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What Waking Up at 5am Everyday Has Taught Me

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I’ve always been amazed at people who wake up early. I like to think I’m a morning person, but I’ll be honest, it’s pretty challenging to pull yourself out of bed at 5 am every morning.

After doing a ton of research on the benefits of waking up early – the conclusion came to the same thing. Successful people wake up early. Happy people wake up early. And the most productive people wake up early.

Everyone from Oprah, Michelle Obama, Twitter’s Founder Jack Dorsey, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, President of Ariel Investments, Mellody Hobson, and even Kris Jenner rises at 4:30 am to get in her exercise regimen. All of them wake up between 4 am-5 am.

Now I had to ask myself, “what in the world we’re all of them doing this early in the morning?!”

It all came down to one thing. They were all investing in themselves before the day started. And two of them kept coming up, which were, exercising and mediation.

Michelle Obama said, “If I don’t exercise, I won’t feel good. I’ll get depressed.” Kris Jenner said, “So I feel like I’ve done my cardio; I’m prepared mentally, emotionally, and physically to go and tackle a day.

Science is proving waking up early equals better quality of life

Tim Cook has even said that he goes to the gym every morning to keep his “stress at bay.” Even Oprah says she meditates for about 20 minutes and does a morning workout afterward. Ok, there is clearly something here that I am missing.

Now here’s where it gets interesting. Science is proving this. A study published in the Harvard Business Review concluded that those whose performance peaks in the early hours are, on average, in a better position for career success. In addition, it revealed that morning people are generally more proactive and are more likely to anticipate problems and deal with them effectively.

And to add, according to a study carried out at the University of Leipzig – it proved that there is a strong association between early risers and greater satisfaction with life and reduced vulnerability to mental health problems.

Now I thought to myself, “well, I’d like to be successful, happy, and productive, so maybe I should give this early rising thing a try.”

I knew the only difference between these super successful people and me was their habits. (And of course, their money, power, and fame).

But I knew if I could model their habits, positive change would inevitably occur in my life, yielding me greater satisfaction, health, and productivity. So that’s what I did.

I think I tried every textbook “waking up early strategy” I could.

From moving my alarm to another room, forcing myself to rise from bed to go to another room to turn off the alarm. To setting three alarms within 10 min of each other. I even laid out all my gym clothes the night before so it would be easier to get out the door.

Each of them somehow, I found an escape route. Because I had two phones, I would set one alarm and move it to another room, but when it ranged off in the morning, I’d use my other phone in my bedroom to call my alarm phone so that it would turn off.

There were even moments where I did wake up, and I would tell myself, “just five more minutes.” You know how this goes. Five minutes turned into another 45 min. Eventually, I would finally get up and be upset with myself throughout the rest of the day.

I also had to get over going to sleep at a decent time. I needed a bedtime. This was new to me. I honestly thought “bedtimes” were just a childhood thing. Wrong!

With all the distractions, pings, social media timelines – you can easily distract yourself well into the night, which can have huge ramifications when you wake up in the morning.

Feeling groggy, tired, and my eyes-burning was something I absolutely hated, but I kept doing it to myself every night for some odd