As most of you know I will be leaving the Bay Area for the Big Apple in exactly two months! This transition comes with its fair share of excitement and stress. To combat this stress I recently returned to one of my old habits–waking up at 4:30 am. That’s right, whenever I’m stressed or need to gain more control over a project I’m working on I always return to waking up at this ungodly hour; but why? How does waking up early lead to a more successful and productive day?

It turns out that I am not the first person to stumble upon the life hack of rising before dawn to get things done. U.S Marines, CEOs and world leaders all boast about how early they start their day. U.S Navy Admiral William McRaven even gives a very popular speech on why you should make your bed in the morning that you can watch HERE. At the heart of McRaven’s speech is a pattern mindset. A Pattern mindset means looking at each action as a domino leading to bigger habits. For some, it starts as early as making your bed in the morning; a tiny win that leads to more success throughout the day. For others, like me, this pattern of behaviors starts even earlier.

I would argue that the battle starts the moment you decide to hit snooze and catch a few more zz’s or wake up and face the world. The most important battle of the day takes place somewhere between 4:30 and 4:45 am. Choosing to rise when that alarm sound builds strength. That strength leads to the will power to turn down the cookies in the breakroom. That strength leads to not skipping the gym. That strength leads to a stronger person.

My hope is that you will give this early morning challenge a try. My advice would be to start small; 5 am doesn’t sound as scary. I would also encourage you to be patient with yourself. It takes time for the body to adjust to a new routine. However, when you do adjust, and you see just how much is possible during your waking hours. You’ll be glad you didn’t hit the snooze alarm. Remember: stronger patterns make stronger people.

To your Continued Success,

Coach Don