For most all of my life, I have avoided getting up early. My dad is a morning person and he gets up every day without an alarm clock between 4:30 and 5:00. My mom is night owl that uses er snooze button five times before getting up every day. You might say that I’m a product of a mixed marriage that way and as such I’m not a morning person or a night owl but more of an afternoon kind of guy, but this has changed in the last year.

Now, I’m up every day at 5:00 and I’m in the barn getting an early start on the day. It hasn’t been an easy adjustment, but I am a solid member of the 5:00 club now and here’s how I did it:

I Get Better Sleep

This actually started five years ago when it was suggested that I had sleep apnea. I did and was fitted with a c-pap machine and it truly changed my life. Aside from that though, I have taken serious strides to make sure I am sleeping well. I avoid caffeine late in the day, I keep our bedroom cool and dark and I stay off of my phone for the last hour before sleep. All of this helps, but more than anything, I started journaling, getting everything that I want out of the next day out of my head and on paper. Now, I fall asleep right away and stay that way until my alarm goes off. Better sleep makes my mornings much easier.

I Made A Commitment

I’m not talking about the kind that I had made to myself for years and never kept. It easy to break that one. No, I made a commitment to my family that I would take care of the morning barn work. When I did this, I put to work one of the great human truths: People are willing to do much more for others than they are for themselves. The thought of letting others down drives me to get up. if you’re struggling with this, make a commitment to someone else and you will be surprised how easily you live up to it.

I Make Use Of The Extra Time

This may sound silly, but for years, if I could get myself up, I couldn’t figure out how to make my time productive. It wasn’t worth getting up if I didn’t have anything to do. Now, I get my barn chores done and that’s something, but I use that time to connect with my son. Time that I don’t have at night. I make my wife breakfast and sit with her while she eats it. Then I write. I get more done before seven than I used to get done my nine. Riding the momentum of getting more done every day, I put myself in a position where I have come to depend on the extra time. Because I’m using it, I want to get up, I don’t just have to get up.

I still drink a lot of coffee and I still move a little slow when my feet first hit the floor, but I have successfully learned to do it. Getting better sleep, committing to getting it done and actually using my mornings have become my go to  What’s yours?

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