waking up early

Waking up early: How this habit changed my life

I started setting up alarms at 5:30 am in the morning but as they say, old habits die hard. I could barely open my eyes and ended up hitting the snooze button again and again.
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I never knew what it feels like to wake up at 6 in the morning, or earlier. The truth is that I didn’t even want to know. I loved my bed and I loved sleeping. Alarms were useless as I’d hit snooze as soon as my phone would crow like a rooster. I’d lay underneath the covers, pretending the outside world doesn’t exist. Little did I know how detrimental this lifestyle was to my health. Sleeping until late meant no breakfast, low productivity, hazy focus, and a sluggish feeling that lingered for the whole day.

I knew I needed to change my routine if I wanted to move forward in life. That change was waking up early. Several successful people such as Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama are early risers. Not that I expected to become like them just by waking up early, but it was a start I was looking for. And so it began. I began my new routine by setting up an alarm at 5:30 am. But as they say, old habits die hard. I could barely open my eyes and ended up hitting the snooze button, again and again, every morning. However, I was determined to make early rising a daily habit and fought against morning laziness. I persisted despite my initial challenges and eventually became an early riser.

Here are a few changes that I observed ever since I started waking up early.

Helped create a fitness regime

Going to the gym right after work wasn’t working out for me. You can’t lift weights when you are already tired. Thanks to the extra time I gained after waking up early, I could finally look after my health. I started going out for morning walks for 30 minutes. Sometimes I would jog or even do stretching. These simple yet effective workout routines helped me both physically and mentally.

More personal time

Waking up early gave me more time for myself. There were no distractions and I could spend that time all by myself. The early morning hours were really peaceful. I spent this time gathering my thoughts and just sit in silence for a few minutes. Like French mathematician, Blaise Pascal once said, “The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” The habit of waking up early brought me closer to myself.

Opened the door to new habits and hobbies

All the spare time I had in the morning opened the door to new habits and hobbies. For instance, I could now use the extra hours for planning and personal growth. Earlier, it was just brushing my teeth, shaving and getting dressed. But ever since I started waking up early, I cultivated the habit of reading and making my to-do list for the day. It helped me sort out my priorities and become more organised.

Became more energised

When I was a late riser, I was always in a rush. Oftentimes, I would eat a few bites or skip meals altogether. One bad habit gave rise to more bad habits. Since I couldn’t eat in the morning, I would order food online later in the day to satisfy my hunger pangs. But ever since I became an early riser, things changed drastically. As I was reading a lot, I stumbled upon this study, which says that we should all be aiming to consume around 15–25 percent of our daily energy intake at breakfast. As I had extra time in my hand, I made sure I ate a healthy and filling breakfast every day. Eating a nutritious breakfast daily left me feeling full for a longer period with more energy for the day.

Enhanced productivity

Once I started waking up early, I realised that mornings were the most productive time for me. I started waking up with a clearer mind, a well-rested body, and the ability to focus on important tasks for the day. I had more time to set my priorities straight. My day was structured and even I was amazed at how I was able to achieve so much. By the end of the day, I rarely had any work left to do. I could now manage my time better than ever, which helped me become more efficient.

Boosted happiness

I didn’t realise until after a few weeks that waking up early also made me happy. Perhaps because of all the things I could do in the mornings. The feeling of being in control, getting things done, being clear-minded and healthier made me a happier individual. It has made me feel I can achieve anything that I want.

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