It is said that Chinese rice farmers used to tell one another:
No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.
I’ve always loved this quote.
In life, we push ourselves to be better. We want to be better.
We often think of big things when discussing this matter.
Top-of-mind for most: The goal of a marathon, the mud run and obstacle race, or the goal of lifting more weight than you ever have before.
Goals are great, but if you are going for the “complete overhaul” to achieve your goal…you can forget it.
However, there is a mark, a measure…
Well, let’s call it a test that will determine your success, or failure.
It’s a test you most likely took today, and a test you take every day.
There is no grade scale, no nearly passing, no excelling, or extra credit.
The test is pass or fail.
Here it is:
What do you do when your alarm clock goes off in the morning?
- Do you spring up, put your feet on the floor and tackle the day?
- Or do you chose comfort over achievement?
It’s that simple. Here’s why…
The Keystone to Change Your Life
Discipline equals freedom. – Jocko Willink
Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it?
But it is true. Discipline does equal freedom.
- If you are disciplined with your money, you have more freedom and options with your money.
- If you are disciplined in health and fitness, you have more freedom in life.
- If you are disciplined with your time, you will have the freedom to do more things with your time.
But do you need to start introducing discipline in every aspect of your life?
You need to introduce discipline in one major area that will help every other area of your life.
Do you know what a keystone habit is?
A keystone habit can be the hardest habit to form, but will aid in effortlessly developing numerous good habits.
If you are successful in implementing just ONE keystone habit, you will become a dangerous human being.
It’s the lead domino.
The one thing you can do to make everything else easier.
Quick example: If I wake up early, I will workout, when I workout I am happier, I am more productive than I am on the days I don’t train. Also, my diet is better because I want to gain from a training session…not lose it. I will be sure to drink more water, etc.
It’s a chain reaction.
I could skirt around the issue and say, “waking up early is not for everyone”…
But aside from medical issues or crazy shift work, there’s no real reason you can’t wake up early.
For most of us…it is the keystone habit we need.
Don’t look for 47 ways to change your life. Find the one thing that will have the biggest impact.
Wake up early.
That is the keystone habit which can change your life.
How to Pass the Test (wake up early)
Want to know how to pass your first test of the day?
It’s very simple.
Have a reason. Just do it.
There are a few strategies I am about to cover to help those who have an incredibly hard time getting out of bed.
But the real answer is…
- Have a Reason
- Just do It!
Getting up early for the sake of getting up early is kind of weird. But getting up early for a reason is motivational.
With that in mind, if you do struggle leaving the comforts of bed, I’ve got you covered.
Here are your tips:
- Ease into it – Set your goal time and work backwards in 30 minutes increments. If you wake up at 7am now and you’d like to start waking up at 5am…that’ll be rough. Chopping two hours off a sleep cycle will make you hate your life. Instead, wake up at 6:30 for a day or two, then 6:00, etc. until you get to your goal time. I am a huge fan of the band-aid approach (rip it right off) to most things…so if you want to make a drastic change and have the mental fortitude to do so…do it!
- Go to bed earlier (duh) – It should go without saying, but just in case…Don’t think I am saying wake up earlier and sleep less. I don’t thinking sleeping less builds mental toughness. Sleeping less builds poor health, not toughness, and makes you a suboptimal human being. Instead, you should go to bed earlier in order to wake up earlier. Let’s face it, you probably waste the last hour or two of your day doing frivolous activities.
- Don’t think – Your biggest enemy when waking up earlier will be the rational side of your brain. When you are in bed, warm, and still a little tired any excuse your brain comes up with will be a good one. Don’t let that happen. Don’t stay in bed long enough to think. Thinking will cripple you (in this case). Get up and go.
- Alarm at a distance – This is perhaps the easiest tactic you can use on yourself. Put your alarm as far away from you in your room as you can get. A distance that has to be walked to, not reached, and make the alarm loud. Now, in order to turn that sucker off you have to get up and walk to it. If you are already up and have walked to the other side of the room, you’re up! If you get back in bed at this point there is little hope for you.
- No snooze – Ah, the snooze button. One of the worst inventions/ideas mankind has introduced. What purpose does the snooze button really serve? If you set a time to get up, that should be the time you get up. Why would you build in an hour of snoozing? Interrupted sleep is bad sleep. If you feel like you NEED a snooze, then putting your alarm on the other side of the room is a better option. But don’t snooze! Get up!
Alright, that’s it!
But remember the real way to start waking up early:
- Have a Reason
- Just do It!
I’ll leave you with this…
Are you passing your first test of the day?
To becoming better,