I was like you.
I would hear about Martin Luther rising early to pray for four hours and get discouraged. I even tried to rise early on my own for years. I’d make progress for two days, but would go back to my old routine. Not matter what I did, I always failed.
But things are different. I’m rising early on most day and it’s changed my life.
I read Andy Traub’s book, The Early To Rise Experience: Learn To Rise Early in 30 Days, where he suggests to rise at 5:00 AM.
At first, I was skeptical. “Is this book really going to help me?”
But after applying the principles, I’m seeing life-changing results.
And if you learn to rise early, your life will change too.
Don’t believe me?
Here’s the first step: Know your “why.” Why would you wake up early?
If you’re not convinced waking up early will change your life, you’ll never do it.
Maybe you’re a busy parent and you could use some more margin in your life. Or maybe you’re a college student and want to develop this principle at a young age. Whoever you are — wherever you are — becoming a morning person will completely change your life.
Why Become a Morning Person
From my experience, becoming a morning person will give you:
- More devotional time with God.
- More joy.
- Fewer distractions.
- More focus and energy.
- Great momentum to start your day.
- More time to do others things you love.
- A fuller heart to minister to people.
- A less busy, hurried life.
Other research shows rising early is a common trait of successful people who live longer, make more money, and experience more satisfaction.
Guess what: You can have that.
Jesus Woke up Early
The Gospel writers often tells us of Jesus rising early:
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35).
I’m not trying to “Jesus juke” you.
But consider this. Jesus’ load was heavy: constantly preaching, teaching, and helping others. Being fully man, he knows the drains of life. And amid all the pressure and work and requests, he still rose early — while it was still dark! –to spend time with the Father.
All I’m saying is that if the Gospel writers often took pains to tell us that Jesus — fully God, and fully man — needed to wake up early to create time with God, we should take note that waking up early isn’t irrelevant.
13 Quick Tips To Become a Morning Person
1) Change your mindset.
“I’m not a morning person. I could never do it.” Is this an immutable fact?
It’s not biological. It’s just a (current) preference. And because you don’t know the joy of rising early, you tell yourself you’re not a morning person. Rising early is not a gift that some have and others don’t. It’s something anyone can do. You have to believe this in your mind.
2) Have a nighttime routine.
One hour before bed I read 20-30 pages of a book, turn off my phone, pre-brew my coffee, and take my supplements. I feel “off” when I don’t do these things. Develop a routine to help you establish a rhythm.
3) Go to bed early.
What this post is not suggesting is that you get less sleep. In fact, it’s the opposite: you can get more sleep and get more done. But you must go to bed earlier than you do now. Sounds simple, but a huge step in this process is simply going to bed earlier.
4) Don’t be afraid of caffeine.
I confess: I would fail without coffee. Don’t become addicted, but there’s nothing wrong with a cup or two of coffee or tea to start your day. I use a pre-brew coffee machine so coffee is already made as soon as I rise.
5) Have a plan.
What will you do when you rise? Read your Bible? Go to the gym? A plan eliminates anxiety, confusion, and gives you direction.
6) Get an accountability partner.
I told a friend about my new lifestyle. My enthusiasm convinced him to join the journey. I checked-in a week after he started: “Waking up early is changing my life,” he said. “I want to do this everyday for the rest of my life.”
Two is stronger than one. Get a partner to keep you inspired.
7) Don’t check your phone when you rise.
I know it’s tempting to check email or social media as soon as you rise, but don’t do it. It can wait. (Tony Reinke explains why here).
8) Do work in the mornings you love to do.
You want to wake up to something you love to do. I read my Bible and pray. If I have time, I’ll add 10-15 pages of a non-fiction book. Point is, I’m waking up to stuff I love to do to keep me motivated.
9) Ignore the naysayers.
You’ll have few cheerleaders on this journey. People may even make fun of you. Don’t listen to them. Waking up early is the mark of someone who’s living an intentional life.
10) Be consistent.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. This may seem impossible at first, but over time, you’ll develop momentum and succeed if you don’t quit.
11) Don’t be legalistic.
Finally, don’t be legalistic. You’re not going to make God love you less if you sleep in. I usually rise early 6 days a week, with one day a week where I simply cannot get up for the life of me. If you slip up here and there, don’t sweat it. Just pick yourself up and start over the next day.
So what do you think?
Waking up early can change your life. Especially if your desire is to be with God.
I’ll leave you with George Muller’s advice:
“Do not delay. Begin tomorrow. But do not depend on your own strength. You may have begun to rise early in the past but have given it up. If you depend on your own strength in this matter, it will come to nothing. In every good work, we must depend on the Lord. If anyone rises so that he may give the time which he takes from sleep to prayer and meditation, let him be sure that Satan will try to put obstacles in the way. Trust in the Lord for help. You will honor Him if you expect help from Him in this matter. Pray for help, expect help, and you will have it.”
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