Could Waking Up Earlier Help You Achieve Your Goals?

This is the third post in a series of five. You can find the first here and the second post here.

Is it possible that the time you wake up each day could help determine whether you are or are not successful in achieving your goals? Does it really matter if you rise each day at 5 AM, 8 AM or noon? As long as you put in the required amount of time each day, why does it matter what time you climb out of bed? Believe it or not, there is mounting proof that shows those people that rise earlier than others get more done, are more successful, and are more likely to achieve any goals they set.

A 2008 study out of Texas University showed one of the many benefits of rising early. College students who referred to themselves as “morning people” earned better grades than those who identified themselves as “night owls.” The difference was substantial, a full 1.0 point, with an average of 3.5 versus 2.5.

Breakfast Is Essential to Success

When you wake up early, you have plenty of time to eat breakfast. Wake up later and the tendency is to skip your morning meal, especially if you’re running behind. The link between nutrition and mental health has been noted, and obviously, your physical body works better with energy from food to start the day. The reason why breakfast is named as it is refers to the fact that you need to “break the fast” of not eating during the night before with some healthy food.

Harvard biologist Christopher Randler found in 2010 that “early risers are more proactive.” Those that woke up early as opposed to later were much more likely to agree with statements such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself.”

There are fewer distractions in the morning because there are fewer people awake. Multiple studies show that early risers are better at planning, making decisions and setting goals. Getting up early means a better chance at having time to exercise, which delivers both physical and mental benefits. People that start their morning earlier rather than later often have very well-established and healthy sleep routines and habits. 

For all of these reasons and more, getting up early can lead to better goal achievement.

You Are a Byproduct of Your Ancestors

Early man got up with the sun and went to sleep when the sun went down. He didn’t have the benefit of artificial light, and wandering around in the darkness raised the chances of injury and death. Modern man has only existed for a sliver of human history. Your body and mind are predisposed to rise early and to go to bed earlier than most people do these days.

A study from David T Neal, Wendy Wood and Jeffrey M Quinn shows how important habits are to human beings. They make up approximately 45% of normal, everyday behavior. It is a large part of what you do. When you establish rising early as a habit, it eventually becomes unconscious behavior, leading to all of the benefits just covered.

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