How to Wake Up Early – 9 Tips the Most Successful People Use Everyday

How to wake up early!

Waking up early.. Ugh. Are you one of the many people who struggle to get out of bed in the morning?

Some of the most successful people in the world are up earlier than the birds, but do you know how they do it and what they do when they are up?

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former bodybuilder, actor, businessman, and politician, never sleeps in past 6:00 a.m. and was always at the gym by 7:00 a.m.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wakes up at 4:30 a.m. and is already sending out emails while most people are sleeping.

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, wakes up at 3:45 a.m. and works out before he gets to the office by 6:00 a.m.

Padmasree Warrior, CTO at Cisco, wakes up at 4:30 a.m., “…spends one hour reading the news, looking after emails, and working out before getting to the office”.

And yet, try as you might, you still hit the snooze button and you still sleep in. It’s time to GET RID of the snooze button and create a new routine. You want to be successful, you want to make a difference in the world…well you won’t do it lying in bed.

My grandfather once told me, “Nothing in life worth having is easy” and it has stuck with me. Every time I want to sleep in longer or give up on my dreams his voice echoes in my head.

Here are 9 tips on how to wake up early:

1. Set Goals the Night Before

Tim Armstrong, CEO, AOL “usually gets up at about 5:15 am and leaps out of bed, works out, reads, and uses his products”, according to a recent interview by Laura Barnett and Patrick Kingsley from The Guardian.

If you have no goals for the morning, why would you wake up early?  No plan to exercise, meditate, read, eat a healthy breakfast, work, or accomplish something in the mornings then you’re much more likely to stay in bed!

Research shows you should try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep in order to wake up feeling rested in the morning. Your goal of getting up early in the morning starts the night before with SMART goals.

A broad goal: I want to start a blog to inspire people.

A SMART goal:

  • S – Specific: I will create a motivating and inspiring blog on
  • M – Measurable: The blog will be ready at the start up April and I will make blog posts 1-3 times per week.
  • A – Attainable: I will setup my website first, then I will start writing blog posts, then I will market the blog posts to my followers.
  • R – Relevant: By sharing my knowledge in personal development and motivation I will be able to help other people and benefit from this.
  • T – Time-Based: My blog will be up and running in 3 weeks and I will have 4 blog posts ready.

2. Go to Bed Early

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” -Benjamin Franklin. He planned his routine around getting up at 5:00 am and asking himself – “What good shall I do this day?”

This is kind of obvious but if you’re up until 3:00 o’clock in the morning, chances are you are not going to get up early. If you often stay up late watching Netflix, scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube videos, or gaming and wake up exhausted in the morning, then you are not alone. Most people in North America are not jumping out of bed refreshed and mentally alert in the morning. That is rather terrifying because many drivers don’t remember how they got to work and many have actually fallen asleep behind the wheel.

People who go to bed too late are more overwhelmed by negative thoughts and anxiety.  A well rested brain deals with challenges and problems more efficiently and calmly.  Also, there is ample research that shows that the more regular sleep habits you have the more likely you are to maintain a healthy weight.

It comes down to choices and the majority of successful people go to bed around 11:00 and get up at 6:00 a.m. Besides, getting up early leads to more productivity during the day and you may even get to see the sunrise.

3. Get Up Immediately

As soon as your alarm goes, rise and shine because no matter how much you sleep you may never have the personality of a person who bounds out of bed like a gazelle.  Let’s face it most of us are not morning people and waking up is a challenge. If getting up quickly is a challenge for you try:

  • Letting natural light in.
  • Changing the color of your bedroom to a lighter color.
  • Getting rid of heavy blinds or curtains.
  • Making it extremely hard to reach your alarm clock.
  • Setting the volume to a loud setting, something unpleasant.
  • Considering the snooze button evil because you cannot reach REM sleep in eight minutes. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES TOUCH THE SNOOZE BUTTON.
  • Moving right away – try pinching yourself or pulling your hair if all else fails.
  • Breathing in deeply.

Richard Branson “…leaves his curtains drawn so the sun gets him up, even when staying at his private island”, according to business Insider.

Commit right now and then go splash cold water on your face, which brings me to drinking water.

4. Drink Water!

As soon as you get up drink two glasses of cool refreshing, thirst quenching water.

Why you ask? Because it almost instantaneously stimulates your brain.

About 70% of your body is composed of water. Your brain tissue is about 75% water. Every single function in the body is dependent on water! Lack of water affects how you feel, gives your headaches, causes focus and memory problems, and can actually make you feel depressed and angry.

Drink at least 500 mL of water and your metabolism will get fired up, toxins will get flushed out, and your brain will get the fuel it needs to jump-start your day.

5. Read Your Goals

According to numerous studies, people who write down their goals and read them every day achieve more than those who don’t. They are also able to get out of bed more easily in the mornings because they have a reason to.

Book Suggestion: Check out “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephan R. Convey for step-by-step advice on how to write your goals.

I write my goals down on a pad paper every night and then read them first thing in the morning. It’s important to remember who you are first thing in the morning and know what you want to achieve. I also have a large whiteboard beside my desk with what I want to accomplish each day.

Robert Iger, Disney’s CEO, told the New York Times, “he reads the papers,  looks at emails, and exercises all at once, starting at 4:30 am.”

6. Collect Quotes

Don’t ever underestimate the power of repeating the words you want to live by in your head. Why do you think the Bible had the power to change the world?  Words carry power…remember that. You need to select quotes that inspire you. Have your favorite quotes pop up every morning with your alarm. You could also post them beside your bed, on your mirror, or check out our Facebook page for daily quotes to inspire you.

There is power in changing your thought process. You can change your thinking through mindfulness training, meditation, and by repeating truths whether from the Bible or from famous people. Words are powerful and reading changes your mindset. You really want to change your life then start by learning something new today, collect quotes, and include them in your daily routine.

Here is a list of quotes to get you started:

“When you want to succeed more than you want to breathe or sleep then you will be successful…” – Eric Thomas

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from you own actions.” – Dalai Lama

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”  – Ralph Marston

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

“80% of success is showing up!” – Woody Allen

“You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.” – Joyce Meyer

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” – Swami Sivananda

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

“Nothing is impossible – the word itself says. “I’m possible!” – Audrey Hepburn

7. Psyche Yourself Up With Motivational Music or a Motivational Ringtone

Everyone knows the saying, “The early bird gets the worm,” but how about “The second mouse gets the cheese”.  The first mouse is dead because he didn’t take the time to remember the important things in life, he rushed a little too much and didn’t take the time to remember why he woke up in the first place. That’s right, take the extra one minute to remember who you are and what your goals are.  Then, pump yourself up with a great songs like Kongos’ “Come With Me Now”, Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” or Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Jack Dorsey, Twitter and Square CEO – wakes up at 5:30 am to meditate and go for a six-mile run, according to CNBC.

8. The 5 Minute Exercise Blast

Don’t underestimate the power of movement. If you don’t have the extra hour to work out, consider twenty-five squats, followed by twenty-five push ups on your way to brush your teeth. Continue to do another three sets throughout the day. It adds up and only takes five minutes.

However, making time to exercise in the morning will boast your productivity throughout the day.  According to Thomas. C. Corley, in his book “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life,” most self made millionaires wake up three hours before the work day begins and exercise is part of their routine.

 “A key element of my productivity is being fit and healthy and starting off my morning with physical activity like kite surfing, swimming, or playing tennis.” Richard Branson said in his blog post “Why I Wake Early”,

9. Watch a Motivational Video

A lot of our followers download and set our videos (like the one below) as their ringtones. I used to do this as well and I’m actually experimenting with waking up to different types of motivational speeches at the moment. In the future I might have a page on this website where you can download motivational ringtones! Let me know in the comments if anyone’s interested in this idea.

“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” - Lyndon B. Johnson Click to Tweet

If you want to change your life, be successful, and make a difference in the world, then you need to change your habits. Start with getting up immediately with purpose, drinking water, exercising, and repeating positive quotes over and over until you believe them and act on them.


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