How to Get Up Early in 5 Simple Steps

How to Get Up Early in 5 Simple Steps

Yep, you can learn how to get up early – in just 5 simple steps. The only caveat is, as the legendary Mel Robbins says: “It’s simple, but it’s not easy.” And… you must go through all 5 steps that I’m about to outline for you; you can’t pick and choose. You. Must. Complete. All. 5. Steps. Mmm k?

It’s simple, but it’s not easy.

Mel Robbins
how to get up early - its simple but its not easy

1 – Have a good reason to get up.

Don’t have a good reason to get up? Then don’t get up. Seriously, stop right there, and don’t go through any of the other steps until you have an actual good reason to wake up early. I mean it… Don’t waste your valuable time.

FYI – When I say good reason, I mean a reason that moves you or inspires you to action. It has to be powerful and meaningful to you or else you’re going to stay in bed hitting the snooze button within a few days – maybe even the next day.

Your good reason can be for career or pleasure – or both, but either way, it must be something that has you super psyched to get out of bed.

Quick personal story: My primary reason for why to wake up early in the morning is because I’ve been desperate to build my side business so that I can finally quit my Corporate America job that sucks the life out of me. Desperation is very powerful.

To be honest, I’ve never been much of a morning person in the past and have always hated mornings, but I hate working in an office for someone else much more. I hate constantly having my lunch (which I eat at my desk!) interrupted much more than I will ever hate mornings. I hate workplace drama much, much more. As you can probably guess, I want out of that job!

One day, after feeling stuck and wondering how I’d ever get out of my dead-end office job, it suddenly came to me: Between commuting in L.A. traffic and family commitments in the evening, the reality is that early mornings are the only feasible time I have to work toward my dream. I made a pact with the morning right then and there. Early mornings and I are now on good terms and I view them as a tool – not as something to be avoided.

I’m starting to love waking up early because I have a good reason to do so. In fact, I wake up early joyfully, knowing full well I’m on my way out of my job within the next year. I truly believe embracing the lifestyle of waking up early is the ticket out of my hellish job.

What’s your reason to wake up early? Tell me in the comments.

2 – Write out a plan of action the night before; AKA – what to do when you wake up early.

Since you got up early, you’ll find that you might need to do a little planning the night before so that you know what to do when you wake up early and aren’t sitting idle.

Now that you know the reason you have or the goal you will be working toward each morning that you wake up early, it’s time to divide it up into manageable, bite-size steps. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. A little bit each and every morning toward your goal might seem like nothing overall, but each small win adds up very quickly.

For some people, it can be very easy to figure out step 1, which was determining a reason for early rising, but sometimes it can be more difficult to figure out what needs to be done on a daily basis to slowly work toward that success.

It’s a great idea to take some time (hours or days if necessary) to break your goal down into smaller daily and weekly steps. This preliminary planning will save you time later and might even possibly save you from wasting your time getting up at the crack of dawn dazed and confused, getting nothing accomplished.

Plan, plan, plan! I cannot stress planning enough!

3 – Prep everything you need the night before.

Speaking of dazed and confused, most people aren’t firing on all cylinders first thing in the morning – at least not until they’ve had a chance to wake up a bit. Waking up at the right part of your sleep cycle helps immensely with this, but that’s a whole other topic that I expanded on in a separate blog post when I discussed how to get up early without an alarm.

When you prep (or at minimum, pre-prep) food, drinks, clothes, gear, etc. the night before, you make it easy to roll out of bed and almost robotically get cracking on your morning routine while you’re still waking up.

4 – Acknowledge that you’ll never feel like getting up early.

That’s right. You will never feel like getting up early when the alarm goes off. Never. I know I don’t ever feel like it – even to this day.

That motivation you had last night about how great it’s going to be to wake up at 5am to do this or this? Expect that motivation to be nowhere to be found when you wake up. It will be completely gone, I guarantee it. A warm, comfy bed is just too tempting…

Just acknowledge that this universal truth exists and be prepared to overcome it in step 5. Don’t worry, there’s no shame in admitting what everyone knows: Motivation is useless and never there for you when you need it. What you need is step 5.

5 – Wake up early anyway (using The 5 Second Rule).

So how do you get over the fact that you don’t want to get up early, despite the fact that you actually really do want to do it so you can work toward your goals and dreams?

The answer is to beat your brain. Not physically, of course, so don’t be punching yourself in the head. 😉

What I mean by beating your brain is that you need to outsmart yourself. You can start by forgetting that stereotypical image of sitting on a patio happily watching the sunrise as you sip your coffee. When you’re an early rising newbie, it’s not going to be like that at all. You’re going to be getting out of bed practically kicking and screaming.

Here are some actionable steps to help you outsmart yourself: Shut off your brain and don’t allow it to think about anything until you get out of bed. Beds are for sleeping, not thinking.

When your alarm goes off, begin counting backward 5-4-3-2-1 and immediately (automatically, without thinking) rise up out of your bed and get up! No matter what, when you reach 1, pull back your blanket and stand up.

Do not give yourself time to talk yourself out of getting up right that second. If you give yourself even another 5 seconds, you will start rationalizing staying in bed – and as far as your dreams are concerned, you don’t have another 5 seconds to spare. Get to it!

This countdown method is what Mel Robbins, one of my favorite authors and motivational speakers, uses to get up early or to conquer pretty much anything else that holds her back or makes her hesitate – and you know what? It works. It works for adults. It works for teens. It works for kids. It works because it’s a very simple technique that activates the brain’s prefrontal cortex and distracts us from staying in bed.

In this case, what we need is a distraction, not rationalization. Forget all the fancy alarm clocks and yoga mats. Simple distraction wins the day and creates that early rising habit we’re looking to establish.

Mel goes into more detail about the sciencey (is that a word?) stuff behind the rule in her international bestseller The 5 Second Rule and you can find it at the best price on Amazon by clicking here. As a side note, I love Mel’s matter-of-fact, blunt tone in the book because that’s also how I also tend to communicate, so I know she’s not B.S.ing and has good intentions. She’s a straight-shooter who simply gets shit done, and if that’s what you’re looking for as you’re learning how to get up early, you’re going to love her book and find a lot of value in it.

BTW – if you want to learn more of the in-depth nuts and bolts about how to wake up early from my perspective click here to take a look at my blog post that dives into all that.


The Bottom Line About How to Get Up Early

That’s all there is to it! Let’s not overthink getting up early. Plenty of successful and mindful people get up early every single day because they have a goal or crave uninterrupted personal time. Why not be one of them? Just have the intention and plant the seed of desire, do a bit of planning, break down the steps, acknowledge you don’t want to do it… and then just do it.

how to get up early - 5 simple steps
I'm the owner of WhyGetUpEarly.com and an enthusiastic early riser. Let's discuss why that is... and maybe I can make you a believer in magical mornings as well!

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