Read as Debi Kinney, General Manager/Director of Sales for CSI DMC Las Vegas discusses the importance of setting an early alarm and tackling your day!
I am often asked the question, “Why do you get up so early?” and it is typically followed by “How do you get up so early?”. Although I am naturally an early to bed, early to rise kind of a woman, I do set my alarm and pursue an earlier rising time than my regular body clock is set for. Why? For me, I find that by getting up earlier I am better able to show up for those I serve – my family, my clients, my colleagues – because I am better able to serve myself.
Scientifically, there are several proven benefits to getting up early, and I’m going to condense those to the top five benefits of a 5 AM wakeup call here:
1. Productivity – By waking up earlier, you have a head start on the day. You have more time to be intentional about setting yourself up for success without a lot of the common interruptions that come with regular workday scheduling (I’m talking about your emails, texts, and phone calls). Also, in starting your day earlier, by the time you actually get to work or your work desk, you are fully awake, present, and ready to jump in and give it your all as opposed to rolling in still sleepy and in need of caffeine.
2. Exercise – As a former fitness instructor and a continuing fitness enthusiast, I love to exercise – mostly I love the benefits of working out. When I get up early, I can fit in a solid workout and stretching routine that starts my day out strong both mentally and physically. If I wait until the end of the day, I’m tired, I’m hungry, I want to spend time with my family – I can find all sorts of excuses to not do it, even though I love it, so having time to exercise before the workday begins is a huge benefit of an early alarm.
3. Reflection and Planning – Rising with or before the sun brings a level of peace and serenity that can be hard to find in our otherwise busy lives. A 5 AM wakeup call offers the gift of silence, which is also a great time for self-reflection, goal setting, and life planning. Whether you meditate, write your top three intentions for the day or journal about life, these activities increase your connection to yourself and help you to activate in your life the priorities that are essential just by reflecting on and planning for them.
4. Reading – Another advantage of getting up early is having time to read! Whether for pleasure or profession, reading on a daily basis is one of the top habits of the most successful people, and studies have shown that those who read on a regular basis have higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to manage challenging situations. Ironically, reading is also associated with better sleeping patterns.
5. Mentality – In addition to healthier skin and healthier eating habits (both proven benefits of waking up early), our mental health benefits from that early alarm. Studies show that early birds have more energy, better concentration, and a more positive outlook on life.
You are in good company when you get up early. Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Howard Schultz, and Tim Gunn are all early risers. And don’t just take my word (and theirs!) for how beneficial this practice is, there are books you can reference that are dedicated to this subject. A couple of my favorites include ‘The 5 AM Club’ by Robin Sharma and ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod. And of course, you can also Google it. There are a ton of personal and professional testimonials!
If your interest is piqued and you are ready to rise with the sun, the next question will naturally be how to implement this practice. There are a few tips and tricks you can use to get used to this practice. Partner up with an accountability buddy who can help you hold to this new practice. Also, make sure you go to bed earlier, which will make it easier to get up earlier and will also keep you from losing valuable overall sleep time and benefits. Be sure to plan what your morning will look like and start it with something you will look forward to so that it will motivate you to hop out of bed instead of hitting snooze. Most importantly, find what works best for you as that is what will create a lasting habit. For me, I will not hop out of bed to meditate or read but if I know a killer workout is awaiting me, I will roll out of bed, get my workout clothes on, and get going.
I am hopeful that reading some of the above benefits and strategies will help readers to understand both why and how to develop an early AM routine. I can share that this is a strategy that has worked for me for many years before I knew whose company I was keeping or what resources and studies there were to underscore this healthy habit. If you are still on the fence, just try it for 30 days and see what amazing results you can produce for yourself. I have been able to add 30 miles a week to my workout routine and 12 books a year to my learning repertoire, as well as immeasurable peace of mind to my life. As Hal Elrod poetically stated, “Wake up early every day so that while others are still dreaming, you can make your dreams come true.”