But the main rule is: Whatever your activities are, focus on one hour at the time.
Trying to establish three hours of habits in the morning (for working out, reading, watching a course, painting, and working on your passion projects), even though it might be possible, it will overwhelm you, and it can lead to failure.
Here are some of the suggestions:
- Setting and evaluating goals
- Physical activity (working out, running, swimming, yoga)
- Reading (or watching courses)
- Working on your passion project or your primary business/career
- Spending time with your loved ones (partner, kids)
- Preparing food (that you planned out day before)
But if you are looking for more, take a look at this article.
Note: you might experience energy drops in the first couple of weeks. But that's normal until your body adjusts to the new schedule.
Pro tip: if you experience a sudden drop of energy, take a 20–30-minute nap during the day.
It will happen that sometimes you don't wake up when you planned, and it usually happens that we are disappointed and it destroys the rest of the day.
Don't worry, be happy for the extra sleep and focus on the next important thing, tomorrow just improve.
Frequently asked questions
What about weekends?
This depends on your personal preference. In the beginning, when you are still developing a habit, I would be consistent and wake up on the weekends.
Later, when your practice becomes stronger, you can indulge in one or two additional hours.
How many times can I skip waking up early?
When you are trying to develop this as a habit, be careful with how many times you skip, because if you go 2–3 days in a row, it will be difficult to go back to waking up early.
But at the moment you go 30 days with consistent behavior, you will see the full benefits of it, and then even if you miss 2–3 days, it will be easy to go back, because you've gained the leverage over yourself and you know how important this is to you.
What happens when I travel or change the environment?
This is always tricky.
First, don't be too harsh on yourself. Try to stick with your habits, but if you can't just do your best to do the activities you want.
Here you can find an actual guide on how to maintain your habits when traveling.
What about a sudden party?
Those are the best. Just have fun. Don't force yourself to wake up at the exact hour, and just sleep how much you need and improve tomorrow.
If you are reading this, congratulations for sticking with me till the end.
The next step is for you to try it out. And remember, this is a long game, so start small.
Just 1 percent better every day, and soon you will see how it will drastically influence every area of your life.
This piece originally appeared on Medium.
Zdravko Cvijetic is an educator, and an entrepreneur, with a B.A. in Adult Education & Lifelong Learning. He is the founder of Zero To Skill, a platform which provides useful content on how to become a top-performer in life by mastering your habits and productivity and use it to build a personal brand. If you enjoyed his article, don't forget to get his free e-book: "The Ultimate Productivity Cheat Sheet."