Life and business coach Hal Elrod wasn't always a morning person.
The entrepreneur was guilty of starting his day by hitting snooze until 2008, when he started developing his "Miracle Morning." Since, Elrod has been waking up at 3:30 a.m., seven days a week.
In "The Miracle Morning," which Elrod self-published via Amazon, he explains how his morning routine helped him go from his lowest point — a failing business and drowning in $425,000 of personal debt — to his peak: building successful companies, more than doubling his income, and paying off all of his debt.
He's one of many successful people who swear by waking up early. Morning is arguably the most productive time of the day because it's quiet, and that peace allows you to tackle tasks before distractions arise.
If you want to try waking up earlier, consider Elrod's five-step "snooze-proof" strategy that gets him up well before the sunrise every day.
Step one begins before you fall asleep — according to Elrod, you have to set your intentions in advance.
"Remember this: Your first thought in the morning is usually the last thought you had before you went to bed," he writes. "We've all had nights where we could hardly fall asleep because we were so excited about waking up the next morning."
Think: Christmas Eve, the night before your birthday, or the the night before starting a new job. "As soon as the alarm clock sounds, you open your eyes with enthusiasm and excitement to get out of bed and embrace the day!" says the entrepreneur.
On the other hand, if your last thought before bed is something negative — something like, I can't believe I have to wake up so soon — then your first thought upon waking up is going to be something like, I can't believe it's already 6:00 am. I'm too exhausted to get up.
"Consciously decide every night to actively and mindfully create a positive expectation for the next morning," Elrod writes.
Whether you use an actual alarm clock or a smartphone, move it as far away from your bed as possible.
"This forces you to rise from bed and engage your body in movement," Elrod writes. "Motion creates energy, so when you get up and out of bed it naturally helps you wake up."
As soon as you get up to turn your alarm off, go directly to your bathroom to brush your teeth and splash water on your face.
"The point is that you're doing mindless activities for the first few minutes and simply giving your body time to wake up," Elrod writes.
"It's crucial that you hydrate yourself first thing every morning," the entrepreneur writes. "After 6-8 hours without water, you'll naturally be mildly dehydrated, and dehydration causes fatigue. Often when people feel tired — at any time of the day — what they really need is more water, not more sleep."
Elrod likes to fill up his glass of water the night before, so it's ready right when he wakes up.
"Some people prefer to start their day by jumping into the shower, but I believe we should earn our morning shower by breaking a sweat first," Elrod writes.
Exercise doesn't have to take up a huge chunk of your time. In fact, all you need is seven minutes, a chair, and a wall for a highly effective workout.