Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good habits for waking up early

I used to have a hard time waking up early. I thought waking up early was for old Chinese Grandmothers -mine used to wake up at 4:30-5am. But then I started going to the gym and I found that the morning was a great time do work out. It started out as 8 or 9am on a weekend here and there. Once in a blue moon I'd get up at 7am to work out as well -I actually felt like I had more energy throughout the day. Then I began making a point to wake up 3 times a week to work out...and then it became every day. Eventually it became a habit to wake up early. And as years past waking up early has become earlier and earlier now. 3x a week I wake up at 5-5:30am. Sleeping in late is now til 9am..and that's really sleeping in for really super tired or possibly-sick-sleeping-in. So people always ask do you wake up so early? Here is my list:

1- Choose your goal wake up time. Set your alarm clock. Make a personal promise to do it everyday for 21 days. It takes about 3 weeks for really allow your body to form a habit. Now there will be days that you fail...that's OK! Don't feel like you have to start over because you can't wake up one day. Also, don't force yourself to sleep earlier yet if you can't. You end up creating insomnia for yourself. Just naturally fall asleep whenever your regular bed time is...and naturally as you for the habit of waking up earlier, you will form the habit of going to bed a bit earlier as well.

2- Never hit snooze. Not even once. Get up as soon as the alarm clock goes off. Put the alarm clock on the other side of your room so you have to physically get up to turn it off.

3- Wake up to something pleasant. NOT that annoying car alarm sound on your iphone, or the ringing of an old school alarm clock. Choose something that will ease your brain awake...I prefer Sade or some kind of Jazz/R&B/Slow jam.

4- Once you have gotten up to turn the alarm clock off, DO NOT GO BACK TO BED. Walk around the apartment/room instead. Allow your body to wake up. If you're a Yogi, do 5 sun salutations.

5- Make your morning routine quick. Brush your teeth grab your pre-packed gym bag that you set up the night before. Yes, set it up the night before, don't set your self up to fail at this! Be out the door ASAP.

6- Feel amazing all day. Reset and Repeat for tomorrow!

Waking up early is a great way to live life in this city of 8 million. Nothing has begun yet. The city isn't buzzing or stirring. Today I left my place for the gym at 6:45 am instead of 6:15. Huge difference! At 6:15 there is no one out...maybe some street vendors and a couple of easy going early commuters. At 6:45 the streets are filled with rushing people, news trucks and vans, police, honking cars, etc. The meditative state of 6am is so ideal for me.

East River at 6:15am

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