When I tell people I wake up at 4.25 am they look at me like they would a crazy hobo with 17 cats...
"I just do. I'm used to it," is my usual unhelpful answer.
The thing is it wasn't always like this. I used to sleep in til 10 am every day through university so I can't sit here and say waking up early is easy. It's not. There are mornings where I squint into the bright light of my phone and think 'why am I up at this ungodly hour?'
But I do it. Five mornings a week, sometimes six or even seven.
Here's exactly how my usual morning unfolds
The jingle of the alarm takes me from dreamland into the harshness of reality. Time to get up. I reach over for my phone which has a glowing message on it. 'You get one life. Use it.' Righto. I flip on the bedside lamp, write in my diary and get excited about the day.
Like a zombie, I shuffle into the bathroom and stumble into the shower. As soon as the water hits me it's like a jolt of electricity; quick scrub and I'm out. Next, I brush my teeth, get dressed in the laid out clothes and grab my pre-packed bag to head upstairs.
Breakfast is a Nutribullet shake, made last night, which I put in my bag to drink in the car. In the bag also goes today's lunch. I chug a glass of water with a few supplements (magnesium, vitamin D and probiotics) put on my shoes and head out the door.
The whole thing takes 30-minutes, give or take.
There are 8 particular things I do in this routine which help me get out of bed.
1. Put your phone on aeroplane mode
The last thing I need at 4:26 am is to be bombarded by messages, emails and social notifications. Nothing is so urgent that it can't wait until after my shower.
Put your phone on aeroplane mode half an hour before you go to bed - it helps the wind-down process and
2. Change your alarm title
Few people know this neat trick. You can change the message of your alarm to whatever your heart desires. The word 'Alarm' doesn't do much for me while the words 'You get one life. Use it' stir up much more emotion.
Also, never hit snooze as it tells your mind bed is more important than your life.
3. Affirm the why
The first thing I do every morning is a super-quick journal entry. Using the 'Best Self' diary, I review my schedule, write down three things I'm grateful for and write down my overarching goal, along with three daily goals.
This affirms why the hell I'm up at this hour, there's a greater purpose at play. There is NO better way to start your morning than this (except sex).
4. Get into the shower
Do it before you have second thoughts. A shower freshens you up following it with brushing your teeth has you ready for any human interactions.
5. Set out your clothes
Early morning is not the time for thinking or 'doing stuff'. The night before is where you need to prepare everything in advance so the morning has as few obstacles as possible from bed to door.
6. Pre-pack your bag
Similar to setting out your clothes, pre-packing your bag removes one more obstacle from your morning.
7. Know what's for breakfast
Again, one less obstacle. The fewer decisions you have to make at this crucial time the easier it's going to be to gain momentum. I choose to make breakfast the night before so I can grab it and go.
8. Have a glass of water
You haven't had any water in 7-9 hours... drink up!
This routine is far from groundbreaking. It's practical, quick and most importantly it hits some very specific points:
- No snooze and no messages.
- Planning the morning the night before.
These are the big 3 to owning your morning.
As a little bonus, here are the final two big money-shots which get me jumping out of bed.
1. Find accountability
As a coach, I have clients expecting me to be at the gym. There's no scenario where I simply hit snooze and don't show up. They are waiting for me and I'm waiting for them - we keep each other accountable.
If you can create this necessity to show up through promising other people you'll be there, you'll get out of bed. You're doing it for them, not you.
2. Imagine your future-self looking back at you.
Do you want to live a life you can be proud of or live a life of regret?
Your future self will know one of the two.
It's up to you, right at this moment, to determine that outcome.