As my blog post, How Waking Up at 4 AM Changed My Life, had many reactions, I had many people asking me how I wake up at 4 AM. To answer that question, I decided to write a blog post about it so that other people that have the same question get an idea of how I wake up as early as 4 AM.
Before I dive in with my daily habits and how I disciplined myself, I wanted to touch on three crucial things to consider when you want to wake up as early as 4 AM.
Having the will to wake up early
I believe that everything we do, every action we take, comes with willingness. Some activities that we do became so unconscious that it turns into a habit. However, when you want to start doing things differently intentionally, you must be willing to do the work.
Being a morning person might be easy for some people. When I decided to wake up at 4 AM, I had a will to do it. When I was going through depression in 2018, I had a big urge to change my life. Then I ran into this blog post about waking up at 4 AM.
Honestly, I didn’t read that blog post. The title itself stirred something within me. It got me to look at my life differently. I asked myself, what is that I want from my life? I needed a big enough reason for me to wake up early.
Having a vision for your life
When I asked the question, “what do I want from my life?” I had to go back to my childhood. As the last child of a big family, *cough* 11 children, I was actually not the “baby” or the “spoiled” one. I remember one of my siblings telling me, “you’re the baby of the family; if I were you, I would ask dad for anything I wanted.” However, my dad never spoiled me, so I never really knew how to do it.
From then, I started dreaming about who I wanted to be when I grew up. I’ve always heard of Oprah Winfrey, but I didn’t know what she was about. However, since she looked like me, I decided that I wanted to be like her when I grow up.
Then I started thinking about the type of home that I wanted to live in. My child self decided that she wanted to live in a mansion one day. From there, I kept dreaming.
So, when I asked myself, “what do you want from life,” I answered: “live in a big mansion, become a billionaire, have multiple streams of income.” Then it happened to be my vision, my big reason, my why.
The one thing that will cultivate willingness in waking up as early as 4 AM is your vision. You need to have a big enough reason to wake up at 4 AM. The reason can’t just be “I want to wake up at 4 AM to show off that I’m an early bird.” You will post the time you woke up, but you will go back to bed right after that.
What does the future need from you today?
While you’re reading this, so far, I hope you have already noticed what you have to do. You have to have a vision for your life. That’s the number one thing that you must do today, right now. At least if you want to change your life.
In my coaching sessions, one thing that I make my clients do is to write a vision of their life. And when they do have that vision, they have to ask themselves, “what does the future me need from me today?” I want you to do the same thing right now. If you don’t have a vision, write it down as a letter and answer the above question.
Remember, I started this journey in 2018 when I was recovering from depression. When the time came to answer that question (what does the future me require from me today?), I found myself wanting to change my life drastically. I wanted to read more, workout, get money, and start writing.
When I looked at my current employment at that time, I was surprised because I didn’t have time after nor before work to do what I wanted to do. I was attending summer school, and I was going to work full time. Therefore, I was always exhausted.
So the thought of waking up at 4 AM came because I noticed that I could at least have 3 hours for myself before going to work or attend class. The future me required me to read many books, workout, write my blog posts, and be present in some of my peer’s lives.
Therefore, from answering that question, I started waking up at 4 AM and then started doing everything I could to accomplish what was required.
Again, don’t wake up at 4 AM to show off. You have to have a good enough reason to wake up at 4 AM, which will bring up the willingness to transform it into a habit.
Do you have to be a morning person to wake up as early as 4 AM?
We need to stop putting ourselves into boxes. There’s no morning person or night person. Whoever created that was trying to help someone find excuses not to wake up early.
Now that I got that off my chest. I want you to remember one thing; human beings work with habits. You get used to the usual stuff that you do every day. That is why we create new patterns, so it’s also hard to keep those habits.
If you want to wake up as early as 4 AM, you have to decide and then do it.
When I started waking up early, I had to start small. What do I mean by that? During the week, I would usually be up by 7 AM. When I decided to wake up earlier, I tried waking up at 6 AM for a few weeks, and then I did 5 AM, then 4 AM.
Give yourself grace
Of course, I’m telling you to do it. However, it won’t happen right away. You have to give yourself grace for failing. Sometimes you might wake up at 4 AM and then pass out right after you hit the snooze button.
Sometimes, you might wake up at 4 AM, then hours later, you feel sleepy. What’s happening is normal. Your body is simply not used to it. Therefore, try your best and don’t be so hard on yourself.
Set up a nice schedule from the time you wake up
If you wrote down your vision, I want you to now think about what your future self requires from you (which I made you think about a few words above).
I can only give personal examples here so that you understand what I’m trying to communicate. By now, you know that from my example, I realized that I needed to read, write and workout.
When I started waking up at 4, I had to leave my bed alone right away. The first thing that I did in the morning was brushing my teeth, wear my workout clothes, and then hit some exercises at home. I hate working out. Therefore, it took me a while to find the workouts that I enjoyed.
After working out, I would take my shower, and then I would take my laptop and start writing.
When you start to schedule your morning, give yourself the flexibility to tweak things around. What I realized from myself is that I was inspired to write as soon as I woke up. So I swapped working out with writing.
So my schedule would continuously change based on what I needed to do that day. Sometimes, I would not write, so that I would read instead.
However, the critical step here is to get OFF of your bed. It would be best if you divorced that thing for a few hours. I think that’s the most challenging part because we’re so cozy in it that we don’t want to let go. However, “not feeling it” isn’t an excuse for you to give up on your big reason.
To finish this early post.
Now you know how you can wake up as early as 4 AM. The title says “as early as 4 AM.” You don’t have to be a psychopath like me. You can wake up at 7 AM if that works for you.
Remember, you have to be willing to do this thing. The willingness comes from your future self, the vision (your big enough reason why). Then, to have an idea of what you could be doing in the morning, you can ask yourself, “what does my future self require from me today?” Then write it down, explore ways that you can implement these things into your schedule.
Remember to give yourself grace. It’s okay to fail a few times. You can always try again and fix what didn’t work.
I always tell my clients to give themselves grace if they wanted to start a new habit. If this blog post was helpful to you, please leave a comment and remember that sharing is caring.
Early morning habits dos and don’ts
I wanted to add a little BONUS. Here’s a picture that I created for you.