I woke up this morning at 5am to exercise, read, and pray. This is my morning habit…except this morning was only the 2nd time in a week that I’ve woken up on time. Not much of a habit, huh?
I was first inspired to wake up early with purpose in 2012 after reading [Michael Hyatt’s blog post ]http://michaelhyatt.com/slay-your-dragons-before-breakfast.html)about his morning routine. During that summer, I started getting up early with some friends to workout. A couple of the guys had gained a little weight, and I wanted to help. I bought the Insanity workout DVD set, a workout mat, and offered a section of the warehouse for us to shape up together at 5:05 every weekday morning. All was well until the summer ended. The school year started back, our routines changed, and we all went our separate ways. I took the DVDs home and decided to go at it alone. Who needs someone else to help you get out of bed anyway? I am a grown man…can’t I wake up by myself?
Well, after almost two years, I am here to tell you that waking up early by yourself is tough…really tough. I have the most intense motivation at night. But, when the alarm clock sounds the next morning, I can’t seem to get out of bed. I place my alarm clock in another room. I lay out my clothes the night before. I get 7 hours sleep. I have tried every trick in the book…and I have read several books on this topic! But, I can’t get up early every single morning.
This morning I realized I had two benefits in the beginning that I don’t have right now:
- Accountability – I knew that my friends would be looking for me. Not only was I the one with the key to the building, I knew that they were expecting me to work out with them. I wanted them to show up, so I needed to do my part and show up, too.
- A sense of urgency – I knew that my friends were going to arrive every morning at 5:05am. Waking up at 6:30 was too late.
The most useful thing about these two benefits is that they can be applied to other aspects of life. I can think of a few home improvement projects I put off until the day before guests visited. I accomplish the most in areas of my life where I have strong accountability to myself or a friend. And, I am the most intense with tasks that are due soon. The secret is to self-impose accountability and a sense of urgency to tasks that are important but not urgent.
I hope these two factors can also help you accomplish a goal or form a new habit. Now, I just need to find someone to look for me at 5am!
Question: What have accountability and a sense of urgency helped you accomplish?
I look forward to hearing from you!