I have done it!
Well kind of.
Though I won’t be so audacious as to say that waking up in the morning is easy, I am feeling bold enough to say that I have gotten used to it. After 10 months of sporadically waking up early, 4 months of never waking up early, and two weeks of waking up at 6am or earlier, I can say that the latter feels good and normal.
After the ungodly shock of opening my eyes in the morning, I no longer feel the tiredness akin to Death slowly tightening his grip upon me. I feel alert once I am on the road, and I don’t have the urge to go to bed at 8pm.
A few things have helped me overcome my morning woes.
First, I have been pretty good about sticking to a consistent schedule. I go to bed right around 10pm (if I’m really motivated then maybe even a bit earlier). I wake up anywhere from 545am to 615am. Before bed I read for 15-20 min. I try to avoid screens for a half hour before bed, but this is just silly because it’s impossible.
I’m just too popular and people are incessantly seeking my counsel—even past bedtime.
Actually, I just have a terrible Wikipedia addiction (and a curiosity bordering on ADD) so the need to look up the History of Japanese Militarism because of some Toyota commercial I saw an hour before always seems to arise right at lights out.
But anyway, sticking to a routine should not be underestimated. We all know this but I think many people my age don’t realize the immensity of value in it.
Second, I eat less and healthier. Living back with my parents makes this one a little easier. Other than not having to worry about the cost of food, a delicious, healthy dinner cooked by my mom is typically always an option. Other than that I eat a light breakfast and lunch. A smoothie with fruit, yogurt, milk, power greens, and flax seeds along with some oatmeal serves nicely as breakfast, and then normally some type of wrap for lunch.
Heavy or excess food during the day slows down your mind and body. Supplement with ample amounts of caffeinated beverages.
So we’ve got schedule and diet. The next thing I’ve tried to stick to is the gym.
I attempt to make it to my workout establishment at least 3 times a week. (Disclaimer: I say ‘at least’ to make it sound better. I don’t go more than three times. Funny how much we can use language to say true statements, but make them sound way better.)
Anyhow, gym 3 times a week. This is probably the hardest but most important thing in terms of palpably feeling less tired. Go in the morning before work. It sounds like hell but it feels great. It’s far superior to coffee (though I still encourage copious amounts of coffee) when it comes to waking you up in the wee hours, and it will make you feel more alert and energetic throughout your day.
Another point on this. At the moment I am a member at Anytime Fitness and have a hellish commute in the morning. For both these reasons I go to the gym downtown. I have done both (the gym by my house and gym by work) equally in the past two weeks and found that going to the gym close to work is far better. For starters, it’s much easier to get up if you know you just have to throw on gym clothes, eat, and go. Also, the drive and traffic can kill some of the momentum you built up at the gym. So if you have the ability, workout as close to your job as possible.
Also, per my Praxis advisor, I also started using a technique called “bundling”. This is where you listen to a suspenseful audio book or podcast each time you are at the gym. And ONLY when you are at the gym. The idea is that you will desperately want to find out what happens next in the story and your only way to hear more is to go to the gym. I listen to a podcast called Serial. It seems to be working for me so far.
Alright so those are my life tips and all my wisdom built up after living for 2 weeks in the real world. We’ll see if I can hold on long enough to turn these things into habits. Do what you will with these tidbits and know that I’m also in the early stages of figuring out ways to be a better, more productive human.
I’ll commit more ink to paper on these things in the future.