HOW to Wake up Early?

Selah at airport

It’s 5:36am and I’m at Mohammed V airport in Casablanca.  It’s dark and cold, and I wish I was still in bed.  99% of the time I’d be fast asleep right now, but I had to wake up at 4am today, and my eyes are stinging!

Have you ever tried to wake up but failed?

Maybe you decided it would be a good idea to wake up early and exercise, or spend time in prayer, get in some extra studying or preparation, or read and journal.  You fell asleep feeling proud of yourself and excited about the productive morning you’d be sure to have.

Yet sometimes our ambitious decisions made the night before, can seem less critical or worthwhile when the alarm sounds and rudely interrupts our dreams.  The snooze button or a quick re-negotiation with our inner-self allows us to stay in the warm comfort of our bed and continue our dreamy slumber.

So HOW did I successfully wake up at 4am today?  How did I conquer the temptation to re-negotiate with my inner-self in an attempt to gain some precious extra moments in my cozy bed?

The answer lies not with the HOW, but with the WHY.

You see, my daughter is flying to Paris this morning, and she is soooooo excited!  It’s a class trip, and a big step for her to be travelling without her parents.  She chatted the entire drive here - bubbling over with glee.

The key to understanding HOW I got out of bed this morning is understanding WHY I got out of bed this morning.  I LOVE my daughter, and she’s far more important to me than sleep.  I’m committed to being a good Dad, and was excited to be part of this big moment in her life.  The practical steps I took (setting multiple alarms, going to bed early, laying out my clothes), helped make it easier, but it was my WHY that made the difference.

Think about the times when you failed to wake up as early as you had planned.  There are many great tips about HOW to wake up earlier, (controlling caffeine, sugar & screen time in the hours preceding your bed time, preparing your morning routine the night before (lay out your gym clothes, put the coffee maker on a timer…)), but the crucial factor in doing something difficult is your WHY.

You’ve got to find a compelling reason to get out of bed extra early.  We all know that we could benefit from time spent in the early morning exercising, praying, journaling, reading, or working on a side project.  But unless those benefits are clearly defined and deeply desired, we will continue to snooze our way to mediocrity and disappointment.

Take the time to figure out your WHY before you commit to something difficult.  It will radically increase the likelihood of your success.


“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon…must inevitably come to pass!”  -Paul J. Meyer

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