How I Wake Up in Under One Minute Every Day 84

How I Wake Up in Under One Minute Every Day - let's reach success

This is a guest post by Joshua Spodek, bestselling author of Leadership Step by Step, is an Adjunct Professor at NYU, leadership coach and workshop leader for Columbia Business School, columnist for Inc., and founder of Spodek Academy.

For most of my life, certainly the past decade, I’d take twenty-plus minutes to get out of bed after my alarm, often forty minutes or more.

Since November I’ve gotten out of bed in under sixty seconds, without fail, each day, at 6:15am.

When a mutual friend put me in touch with Lidiya and we talked about cross-posting to each other’s blogs, I saw her posts on the value of getting up early and thought I’d share my transformation. I didn’t ease into getting up in a minute. I did it one morning for the first time in my life, found it valuable, and kept doing it since.

This is through a cold, dark New York City winter. I save energy, so that meant getting out from under a warm comforter into an unheated apartment. Totally worth it, which I could only learn from doing it.

Lidiya wrote about the value of waking up early and having a morning routine. Many of us know that value. Our challenge is starting the practice and making it automatic.

They know what to do.

I’m going to share how.

I’m not special. If I can, you can too.

I don’t claim my solution will work for everyone. I doubt any solution would or could. But it worked for me so it may work for others.

I have no special superhuman skills, no special waking-up history. While I had morning activities, I had never fixed them into a routine. On the contrary, starting this practice coalesced my activities into a set routine, which has made my mornings more fun and efficient.

I didn’t even have strong motivation to get up early since I used to tell myself lying in bed that I was meditating to start my day with focus. Deep down I knew I was procrastinating, though, not meditating.

I did have one advantage: I’ve worked on creating habits out of things I value.

For example, I used to labor over deciding between taking the elevator or stairs to my fifth-floor apartment. Then I realized it freed my mind more to decide once and for all to take the stairs.

That’s the benefit to systematizing things: freeing my mind to think about important things. In other words: mental freedom. The free exercise is a side benefit.

If you don’t have experience systematizing practices, I recommend starting as soon as you can. Since this article piqued your interest, I recommend starting with this practice. Use this post to get out of bed in under a minute tomorrow morning.

You may succeed, you may fail, but at least you started. Once you start you can iterate and improve. My experience doing so is how I succeeded this time.

The How of Getting Up in Under a Minute

I teach leadership and entrepreneurship through my book, Leadership Step by Step, at New York University, and in my online courses that the book is based on at Spodek Academy. In my leadership course I assign a personal project and some students choose to start a habit.

The book and course describe a process depending not on willpower or hoping for the best, but crafting one’s environment, beliefs, and behaviors to make the new habit feel natural.

Last November, one student chose as her habit to wake up early and quickly for a month. She kept talking about how hard she expected it to be.

I knew that her believing it would be hard would make it hard. I suggested that believing it would be easy would make it easier.

As I said so, I thought of how much time I wasted not getting out of bed. I thought, “If I’m telling her she can believe it’s easy, I can believe it’s easy too.” So I did. I had meant what I said.

That evening I set my phone alarm for 6:15am and put my phone away from my bed. The next morning when the alarm went off, I had the thought I’ve had almost every morning since: “I don’t want to get out of bed, but I said I would. I even said it would be easy,” and I got out of bed. Then I walked to the phone, ensured that it still said 6:15, and turned off the alarm.

That’s all I did at first. I’d stand there dazed, wanting to go back to sleep, but knew to stay out of bed. Over the months since, I’ve used that time to figure out the order of what to do and I do it. What I used to think about for twenty to thirty minutes, I do.

Action leads to results that mere thinking doesn’t.

The result is my morning routine: after turning off the alarm, I raise the shades, look at the morning light (or darkness, mid-winter), go to the bathroom, do my ten-minute morning burpee/stretching/weights routine, water the plants, make breakfast (always the same: oats, nuts, fruit, chia seeds, and water), and indulge in browsing online while I eat. Then I go into each day’s unique tasks, having broken a sweat and taken care of a few daily essentials.

The routine is perfect for me.

What Made It Work

is there a wrong way to do morning pages - here are some mistakes you may be making

What made it work was not planning and figuring out perfection.

It works because I acted on something simple and stuck with it. Now it’s a 30+ minute affair that sets me up for the day, but it began as a one-minute task.

How did it evolve? I kept at it and improved it each day.

When you read about someone else’s morning routine, I recommend not trying to replicate theirs. Use it for motivation and direction, but your routine depends on your life and goals.

I recommend starting with a bare minimum and keep at it. Yes, it’s hard to get out of bed, but your routine will lead to for you what mine led to for me: a self-reinforcing routine that you enjoy.

The burpee routine warms me up and removes my motivation to get back in bed. My love for fruit and nuts motivates me to keep going until I eat. My feeling of responsibility to my plants motivates me too. Everything works together because I built it that way.

I’m surprised at how much I like it. For a second it’s hard to get out of bed. Then I’m glad I’m up. Then after the routine I’m fresh for the day.

The Big Picture

Most life transformations follow a similar pattern:

Planning leads to more planning, not action. Action leads to results.

I don’t believe planning alone can create perfection or even greatness. Only acting, refining, and improving can.

Which means starting is the key to success:

Start small, with what you will keep doing. Then don’t stop. Improvement will come inevitably.

Next Steps

Reading Lidiya’s blog means you have many life goals. Choosing to click this article means waking up faster is one of them. Start with it. Wake up tomorrow in less then a minute. And the next day, the next, and so on until you create your routine.

It will be yours. You will get all the benefits everyone else does for theirs. And people will want to learn what yours is. You’ll probably tell them how to start their own instead.

Eventually you’ll transform bigger parts of your life, eventually anything you want.

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10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning 15

10 Things Uber Successful People Do in the Morning

Who doesn’t want to be successful? Whatever our purpose in life may be, we want to achieve success with it. Although success is usually perceived as career growth, it also encompasses personal growth. These two things go together.

So what can we do to reach the personal and professional growth of uber successful people? Maybe we can imitate some of their habits. Their morning rituals, in particular, set the pace of the day.

Did you know that the way you start your mornings affects your entire day?

You probably felt that, but guess what: science proves it as a fact, too.

In a study called “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed: start-of-workday mood, work events, employee affect, and performance,” researchers found that whatever the mood of workers was during the morning, they preserved it throughout the entire day.

So if you start off in a good mood, you have greater chances of having a great day. That’s why morning routines are so important.

Let’s learn from the ultra successful people, shall we? How do they start their mornings?

What The Most Successful Do in The Morning

1. Spend Time with the Partner.


As we said, success is not only about professional achievements. It also means having the right person by your side.

Take Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan as an example. They are both crazy successful, and they are definitely happy to have each other.

Waking up next to the person you love makes every morning special. Appreciate that moment. Have a coffee together. Talk. Be glad you’re there for each other.

2. Mindfulness.

Yes; mindfulness is a habit.

Successful people are always busy. Can you imagine a hectic morning with dozens of urgent email messages, business partners calling, and the kids yelling? And they are still in their pajamas! That’s why they practice mindfulness.

Researchers from The University of Sydney found that mindfulness reduces work-related stress and improves the mood at work. That’s why successful people always seem ready to deal with any situation.

So how do you practice mindfulness in the morning?

Just wake up. Take few deep breaths. Be aware of the present moment. Be aware of the responsibilities the day ahead will bring. Relax, and tell yourself that you’re ready.

3. Plan the Day.

A good plan will set you on the right track.

Plan your tasks for the day in the morning. When you have such an outline, it will be easier to handle all responsibilities. You’ll know you’ll have time for all tasks.

If you realize there’s not enough time, you should plan how to outsource. If, for example, you cannot complete a business report, you can hire assignment masters to write or edit it for you.

4. Exercise.

I know; it’s a cliché. However, it’s also an activity that works.

Physical exercise makes you fitter, but it also makes you happierWhen you’re done with your morning exercise ritual, you feel at ease, and things start to clear up.

Most successful people exercise. Hillary Clinton does yoga. Obama works out for 45 minutes six days per week. Mark Cuban does cardio fitness. Follow their example!

5. Practice Patience.

Too many things ahead? If your schedule is busy, you’ll be eager to get things done ASAP. The morning is the period of the day when you should practice patience. Relax.

You already made a plan. There’s time for everything. You’ll get through the day. For now, cherish this precious moment of morning relaxation.

6. Juice Up.

How to Win The 9-to-5 Battle by Staying Healthy at Work

It’s no wonder why so many celebrities are into the latest juice detox trend. Healthy juices give you valuable nutrients and make you feel more energized.

Have a different juice every single morning. Sure, the juicer will take some cleaning after, but the juice will certainly give you enough energy for that.

7. Eat Breakfast.

You saw this coming, didn’t you?

Uber successful people know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s even better when it’s healthy.

Yes; the juice can be your breakfast, but it won’t make you feel full for long. If you don’t intend to have a standard breakfast, pack some fruit for work. A banana and an apple are mandatory!

8. Hydrate.

Have a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Hydration is essential for the way your entire system functions.

9. Be With the Right People.

In Tools of Titans, author Timothy Ferriss refers to a so-called “five chimps theory” in zoology. According to that theory, you can predict the behavior of any chimp if you analyze the five chimps they usually hang out with.

There’s a lot of wisdom in that theory. When you surround with nervous people, you’re nervous, too. When you surround yourself with positive characters, you reflect good vibes, too.

The first people you contact in the morning will set the mood for your day. Choose them carefully.

10. Celebrate Achievements.

When you wake up with a positive mindset, you’ll boost your chances of spending a good day.

Instead of thinking about all obstacles ahead, you should take time to think about all achievements you’ve made towards your current goals. This appreciation will convince you that you’re on the right track.

When we sum things up, all these morning habits of the ultra successful people seem pretty simple, don’t they?

However, it takes tons of persistence and commitment to stay true to them. Start by making small steps. Pick few of these activities and repeat them every day, until they turn into habits.   

Cathy Baylis is a personal growth expert who writes insightful articles that motivate and challenge others. She has worked as a writer for a little over a decade now, and owns several blogs that she updates on her free time.