For the longest time, I have had a goal of getting up early and exercising. I am ashamed to admit, that, year after year, this goal has just been carried forward. Sometimes, I’ll rise early, but not exercise. On other days, I exercise but not in the mornings etc. But most days, I’ll get up late.
I think the best description of the benefits of early rising, is the saying …”early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”.
(Though the poor worm may have been caught by the early bird, I tell myself this is the worm coming back from its previous night’s frolics, whilst the bird is part of the “Early to rise……. fraternity.)
Rising early allows for more productive hours in a day, the early dawn is an excellent time for spiritual rejuvenation, and we can get a lot of tasks done uninterrupted.
Now exactly how do I make rising early an unshakeable habit? I looked to the blogosphere for inspiration as well as guidance and found ample. I read the following blog posts (by the way, all of whom are down and out fervent supporters of the early to rise habit) and summarized their “how to’s”.
The main factors they had in common were:-
a) Get enough sleep / rest. Before bedtime, do something either mentally or physically exerting, so that your body wants to rest.
Our body has its own inbuilt mechanism to tell us if we don’t have enough sleep. We’ll just feel sleepy. So this should not be a problem to follow.
b) Have a good reason/(s) to get up early. Set yourself a morning ritual or a list of tasks that you want to do. Make yourself a promise to get up early and/or use your subconscious mind to remind you of the reason to get up.
This makes a lot of sense. We get up early without any bother when we have something lined up like an early flight or an important meeting etc. So we have to have a set of things to do, things we can look forward to, so that there is an inbuilt “desire” given to the mind to get us up early.
c) Set the alarm a little away from the bed so that you can’t just shut it up and go back to sleep. Jump out of bed as soon as the alarm rings. No matter what!
This may be a tough one, as it is very, very tempting to shut the alarm up and then sleep for “ten more minutes”. We all know that this ten becomes twenty and thirty.
But, if (a) and (b) are solidly anchored, I think this can be overcome.
As I write and read this post, getting up early seems doable.
For the past five days, this system has worked well for me. I think (and hope) that this habit can be continued.
And to others, may you rise as per your desired times, with a spring in your step and a smile on your face.