I wish I could say I was always a morning person. But it isn’t true.
I’m a night owl. Staying up late. 11pm. 12pm. I’ll put in my 7-8 hours of sleep and wake up around 7:30am.
Today I woke up at 4:18am. Without an alarm clock. And I’ll tell you how I did it.
About five weeks ago, I hired a personal trainer.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking — what does hiring a personal trainer have to do with waking up so early in the morning?
It turns out, doing one thing and affecting a habit has a lot to do with changing your lifestyle choices — including what time to wake up in the morning.
You see, I visit my personal trainer once a week. Every Saturday. But to follow his program, I have to go to the gym three times a week during weekdays. My workout is at least an hour long.
I live in Scarborough. And I work in Richmond Hill. I have to get to my office before 9am. And the commute is about 45 minutes.
When you start doing the math, waking up at 7:30am, going to the gym, doing an hour workout, coming back home, getting ready for work, and commuting for 45+ minutes won’t get me started on time.
So I had to change something. My morning routine.
I knew I had to get up earlier. But how? Do I sleep at the same time, but just set an earlier alarm? Would I get enough sleep? What if I sleep in?
Enter a book, “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. It was given to me by a good friend and mentor — Jordan Epstein.
Reading the first few pages, I learned that it was a book written in fiction style. So I was skeptical. At first. Until I started to consume page after page, and the message hit me.
I made a decision. To get 7-8 hours of sleep, I’ll have to get to bed early (which would require discipline for me). I’d have to get to bed before 9am in order to wake up at 4:45am every morning.
I wish I could say it was as easy as adjusting the time I’d go to bed, and setting up an alarm to wake up early the following morning.
But it took more than that.
It took a strong mindset, motivation, and passion.
To be totally committed to something — a life changing habit — you have to know why you’re doing it.
For me, I wanted to put in my hour at the gym so I could live a healthy lifestyle which benefits me and my family. It would give me more energy. More focus. More motivation. And a great feeling.
This “why” motivated me to quickly adjust my habit.
(It wasn’t easy — my wife and daughter and I were all night owls.)
We tried it — we all went to bed at 9am.
And I woke up at 4:45am the next morning.
* * * * *
The feeling was great. I wish I could say I jumped out of bed — but I’ll admit, I spent a few minutes in contemplation.
Then I got up, got ready, drove to the gym, put in my hour, and started my day.
I don’t always wake up at 4:45am. Sometimes I get up earlier. On the weekends I sleep in ’til around 6am.
Today I got up at 4:18am, without an alarm clock.
This meant I got to the gym earlier, got started with work earlier — and as of right now, 8:52am, have had one of the most productive days I could remember for the longest time.