All my life I tried to willpower my way to consistently waking up early but continuing to fail.
It took experiment after experiment, but eventually, I went from going to bed at 4 am to incrementally waking up earlier and earlier.
In fact: I just bumped my wake up time from 4:30 am to 4:06 am a few weeks ago, a complete shift in my daily rhythm!
Feel stuck like I once did?
Going to bed later than you want to, not waking up at the time you want to?
Today you will learn the steps to take to wake up early and stick to it.
In this article:
- 7-bad habits to kill to start waking up earlier tomorrow
- How to create a custom morning you love that make it almost impossible to sleep your life away!
More important than just waking up early, sooner than you thought possible, you will learn how to develop self-discipline and have more purpose and meaning in life.
Let’s dive in.
Why You Can’t Wake Up Early
You Don’t Have a Plan
You can’t wake up because you have nothing to wake up to. Sleep is the ultimate way to check out on life.
When you can wake up and get to a job on time but can’t wake up and start your life on time it reveals:
- You are a well-trained robot, not a unique personality that was created and born for a purpose.
It is good and right to show up to a job on time and work but, when you learn how to direct your time when not on the job, everything improves.
You have a reason you are here; not being able to wake up early is a signpost that your life has little purpose, meaning, or direction.
How do I know?
I was there as well, addicted to alcohol, entertainment, and more. I hit rock bottom, and a depression diagnosis occurred – depersonalization disorder.
I lost my comfortable corporate job, almost lost my marriage.
After dialing in a unique morning routine and waking up when I wanted to, everything began to change.
Instead of crawling out of bed just in time to keep a job, your life mission will emerge.
You see this in your kids, you see this in yourself.
When vacation, a celebration day, or some other exciting endeavor, you wake up easily and are ready to go.
Conversely, when no place to go, no direction, only the mundane, sleeping to avoid the reality of the unremarkable occurs.
When you dial in a best guess of what you want your life to look like, some glimpse of direction or purpose, waking up ready to attack this endeavor is the organic by product.
You’re Using Recurring Alarms
Recurring alarms are alarms that go off automatically, such as a 6:30 daily alarm that you do not need to turn on the night before or a 6:30 alarm that goes off every Monday through Friday or something similar.
Recurring alarms are holding you back from waking up early in two ways:
- You set them and forget them
- They come against your commitment
The game is to direct your life and while you are sort of directing with a recurring alarm, you are relying on an outside of you system to be your savior. Relying on your alarm to save you from forgetting what you want to do.
When you shift from using recurring alarms, and begin manually turning on your alarm each night, you are consciously deciding to wake up at the predetermined time.
You are intentionally committing to wake up early and this commitment triggers something in your subconscious mind and makes it less likely for you to skip out on getting out of bed for your life.
Here’s another alarm habit you need to break.
The Snooze Button Trap is Set
I do use a snooze button, one time.
Most of the time I don’t even use the snooze button but it is nice to know on certain mornings that I have another 11 minutes to hit snooze and stay cozy in bed just a little bit longer.
After that, I am forced out of bed by the alarm clock that changed everything for me and waking up early, Alarmy.
The Alarmy alarm app forces me to get out of bed, walk across the house and take a picture of my coffee pot in order for the alarm to stop.
No more hitting snooze hundreds of times and eventually turning off the alarm!
You Don’t Read What You Love
I love what I learned from CS Lewis in the Screwtape Letters:
The trick the demons like to play is to make you think you should read “the best books,” “the most important books,” instead of allowing humans to learn what they have passions to read.
When you either
- Read “the best books,” “the most important books” you think will impress others, or,
- Bail on reading what you love consistently
Waking up early is more drudging than inviting.
You Don’t Create
You are a Creator. It’s in your DNA.
When you aren’t creating you are not establishing a kingdom, a person with no kingdom (reign of your effective will) is dead.
There’s all kinds of stats and studies that prove this. The importance of having a hobby, the criticalness of playing an instrument, the necessity of journaling.
All of these creative expressions give flesh to your ideas, manifest.
Becoming a creator is one of the few ways to increase the reign of your effective will, your kingdom.
- roasting coffee,
- vitamin mixtures,
- side hustles,
- and other passions.
You have them inside of you already, stick to each idea for thirty days or a quarter until you discover the one you love to wake up to.
You Don’t Know the Game is Listening
Want to discover who you are on the inside?
Noise and distractions consume your attention and keep you from being able to hear God and your soul.
When you are able to eradicate all external support, validations, shame, fears, and other emotions caused from your consumed with what others think habits:
- You become an inwardly whole and complete person that requires zero external validation for worth.
Silence and solitude are two of the most important spiritual disciplines that elevate your mornings and create space to hear God and yourself, to cultivate listening.
You Reset the Wrong Way
Life requires daily resets of sleep and many more mental and bodily resets to survive.
Today resets commonly occur with external means, alcohol, Netflix, video games, and other “needs” to survive.
These resets keep you from your goals instead of spurring you towards accomplishing your dreams.
Conversely, the only goal resets most endeavor into is a launch of a new diet or routine each year at new years or the coming swimsuit season.
If you’re an overachiever you may make a couple of attempts at good habits like playing an instrument or writing a handful of times a year as well.
What is the Superior Way to Reset?
The necessary and game-changing reset that elevates accomplishing these good habits and life endeavors is a reset every week.
This discipline and mindset shift alone will empower you to begin waking up early within the next 6-weeks.
Towards the end of each week, analyze your explorations, how did waking up early go the past few days? What went good? What was a fail?
And resetting, preparing to bring into next week routine elements that went well and exploring other new ideas to overcome the misses that were off.
A handful of weeks from now? You’re waking up early.
Here’s how to start.
3-Steps to Wake Up Early and Love It
How do you wake up early?
To find this love of life and begin waking up early requires explorations in a few key areas.
Here are three of the most fundamental to begin to learn what it is you love and discover a life you don’t want to waste away by sleeping.
1 – Define Your Perfect Morning
Defining an ideal morning is the first step to changing a lack of meaning and direction in your life.
You can’t know what you want to do in an entire day every day of your life until you know how you want, from wisdom and experience, a perfect morning to be.
When you write out what a perfect morning looks like for yourself, a perfect and ideal ordinary Tuesday you form a north star, a target to begin to aim at instead of a shot in the dark including,
What time do you want to wake up one year from now?
Your perfect morning will be more fun than you currently believe and this video that put the idea on my radar is what helped me to define this perfect morning which triggered the beginnings of living:
- an almost perfect day every day.
But it begins by actualizing the first few minutes of every morning!
What happens in those first minutes of your day in one year?
Don’t know the answer?
The next two steps will help you refine this ideal morning.
2 – Stumble Into Your Purpose
Can you discover your purpose a little more in only 15-minutes each day?
Finding your purpose, mission, a vocation in life, begins from reading the books you want to read in a specific way.
What is this specific way?
By launching a mental mastermind with authors in the art of syntopic reading and reverse engineering the connections between books that entice you.
What is syntopic reading?
Syntopic reading is diving deep into prior minds that have written on topics that most interest you, the conversations you feel are most needed for yourself and the earth.
You have a reason you were born, a torch in the history of time you were created to pick up and pass along to a few that are chosen to carry the torch after you.
When you engage with these great minds every morning, learn what they missed, what they nailed, a life you love, maybe even a book or two, emerge from yourself.
But I couldn’t see any of this when I started reading, and you may feel the same way!
I had always wanted to read the Bible, and that is the desire that I followed.
What is a book you want to read for 15-minutes each morning this week and finally knock off of your bucket list?
Or start by reading “How to Read a Book,” where I learned of syntopic reading.
I use WorkFlowy free to save and prioritize these books I want to read lists.
Since beginning this reading method and reading one to a few chapters of books on my syntopic reading list each morning, my life purpose has started to unfold and waking up early is virtually effortless.
What’s step three?
3 – Start Creating Each Morning
A very beneficial exercise that will entice you to start wanting to wake up early is simply,
- Writing out the biggest idea in your head every day.
That’s creating with words.
After you pray, read, meditate, yoga, exercise, read, before your mind gets busy with everyone else’s agenda:
Sit down on your phone or computer, start a timer and write your most important thoughts and begin creating with words.
Write for 15-minutes, what is the biggest idea in your mind right now? Write about it.
This documenting your thoughts discipline becomes the most significant self-awareness exercise when you begin to take these writings and become a content creator talking about things that awaken you.
But, this habit of writing for 15-minutes may never be for anyone else!
Don’t overthink it; begin a “creating with words” from your thoughts discipline for 15-minutes each morning.
How to Make it Almost Impossible to Sleep Your Life Away
You now have 30 minutes directed that will help you soon discover why you would love to wake up everyday.
- 15 minutes from reading what you want to read
- 15 from writing
What time should you wake up tomorrow morning?
Don’t wake up at the time you chose in step one.
You likely fell into the overachievement trap of our time and overshot what you can accomplish in even one year.
We are under a curse, thinking too highly about what you can accomplish in one year and thinking too low about what you can achieve in five.
Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you did last week tomorrow.
If tomorrow is Tuesday, what time did you wake up last Tuesday? Add 30 minutes to that.
Make this, 15-minutes reading and 15-minutes writing the only incremental improvement you make this week.
This is the trick you need to win this waking up early battle.
30 minutes each morning for the next 6-days is three hours, a little longer than an average movie length, to do what you want to do for yourself.
Why did I recently bump my wake up time to 4:06 am instead of 4:30 am?
I couldn’t get everything I wanted to accomplish in my mornings done, I needed more time!
What if you could do anything you want to do every week for 18-hours, a part-time job you LOVE?
What would you do?
I didn’t have an answer a little while ago myself.
I started waking up at 7:10 am and missed it often!
When you begin to practice the spiritual disciplines you want to do, read the books you want to read, create from yourself, and more every morning, you will soon have an answer to that question.
What would you love to do for 18-hours every week?