10 Steps Guide to Waking Up Early


Yeah! If you’ve made it here, you are:

  • Either crazy enough to make a promise to yourself to wake up at 5 am for the next 21 days.
  • Either motivated enough to change your morning routine for the best, even though you are not sure to take on the 5 am challenge yet.

No worries! for me, waking up at 5 am is a way to challenge myself and make the most out of my days for two main reasons:

  • I tried few times to wake up at 5 am and I felt like I had way more time of productive activity throughout the day.

  • I am busy, busy! So I need to introduce more and more small discipline steps in my routine if I want to see my projects through. If I can achieve that, I bet I can achieve anything!

You will obviously hear more about this challenge in the next weeks. Hopefully it will inspire you to try it out too! But you don’t have to make it 5 am. Perhaps try to choose a time, early enough, to take on the challenge of respecting a promise you’ve made to yourself no matter what!

Here are 10 steps to follow to ease the transition with waking up early.

  1. Set an alarm.

    The night before, put your alarm at the exact time you want to wake up. Not a time thought ahead in order to allow you to snooze. If your goal is 5 am, you will set one and only alarm for 5 am.

  2. Change your mindset

    The whole idea of waking up is hard because we have no will in the morning. If our first though is ”Ughhh, I have to dress up” or ”Meh, I have no desire to stand up & make coffee”, you might go as far as reaching your phone, choosing to snooze, and redoing that beautiful motion for 3 more 10 minutes until you wake up 10 minutes before you have to leave, dress up quickly, skip the coffee or breakfast and run to your train half asleep, half alive. Change your mindset. From now on, your one and only goal as soon as your alarm rings is to sit on you bed. Yup. That is all I am asking. Drop all the tasks and must do of your morning. From now on, reach from your phone and know in your mind that all you have to do is that simple act of sitting. I assure you that you have enough will for that.

  3. Chill in the bed

    So here is the funny part. A lot of article’s I’ve read are saying that the key to wake up early is to transition slowly by waking up 15 minutes earlier than the day before until you’ve reached that desired waking up time. NOPE. That never worked for me. Why? Because if you give me flexible, I will cheat. Any morning I would set the alarm earlier, I would just decide to snooze instead and try again tomorrow. What does it change if I sleep through this morning again? When I’m sleepy in the morning, seeing 5h45 will eventually turn into 6 am, and 6h30, and 7h, and I’m late again. So here’s the deal. You wake up at your desired time straight up, but you can chill in the bed for as long as you need. My first mornings when I tried, I was spending time like a zombie, sitting and staring at my dreams, half awake, for 30 minutes. I promise you it will get easier and quicker to stand up with days. Start by simply sitting, and add some neck and arms stretching with days, meditate, set your intention of the day, pet your cat, kiss your boyfriend, anything that doesn’t seem like an effort.  It’s your chilling time Yo!

  4. Go straight to the sink

    This is your next move. Don’t forget that your willpower is low in the morning. So it’s one step at the time. Your next goal is to stand up! Success. Than you go straight to the sink, shoot cold water at your face. Make isssshhhh, ouhhhh, ahhhhgg sounds because it’s cold, dry your face, take a glass of water, fill it, and sit again. Simple right?

  5. Sit, drink & meditate

    There you are, sitting again. I suggest you sit on the floor, just because it feels more organic this way than sitting straight on a chair, and less comfy and tempting to fall asleep than sitting/laying on the sofa. If you don’t have a lounge area on the ground with pillows, just grab a pillow from your bed. At this point, you should be in a new room (that progress though), sitting, chilling, and sipping your glass of water. Water is amazing to wake up softly your system and activate you. After your glass of water, it’s time to meditate. If you don’t know how, I made a little guide to meditation. If you want to keep it simple, just sit comfortably and try to enjoy just being. Focus on your breathing, observe your feeling, and just let your thoughts flow in your mind. Observe, but do not judge!

  6. Make yourself some tea

    Okay, that chilling was fun, but it is time to get going! I do not suggest to make tea straight up in the morning, because it does seem to me like an incredibly hard task when I’m laying, cuddling, and being way to comfy to leave my bed. But at this point you should be good to go. I suggest tea, but it is only because I am a coffee lover and If I would actually start my day with coffee, I would kind of overdose (if there was such thing). From my experience, I find green tea with a sip of coconut & rice milk to be the best warm drink to start my day. It is not too intense, and frankly, when you start your morning so softly & early, you have time. You are not in a rush, and there is no need to wake up drastically at that point. Time does wonder.

  7. Sit, drink & set goals

    Yeah! We are sitting again. At this point I am still on the ground, because I have a low table with pillow in my kitchen (Buddha comfy lounge), but you can sit on a chair now! It’s time to enjoy your warm drink, take a sheet of paper or a journal and set 3 goals for the day. 3 goals is what I found to be a realistic amount of goals to see thought at the end of the day. The whole idea of waking up early is to use our time more efficiently. That doesn’t mean to have an Everest like list of tasks you all! To quote my article of yesterday: ”The more you accomplish tasks, the greater you feel and the greater you feel, the more you accomplish tasks. Make sure you get into that positive circle instead of holding yourself down.” By that, I mean that there is no better feeling than being done. It keeps us moving and help us to be constant! Constance is the key. Set 3 goals a day, see them through, and keep being bad ass.

  8. Stretch & be brave

    Alrithy, at this point, you are mostly awake, you have activated your brain and your digestive system. It is time to activate your body and stretching is the way to go to start your morning perfectly. I suggest to unroll your yoga mat(everybody should have a yoga mat it is science) and start by doing any basic stretching exercise you know of. Anything that feels good is good to start your day. I will do a series of article about different exercises soon, but I suggest that sweet video if you are lacking inspiration. If you are super brave and have time, you can do a full training at this point. But if not, do at least 1 thing that gets you out of your comfy morning zone. I usually like doing abs exercises or the plank for 1 minute.

  9. Make yourself a Yummy breakfast

    My favorite part of waking up early is to have time to enjoy a full breakfast. Put your favorite music on, cut some fruits, prepare some oatmeal & coco milk, make yourself a coffee and enjoy the yumminess of life. I love to pack my lunch for the day at this point. I usually have more energie and while you are in the kitchen, might as well get everything ready to go!

  10. Get ready, enjoy being awake & be awesome

    Good morning! You’ve made it! Don’t you feel great? It’s time to shower, dress up, and get ready to kick off the day! At this point, the sun might be rising, breath deeply, enjoy this glorious ”Sunday morning” feeling. To me, mornings are the essence of slow living. Hey what about your phone? Well, at step 10, you are allowed to look it up. I haven’t mentioned it before and It is not by accident. To enjoy the full benefits of waking up early, don’t you dare stare at a screen. If you follow these steps, you will not only slowly learn to enjoy living in the moment, you will reconnect with yourself. Take time to be. Don’t let the news and the buzzing sound of the world get to you before you are fully awake. Can you make that promise to yourself?

How was your morning?

One thought on “10 Steps Guide to Waking Up Early

  1. Pingback: Why I failed to wake up at 5 am for 21 days |

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