People constantly ask me “how do you get up so early?!?” - normally with a tone of voice that is confused yet a little inspired.
I sometimes feel I’m cheating because I genuinely don’t find it too difficult. What I’ve recently realised though, is that I’ve trained myself to reach this mindset.
When waking up at 0445 doesn't feel weird anymore, it’s time to understand why.
The below steps aren't a quick fix (we all know those don't exist), but repeat them a few times and you’ll become obsessed. Obsessed with the rare London hours where the city feels still, silent and all yours.
1. Go to bed earlier
The most simple adjustment, but yet overseen by so many. If you’re getting up an hour earlier, simple mathematics will tell us that we should go to bed an hour earlier. Be disciplined and don’t watch another episode of Homeland.
2. Buddy up
Knowing that the others are waiting at the corner of Regents Park at 0630 is enough to get me out of bed. I’d much rather start my day by seeing them first, not the stranger who is ignoring my personal space on the tube.
3. Focus forward
Of course lying in bed is more appealing than getting up, doing stuff and being a responsible adult. But what will feel better in an hour? Or later on in the day? When you're in work, knowing you absolutely bossed the morning, you will realise that an extra hours sleep could never have mirrored such a positive feeling.
4. Arrange coffee
The dangling carrot to all cyclists. Make sure there is a coffee stop at the end. The perfectly formed rosetta tastes all the more sweeter when you’re a morning warrior.
5. Get your knits out
Placing your clothes out the night before not only makes it easier and quicker when you wake, but it’s the unwritten signature to yourself just before you sleep that you are contractually committed to doing this.
6. See it as a privilege, not a chore
Even though I’m giving you this advice, getting up early to ride is an absolute privilege. Knowing there is more time to be on your bike? Surely that is the best news you’ll hear today.
7. Don’t think, just do
Don’t hit snooze. Put your alarm on the other side of the room if you have to. Before your mind starts to find the excuses from the ‘I don't wanna’ folder of your brain, get up and do. Remember that when you were in a good mood, this was a good idea. Ignore the shitty mood you are in now trying to peel your eyes open - that type of mood never brings about positive decisions and behaviour.
8. Change your alarm sound
Put a bit of upbeat music as your alarm. Embrace your inner Kanye at 0530 - it's what he would have wanted.
9. Plan the route and don't make it too difficult
Keep the ride as something you look forward to. Don't make it your hardest training ride of the week otherwise you’ll not only be tired, you’ll be nervous. Two ingredients that will cook up a cold pot of morning failure.
10. Be excited
Cue the dramatic statement - Embracing the morning has changed my life.
I may not do it every day, especially when we've had plans the night before. But when I do, I feel proud, engaged and a better human. It's all just one alarm away.
So, discover the secret hour club.
It’s quiet, empowering and beautiful. See you there.