Health, Leadership, Life

How I accidentally became a morning person

I’m not naturally a morning person.¬†Left to my own devices I’d get out of bed five minutes before I need to leave the house.

I remember as a child my dad having to come into my room multiple times each morning to wake me up for school. As I became a “responsible adult” I got the place where I even set my alarm for 18 minutes before I HAD to get out of bed so I could hit the snooze button twice and then get up. I dreaded the sound of the alarm clock. Perhaps in part because I often dreaded the day.

The only time I found it easy to get up early was when I had something I really wanted to do the next morning. Need to get up at 5am to go snowboarding? No problem, I’d wake ten minutes before my alarm went off.

Three years ago I got sick and tired of being out of shape and a few of my annoyingly fit friends encouraged me to do a triathlon. I signed up for the Boulder IronMan when it was still a year away. I started training with a coach and it quickly became evident it was going be difficult to fit a couple of hours of training each day into my already full schedule. So, I decided to get up early in the morning to work out before my family got up and I accidentally became a morning person. ¬† Now, I’ll wake up early even on the weekends when I don’t particularly want to.

Since then my friend Michael Hyatt has written a lot about the benefits of being an early riser. Mike’s got his list, but here are five things I’ve discovered I have by getting up earlier:

  1. Time to think and pray
  2. Time alone (I’ve got four kids and I try to get up at least an hour before the first one gets up)
  3. Time for breakfast (this is supposed to be the most important meal of the day and I used to grab something unhealthy on my way out the door)
  4. Time for exercise
  5. Time to read and write (see above about having four kids)

We all have things we’d like more time for.¬†My friend Andy Traub has written an excellent little book called Early to Rise¬†that will take you on a thirty day journey to becoming an early riser. Even though I was already an early riser I’ve been working my way through the 30 Day Challenge and loving it. Each day he offers a short essay of encouragement and an early riser action tip. This morning’s tip, ship something, hence my first blog post in a very long time.

The book doesn’t come out until next month, but Andy’s offering a few free early copies at¬† (click on the Free Book button on the right).

Most of the people who discover I get up so early say something to the effect of, “I wish I could do that”. Well, the truth is you can, and Early to Rise will help. Thanks Andy.

What time do you get up?  What do you do with the first two hours of your day?