This blog is about the two most common question that I get.
Before jumping in, let me first address that even though I have always been an early riser, I understand that getting up at 4:00am (or earlier) on a consistent basis is borderline nuts. With that being said, let me explain…
First, and most practical, there just isn’t enough time in the day. I’ve realized that between work, writing, fitness, relationships, etc., my ambition overflows the cup of a “normal” day. I have made the conscious decision to get up early so that I can adequately tend to all of the pots on my stove.
Second, I love getting up before the rest of the world because there is a peace, calm and quiet that is unlike any other hour of the day. There are very few (if any) other people awake and for that reason, there are very few distractions. There is a serene quality that the early morning holds; it allows me space to be intentional with my time and thoughtful with my energy. I often spend the beginning of each day without my phone. Instead of letting the world influence how I feel and think, I spend that time alone with my thoughts and together with God. I then set the tone for the day with a cup of coffee, some reading, some writing and a workout (depending on the day). When everyone else is hitting snooze, I’m raring to go.
Third, I view the wake up as an opportunity to be accountable to myself. Each night when I set the alarm, I am (we all are) making a promise to myself. When I wake up, I can either keep the promise that I made to myself and start the day with a win or I can break that promise, choose the easy road and start the day with an excuse. To me, winning the early wake up allows me to set the tone and build momentum for the rest of the day. It’s an act of intentional and dedicated discipline that few other people will ever understand or act on consistently. In that way, the wake up is a differentiator.
I get this question so often and most times, people aren’t looking for practical solutions because that’s obvious: just wake up when the alarm goes off (yes, it’s that simple). However, for the people who want a deeper and maybe more inspiring rationale, read on. I’m able to wake up at 4:00am because I prioritize sleep and sacrifice nighttime activities so that I can start the next day before everyone else. That means that while everyone else is awake at 9:00pm, I’ve already been asleep for an hour. To go deeper, I understand that my choices (and habits) now, will one day affect and influence eery single person that I come in contact with (including my wife and future family). So going back to my “why,” if I can’t keep the promises that I make to myself, I don’t see how I can keep the promises that I make to other people. In other words, waking up early is part of what brings out the best in me. For that reason, the “why” takes care of the how.
Before closing, I want to provide one caveat to this entire blog….
You don’t have to wake up early to be the best version of yourself. In this world, everyone is different and if you function best at night, stick with what works for you. Not everyone is meant (or built) to wake up at 4:00am and that’s ok! Lean into your own process. Now, let me leave you with some wise words that go far beyond the morning alarm.
Win the wake up!
Joe Rinaldi, PT, DPT