I recently wrote an article on how you should always only attack one habit at a time, as it is less overwhelming and if you are successful, that one habit will bring many others good with it. You can find that article here if you need a little brush up:
I´d like to add that, however, by giving you the number one habit you should start with.
This one habit that will be the catalyst for everything else.
This one habit will improve your life and your situation, no matter what it is.
“This morning did you wake up to an alarm clock or an opportunity clock?”
- Zig Ziglar
Getting up the instant your alarm goes off. There you have it. Master this, and you can have anything else you want.
And please note, I am not saying you should set the alarm at a certain time or anything like that, all you need to do is get out of bed the instant your alarm rings.
So for now, ignore all the different buzz ideas of the “5am club”, “Golden hours between 6-8” or similar, and just focus on getting up when the alarm rings, whenever that is.
The reason for this is very simple, when you can do this you start with a small psychological win every morning, as well as gaining a few extra minutes of productive time. Not snoozing will make you feel good and in control. When you have first done this for a few days, you will also start realising that those extra minutes you gain every day are fantastic for priming yourself for the rest of the day.
If you can start doing this, and doing it consistently, and defeat the urge to get back into bed, you are well on your way t
o forming a lot of other great habits and exert a level of discipline and self-control that will spill over into everything else you do.
“Set alarm clock. GET OUT OF BED.”
- Jocko Willink
If you start getting up consistently every day, you start seeing yourself as a very disciplined person, and when you start seeing yourself as more disciplined, you will start acting more disciplined in many other areas of your life, exercise, healthy eating, good sleep rhythm, gratitude, handling of relationships and many more.
The trick to forming this habit successfully is to not cheat on yourself, no cutting corners, no matter what. When the alarm rings, you are out of bed, regardless of whether you are tired, don´t feel well or the room is cold. As soon as you start making excuses, one will lead to another. What you instead need to do is to plan in advance. If you already when going to bed thinking it might be tough tomorrow, set the alarm for a bit later the next mornong, but get up when it rings.
Always. Every day. Without exception.
There are a bunch of ways of making this easier:
- The best way is to have 2 alarm clocks, one in your room that gives off a normal ring (or a silent alarm on a smartwatch), and one out in the hall, kitchen, the kids bedroom or anywhere else that goes off like a foghorn. You then set the one next to your bed exactly 1 minute before you need to get up, and the other 1 minute later. When the first one goes off you then have exactly 60 seconds to get to the second before you wake up everybody else. That will get you up in the morning!
- Go to bed early
- Optimise your day, night routine, bed and bedroom for great sleep
- Have a dawn imitation gadget or smart light that turns on as well with your alarm
- Get a smart coffee maker that you can set to have a fresh cup of joe ready when you wake up
- Don´t drink alcohol or consume other substances that influence your sleep or ability to make good decisions
A list of likely follow-on habits directly related to getting up as the alarm rings are:
- The most important one is that you will start setting your alarm earlier and earlier as you realise how easy it is to get up, and all the great things you can do with all this extra time, while the rest of the world are still asleep.
- Improved outlook on life, the day, work, whatever you have coming
“I opened two gifts this morning. They were my eyes.”
- Zig Ziglar
- Going to bed earlier and establish a better sleep rhythm
- Exercise better and more regularly due to more energy and structure (bonus points for doing this first thing in the morning!)
“prepare your workout gear at night so that you can throw it on as soon as you slide out of bed.”
- Jocko Willink
- Eating better due to more time to prepare something proper
- Minimising bad late-night habits like snacking, drinking or pointless tv bingeing late into the night
- More energy
- Better prepared for your days
- Better mood and more gratefulness
- Better health
A list of likely follow-on habits directly related to seeing yourself as an extremely self-disciplined person are:
- Demanding more of yourself and through that, becoming better
- You will become a more honest person as you start by making yourself a promise and sticking to it, every day, setting the precedent for your behaviour for the rest of the day
- Able to push through tough periods, situations or pain thresholds much easier
- You will start taking more responsibility in every area of your life. (https://medium.com/@christiansorensen/stop-complaining-and-take-responsibility-if-you-want-to-go-further-2a8c62cc4716)
If you need inspiration with what to do with your extra time and energy in the morning, look here:
- Journal – gather your thoughts and plan (create!) your day
- Exercise – Win the morning by getting up and completing a workout while the rest are still snoring in bed!
“The first thing I do in the morning is work out – I lay out my workout clothes the night before, and just hop in ’em.”
- Terry Crews
- Eat a good and healthy breakfast, or fast if that´s what you are doing, but do it because of a deliberate decision.
- Spend some time to connect with loved ones.
- Show gratitude, write down what you are grateful for or maybe send someone a positive message
- Plan out your day, write down what you need and want to do, prioritise, make a to-do list and set out to execute
- Read, but make it something that will inspire you.
- Listen to interesting and inspirational po
- Think of what will make today great.
- dcasts, audiobooks or Ted talks