Getting up early in the morning has not been easy for me. But this is something that I’ve struggled with, and practiced since my teenage years. This practice still remains a challenge for me as the mornings are not easy.
So if it’s been such a challenge, why continue to struggle? I have found that the early morning hours are the most productive and refreshing time for reading, prayer, and meditation. These functions can be done any time of the day, but I found the mornings are the best.
During my years of struggling to be an early riser, I’ve learned some important lessons that have helped me. Here are three most important steps.
1. Plan your evenings
In the later part of the evening, avoid activities that provide too much mental and eye strain. Avoid the computer screen and all other devices as much as you can. The extra strain will make it harder to fall asleep, and has an effect on the quality of your sleep.
A good activity before sleeping might be to read a book. Paper books are best since they are easier on the eyes. Although I use eBooks a lot, I prefer to use the Kindle device without backlight. It seems to give a view that is softer and easier on the eyes.
Avoid coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks in the evening that may hinder your sleep. Any kind of snacks and drinks with sugar can also be avoided in the late evenings.
All of these factors help you to sleep quicker and sleep better so you can get up at an early hour of the morning.
2. Plan your mornings
When my alarm goes off at 4am, I am hardly ever in the mood to wake up. But its somewhat of a mental “game” for me to go through several of my morning routines before deciding if I need more sleep.
Usually after those routines, and washing my face with soap, I begin to feel much better. But I tell myself that if I still don’t feel right, I can opt to return to sleep. This gets me up with the option of going back to sleep if its a must.
I also plan out my morning routine as well. I place my Bible, notebook, pen, and other things I might need at the right place. In the evening, I set up that “area” for me to sit and pray, read, and meditate. This adds to the expectation in my mind to get up since I’ve done some preparation in advance.
3. Plan your rewards
Set up some rewards for yourself as you go through the hassle of getting up in the morning. For people like me, its the inviting smell of freshly brewed coffee and its taste that acts as a worthwhile reward.
For those in colder temperatures, its that cozy feeling of wrapping something warm around you as you sit on the couch. Now for us who live near the equator, that means nothing at all.
I believe the best reward for me is to have a personal, one to one time with my Lord who called me and sustains me every day. Its the joy, delight, and expectation of hearing His voice each morning as I sit at His feet.
So, take these things to heart and make a bold attempt this week to get up earlier than your regular wake up time. Earnestly try the above steps during the next few days and weeks. Then, let me know how it went. Come back to this post and leave a comment about your experience. You’ll surely find this a rewarding time.