Get your butt out of bed: A guide to help you wake up early, be more productive and, get fit starting right now

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You have a problem. I get it. 

You can't get out of bed to exercise, but you really want to.

Somehow the bed and it's sheets have subdued you and pulled you into the dark abyss of Hypnagogia (exactly, look that word up, I had to). You lay feverishly in your fart-sack waiting for the alarm to go off again just so you can hit the snooze button...again.

Bro, I have been there. It killed me. I hated waiting in the dark, thinking about my day, and how miserable it was going to be. All the things that you have to do racing through your mind. 

It's a mind drain.

You wished that you had more time to sleep, or that you could have gone to bed earlier the night before. The regret is setting in.

Now, if you hit the snooze again, you will get another 5 minutes of intermittent sleep, but you won't feel any better when you finally get your butt up and into the shower.

This is what you have become. A lethargic morning masterpiece.

You are not alone. In fact, a study by Sleep Junkie (A mattress specialty company) over 53% of people say they feel "dread" when the alarm goes off in the morning, and 27% of people feel anxious. Add those two numbers together and 80% of people "Fear" the alarm.

I would say that's alarming (see what I did there), but honestly, I'm not that surprised.

40% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep at night.

Does this sound like you?

  • I feel like I'm always tired. I chug coffee all day long
  • It takes me forever to fall asleep
  • I feel groggy, even when I get a good night's sleep
  • I hit the snooze button on the alarm for over an hour every day.

Most people fall into 3 categories.

  1. They are morning people 
  2. They fall somewhere in the middle (energetic in the afternoon, majority of people fall here)
  3. They are night owls

However, despite falling into these categories, it really is just a distinct symptom of not getting proper sleep, or rather, enough sleep.


 
 

Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night.
— William Blake

The reason you are struggling to get up in the morning has a lot do with what you are consuming (eating and drinking), how much sleep you are getting, and whether you are physically active.

It is rare to have a genetic disorder or insomnia, although they do occur, the majority of people just go to bed way too late.

I wasn't always a morning person, I struggled with getting up early, and I always had those symptoms I described above. Now, for the past 5 years I have developed a habit of getting up at 4-4:30 am every morning.

You might be thinking, "That's great Stephen, I don't really mind staying up late, it's my way to unwind, and you're just plain crazy!"

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I can understand that, but ask yourself a couple questions:

  • When was the last time I made time to exercise after work?
  • Why do I feel like garbage around 3 pm everyday?
  • Am I eating healthy, or just grabbing food when I can or going out after work?

I believe waking up early can help you with all of those questions, I'll tell you how.

  • You are more alert in the morning. It is just how we are wired, your body isn't producing melatonin because it knows its morning due to something that we have internally called circadium rhythm, it is our biologic clock.

 

  • No one else is awake. As soon as you let that alarm clock go off, or you get to work. Everyone and everything else has input in your day. If you get up early, you can get ahead of all of that, and focus on prioritizing your day. You get ahead of your day, and tell it what to do, rather than the other way around.

 

  • You won't feel anxious. I always felt anxious at night when I stayed up to late. I would dread going to work the next morning, and look at the clock and think. "OK, if I go to bed in one hour I will get 6 hours of sleep, I will just drink a bunch of coffee tomorrow, and get breakfast at McDonald's on the way to work." Now,  getting up early helps me to prepare for the day. You can get so much done in the morning so you don't have to stress out about all that stuff.

So, if I haven't convinced you yet, that's OK, there are still a couple things that you have to do to achieve waking up early.

You have to go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier. They go hand in hand.

 

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Step 1: Go to bed earlier. 

The best thing you can do, is go to bed early. 

Starting now. Decide you are going to get at least 7 hours of sleep, and you won't go to bed after midnight.

I use the sleep-time function on my I-phone, I tell it what time I want to wake up, and when I want to go to bed to get a full 7 hours of sleep, and it alerts me when it's time to go to bed.

I set 3 alarms on my phone five minutes apart, that way if I sleep through one, I have a back up.

The Navy SEAL's have a quote: "Two is one, and one is none."

  • Set a time to go to sleep, Set 3 alarms and, set them 5 minutes apart.
    • Don't allow a snooze function if at all possible, because you don't want to snooze through it, you just want to get up.
  • Put the alarm clock or phone on the other side of the room
    • If you have to get out of bed, you are more likely to stay out of bed. Also, when the alarm goes off and you get up, leave the room. Go drink a tall glass of water, and brush your teeth. Turn the light on.
  • You can try this cold turkey or incrementally ( I did it cold turkey)
    • You can start getting up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do or you can set a time to get up and just do it. You know yourself and what you are capable of. For the men that have young kids I know it's difficult when you were up with your kid in the night, but you can do it.
    • Remember, doing hard stuff makes you better and builds character. I did it with my first child, and kept the discipline throughout the other one too. It was hard, but what isn't.

Now that you have a plan to go to bed earlier, and an action plan for getting out of bed in the morning. what are you going to do with your new found time?

I thought you would never ask.


Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.
— Richard Whately

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Step 2: Exercise, time to get in shape

Yes, it's all about engineering your morning.

There is not trick or hack to working out, there is no secret formula or one singular workout if done repeatedly is going to get you in the best shape. (That is called Insanity)

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In an ideal world, the best way to workout is to picture a hopper with myriads of workouts in it, and each day one funnels through the nozzle at the bottom. When it pops out, you do the workout, no matter what it is. The closest thing to this style is Cross Fit. 

In other words, fitness is being able to do more than just doing leg curls, or bench press. It's about being the best all around athlete you can be.

The best fitness routine is the consistent one. What makes every fitness or weight loss success story just like every other one? They were all committed to the program, they were all consistent.

So, once again, the best workout you can do is the one you START and the one you do consistently. You can start with the 30 Day Fitness Program or the 6 Week Running Program.

You can also sign up for the 8 Week GORUCK Training Program.

When you wake up in the morning, you have to be ready to go exercise. Don't give yourself time to think.

Follow this step by step system for efficiency first thing in the morning:

  1. Drink a glass of water, get rid of waste and brush your teeth
    • Make it a habit, get up, drink a glass of water, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth. Turn on the light
  2. Set your exercise clothes out the night before
    • Know exactly what you are going to wear in the morning. If you go to the gym, have it placed in a gym bag, or just change into it. This will save you from having to fish around in the dark, and possibly wake everyone up.
  3. Make your breakfast meal the night before and have your lunch ready if you go to the gym.
    • Have your meals ready, so you can smash after a good workout.
  4. Shower at the gym if you go to one.
    • Shower after, saves time and money on the water bill. Cha Ching!

Increase Productivity

At it's core, productivity is simply, not wasting time.

Most people waste time on useless things. Miyamoto Musashi, the famous Japanese Swordsmen who never lost a battle, and wrote The Book of Five Rings and the Dokkodo (The way of walking alone) said this; "Do nothing which is of no use."

I believe he was saying, don't waste time on things that don't matter. Be productive, move forward, pursue excellence.

There are a couple things that you can do to be more productive in the morning in conjunction with waking up early and exercising.

After all, you are going to be up before everyone, you need to make the most use of your time.

  • Make a to do list the night before - I like lists, maybe you don't, but they sure help to keep you on track and show you visually what you have accomplished. Start with the things you least want to do first.
  • Don't look at the phone or computer until after you have exercised - If you start looking at your phone, you have lost ground. Now something is having input into your day.
  • Whenever you are prompted to do something - Do it right away, correctly, the first time

Just get your butt out of bed. Stop sleeping in and letting your life waste away. For those of you that are working late shifts, it's the same thing. Just get up earlier. I used to work on 3rd shift, and on 2nd Shift, and I still found time to exercise and wake up early. You can too.

If you have time to look at Facebook and watch a movie or TV show, then you have time to exercise, eat right, and be productive.


So what's it going to be? 

Are you going to make this life count and step up? Are you going to stay up late eating junk food and watching TV shows, or are you going to read a good book at night, fall asleep at a reasonable time, and get up early in the morning ready to conquer the world?

The world will be yours, because you will be awake before anyone else in your time zone.

  • Make a to do list
  • Set out your exercise clothes
  • Prepare meals
  • Go to bed early
  • Wake up early
  • Exercise
  • Master your day.

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
— Ben Franklin

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Stephen Created the 360ManProject because he wants to see men be who they were made to be.