I started doing this when I was 14 years old and it still works.
“Wake up early and tackle the day before it tackles you. Be on offense, not defense.” — Evan Carmichael
Many people say they are just not morning people. I get it.
Waking up when it’s still dark outside and perhaps a bit cold in the house is not the beginning of the morning that most people are looking forward to.
However, there are so many books that espouse how important it is to get an early start on your day for a variety of benefits that include living longer, eating better, and just having more energy throughout the day.
And while I no there are some who still feel like you don’t have to be a morning person to be successful, there are still a lot of people who do, e.g., Jeff Bezos for one.
So what do you do if you just don’t feel like you can get up in the morning?
You have tried, but every time your alarm clock goes off, you find yourself hitting the snooze button more than a college student after a Thursday night campus-wide party.
I was probably just like you when I was younger, as I just hated getting out of bed each morning. When the alarm clock went off, I would find myself thinking of every excuse in the bed to continue to lay in the bed and make up whatever I was planning on doing that morning at another time.
I’ll study for that test tomorrow…I would say.
I’ll make sure to run tomorrow morning, not today.
What’s one day going to hurt?
One morning, however, when I was 14, I stumbled upon this one simple trick that made so much sense to me, and I’ve been using it for the past 27 years to continue to wake up early without any problems at all.
What is this simple trick and how did I stumble upon it?
How I discovered it
I discovered it by chance one morning in which I was debating if I should get up and run 5 miles before school for track. I had just run yesterday and told myself that I was going to run every day this week to make sure I could get in the mileage I needed to continue to improve as a runner.
I was telling myself that I could just make it up by running Saturday instead of that Friday when I had a eureka moment, unlike anything I had before that time.
I recognized that there was something important happening at this moment, and I had to recognize it to have any chance of overcoming it in the future. I recognized that I had done this many times before and whenever this happened, the outcome was pretty much the same.
By “done this” I’m referring to when I began to negotiate and debate with myself that I didn’t have to do what I said I was going to do every day.
I talked about this in a previous article in detail.
I then began to recognize that whenever I did this, there was about an 80% or higher chance that I would talk myself out of getting up and going for a run.
I didn’t recognize that my psyche was very powerful at convincing me to do what I wanted to do. Therefore, there was one simple thing that I needed to start doing if I wanted to have any chance of waking up each day and living up to my commitments.
The one trick
This simple trick is something that anyone can do and there is nothing really special about it.
The greatest thing is the more you do it, the easier it becomes with time.
What is it?
When your alarm clock goes off and you feel yourself getting ready to give you a million reasons why you need to hit the snooze button, ignore it all and…
GET YOUR A** OUT OF BED AS FAST AS YOU CAN WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT.
That’s it…as soon as the alarm clock goes off, you can not, in any shape, form, or fashion, lay in the bed for any amount of time.
If you allow yourself to lay in the bed or pause for even a second, there is a chance you will talk yourself into staying in it for some reason.
You’ll tell yourself that the dream you were having might be the business idea that will change your life and help the world find the cure for cancer.
You’ll be surprised at how your far mind will go to keep you in bed.
That’s why you have to get up ASAP to ignore it and not even get it a chance to take hold. Probably so fast when you first start doing it that you might wake your significant other up by accident.
It’s this quick response to the day and burst of energy that will instantly get your mind and body going and get you ready for the day.
This is exactly what Mel Robbins talks about in her book, The 5 Second Rule,
“The 5 Second Rule is simple. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the Rule.
When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something that you know you should do, count 5–4–3–2–1-GO and move towards action.”
Except for me, I say, forget the 5 seconds…let’s get to moving!
This is one of the reasons that snoozing your alarm clock is never going to make you a morning person. You are delaying the inevitable and just practicing procrastination to its finest.
By jumping out of bed and not giving yourself a chance to talk yourself out of it, you’ll be surprised at how much easier it will become with time.
And while I’m sure there are many people who are reading this and thinking there is no way it can be this easy, please just don’t take my word for it, and try it for yourself tomorrow (not the day after) to see how it works.