I would not consider myself “a morning person.” I wake up, like most other people, still exhausted. I’m shocked that it’s that time already when my alarm goes off. I can barely open my eyes. I stumble down the stairs before I get my feet under me. I have morning breath that could burn retinas. But I LOVE mornings.
I used to commute over an hour to work, and to get there on time, I’d have to get up a 5am. Two years ago, had you asked me to get up before that, I would have told you “I can’t, I’m already up at 5am.” Looking back, I ask myself why I, and so many others, say things like that. What did I mean “CAN’T get up?” There are no rules about what time you can wake up. The world exists on a 24 hour clock, and people are waking on all of those hours. Why did I feel that it couldn’t be done?
Have you ever HAD to get up early to catch a flight. Have you ever HAD to work an earlier shift. Have you ever HAD to get up to tend to a sick loved one? You may not like it, but you CAN do it.
One day, I needed to find an extra 30 minutes a day that didn’t disrupt my family life to do something that I wanted to do for me. I told myself for just one week I would try it. I’d get up at 4:30am. I didn’t have high expectations but I promised to give it an honest effort. And so I did. I woke up completely exhausted, I did a short workout, and I didn’t die. And then the next morning, I did it again. And on dat 3 and 4 it was harder. But by dat 5 it started to feel normal.
And honestly, as easy as that, I’ve been getting up early ever since.
When I get up early, I feel in control. For me, that is priceless. It’s the only time of the day that I’m not reacting and responding to everyone else. No matter what I do, it’s my choice. It’s quiet. I can think, breathe, relax, create, accomplish. I feel like I already own the day before it owns me, almost as if I was able to steal something away from the day for myself.
This morning, I ran. I finished as the sun was rising. I sat to quietly watch the waves and stretch. I did what I wanted. I felt good. And I went home to my still sleeping family.
The reason to get up early is not because you like to get up early. The reason to get up early has to be what you get out of it when you do. Don’t think about the sleep you’re giving up, but about everything else you’re gaining. Stop chasing your days, and make them start chasing you.