

Benjamin Franklin

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

- Benjamin Franklin