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Waking Up Early: One Year Later

The habit of getting up early has been the most life changing thing I have ever done. A little over a year ago, I wrote this post about how to build a killer morning routine. Today, I’m still getting up several hours before I have to and I want to reveal how I did it and what happened to me.

How to Wake Up Early

All I had to do was build a habit of waking early and then I’d figure out what to do after that. My trick was to watch a new episode of some addictive TV series first thing in the morning while I sipped my coffee. That usually worked to get my ass out of bed!

Once my grogginess wore off and I became more awake, I sprinkled in some positive habits that I found in the book The Miracle Morning. This was Silence (meditation), Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing (journaling).

I used Lift app to keep track of my habits and keep me motivated.

A few other habits I experimented with were lucid dreaming practice, pushups, planks, pull-ups, going for a walk, yoga, spending time in nature, breakdance practice, practicing piano, write blog post, drink more water, eat vegetarian, sleep by midnight, make music, log expenses, cold shower, dance, say no to one thing, delegate at least one task, random act of kindness, organize for ten minutes, declutter, get rid of one thing, listen to audiobook, listen to podcast, no caffeine, no sweets, no social media, etc.

The Problems I Faced

Some habits stuck and others I never seemed to do. I noticed I tend to fall much easier into habits of journaling, reading, and meditating every morning because those were pretty easy. I actively enjoy all those.

I sucked at exercise habits. I’d rather go out for a walk than hit the gym. I did do mild yoga and occasionally lift some weights, but that was never a big part of my routine. Denial habits like “no caffeine” were really hard to do as well.

Missteps, Laziness, and Hibernation

There was a period during the winter where I just didn’t want to get out of bed. The house was cold and I started to fall out of the habit. After my first out of body experience, I got really into trying to induce them on purpose. I read trilogy of Robert Monroe books and several on lucid dreaming. I was having success with it and became obsessed! I felt more inclined to try to sleep and dream rather than wake up and be productive.

Eventually my lucid dreaming habit started to wane. I would use the Wake Back to Bed technique and while I still got up at 6 AM, I was back in bed sleeping by 6:30. Many times I would have very vivid dreams, lucids, or out of body experiences. I’d write them down and I would learn from them. But most days I would just find that I would sleep until I had to get up for work.

I started staying up late again which made it even harder to get out of bed. My morning routine was pretty much dead. I stopped caring about it for several weeks. I felt bad kind of. But I knew I’d pick it back up eventually.

I realized my morning routine was getting boring. I didn’t know how to shake it up.

Once the weather got warm and the sun started coming out earlier, I felt the urge to get up early again. I just called this my hibernation phase.

How it Changed My Life

Before I started my morning routine, I was depressed and hurting. I was not a spiritual person at all, but I was interested in meditation to help relieve stress and yoga as exercise. But everyone is into yoga these days. In fact, most spiritual concepts were foreign to me. I associated spirituality with superstition and religion and I believed I wasn’t “one of those people.”

After watching Sean Webb break down how emotions work in his Body, Mind, and Spirit 101 videos, I was blown away. I was very much interested in this idea of a True Self and a False Self. This turned me onto the concept of the Ego and how it’s to blame for all the suffering we experience in the world. This led me to reading my first book from Eckhart Tolle, the Power of Now. What a game changer this was.

I had a new reason to meditate every morning – to get in touch with my True Self and identify my False Self, the ego. This got me into Buddhism and Zen. So refreshing!

But I didn’t stop there.

Curiosity and Non Judgement

In one of Robert Monroe’s books, he talked about how his curiosity led him further down the rabbit hole of out of body experiences. That’s what happened with me. Once I had my first OBE, I started reading everything I could about them.

Lo and behold what people discovered during out of body experiences was the same kind of stuff I was reading in my other spiritual texts. They were talking about the same stuff! All the world’s religions are based on the same kind of spiritual principles, most notably around this idea of God. And through out of body experiences, you can actually experience God for yourself. I still haven’t yet, but maybe one day. Author William Buhlman in his book Secret of the Soul talks all about this.

My mind was being opened up at every corner. I kept journaling, meditating, and reading. I went down the rabbit hole and noticed when I would feel fear or judgment before approaching a topic. For instance when I started realizing the overlap between spiritual concepts and aliens and ETs, my bullshit radar went off. But I realized it was really just stereotyping and judgment of paranormal material being superstitious, fake, or batshit crazy.

But I let my curiosity guide me, why not. I could use my own discernment to judge for myself. A friend lent me Barbara Hand Clow’s Alchemy of Nine Dimensions and holy smokes, she just took everything I knew already and turned it up to 11. Again, stuff I discovered through meditation, yoga, and Buddhist practices were lining up with my discoveries in out of body experiences and lucid dreaming. And here was a book that was putting these concepts in a context of the cosmos and the multi-dimensional nature of reality. And aliens, ETs, angels, demons – it was all part of it.

Mind blown. Opened up once again.

Then that same friend turned me onto George Kavassilas who had a 6 hour YouTube lecture that would blow my mind even more. I started listening to his podcast Super Woo Radio and all of this was so far out yet so interesting to me. I kept my skeptical hat on tight, but loose enough to keep an open mind. I ventured into fringe knowledge and esoteric subject matters and it changed the way I see the world forever.

The rest is much too deep to get into right now. For more, check out my posts on Soul Retrieval, Starseeds, and my Quantum Spehere Healing experience.

Some Life Improvements

  • I see the world through a much broader perspective
  • I have a drastically more open mind and heart toward all beings
  • Meditation is the number one habit of all, it’s the foundation
  • Reading and journaling have been huge for me
  • I’m no longer depressed, in fact I’m more inspired and driven than ever
  • I appreciate a slow walk through nature without rushing
  • I have read a ton of books, podcasts, documentaries, and YouTube videos
  • I feel more inner peace and less anxiety and fear
  • I am thrilled about my upcoming life and getting older
  • I’ve had dozens of lucid dreams and out of body experiences
  • I am learning to follow my joy despite my fears and doubts

My Current Routine

This is a list of the things I do in the morning. I don’t always do ALL of them. I have room for flexibility. Sometimes if a book is really grabbing me or I’m really into writing this new blog post, I’ll keep going. Even if that means not doing something else. Let this list serve as a guide for some stuff you might want to do tomorrow morning.

  • Wake up at 5:20 AM
  • Meditate for 10-20 minutes
  • Read or write affirmations
  • Write for 30 minutes (journal or blog)
  • Walk for 10-20 minutes
  • Yoga or Stretching for 10-20 minutes
  • Light weight lifting or pushups
  • Practice Piano for 10-20 minutes
  • Read / Audiobook / Podcast
  • Watch YouTube videos on subjects that interest me
  • Shower and get ready for work
  • Practice Lucid Dreaming (sometimes)
  • Do nothing for 10 minutes (sit outside)
  • Spend time outside
  • Read an old journal entry

The morning routine in and of itself it doesn’t exactly change a life, but it opens the door to many life-changing habits.

Recommendations for You

If the only thing you did each morning was meditate for 10 minutes and journal for 5 minutes, that alone would make a shift in your life. You would be taking 15 minutes a day to think about your life. And chances are you’ll get inspired to do something – start running, quit that job you hate, go vegetarian, plan for that trip, start that project, finish that other project, etc.

I feel every person should spend at least 15 minutes a day focusing on their own personal development. It’s a no brainer! Why would you ever want to sleepwalk through life and ignore yourself? If we all spent time each day learning and practicing how to become a better, more integrated and whole human being, the world would be a better place.

But that’s thinking too big, just focus on yourself. Give yourself that time in the morning and start living on purpose!

Get the Book

If you’re looking for more in-depth tips and tricks, get my book Wake Up: The Morning Routine That Will Change Your Life.

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  1. My morning routine is so important for me. Even with 5 little kids running a muck, and trying to get everyone ready and out the door, I have to carve out a few minutes to take care of myself. A little food, a little something to drink, a bit of exercises, some reading, a moment to mediate/pray and a couple minutes to look at my planner/habits/goals.

  2. Hi! I just red an article on this site called “Am I a Starseed?” Because of my curiosity in “Starseeds.” I searched to find the author to that article (published sometime in 2014) and your blog was the only search result, so I was wondering if you are in fact the author of that article?

  3. I just googled how to break the habit of getting out of bed later and came across your article. You were the third on google search just to let ya know! Anyhow I read this article and in hopes to use some of these to help break my habit! My day starts by waking up around 730ish then laying there till 830 knowing I could get up and do all sorts of things. I roll out of bed make breakfast respond to some emails then go to the gym. By the time I get home showered and to work for the day (self employed) its already NOON! I get so annoyed with this because I never get everything I want done and it all just always gets pushed along to the next day to the next. I know what I need to do but I can’t break the habit and its soooo annoying! Thanks for making this post!

    I feel like I need a drill sergeant to force me to get up and get things done! BLAH! Any suggestions on really forcing yourself to get out of bed? I feel its so easy just not to and I do it to myself knowing the end result!

    • Hi Samantha! It’s so tempting to actually desire someone to FORCE us out of bed because we feel so powerless to do it ourselves. What you want to do is make your mornings fun and inspiring. Envision your perfect morning routine and actually write it down and do it. What would make it fun for YOU? Not what you think you should do, but what makes it fun! If that doesn’t help, maybe read some books and watch videos on waking up early – I wrote Wake Up which you can get on my site, and there is The Miracle Morning. And the Zen Habits blog has some great articles about becoming an early riser. It’s about triggers and habits. I think with enough focused attention and desire you can change.

  4. Just curious on what your thoughts are about Robert Monroe’s books. I recently was looking into some new reading material and his books always intrigued me …worth the read?? Are they left or right brained? easy to read?? I just got my copy of Tom Campbell’s My big toe in the mail and can’t wait to dive into that ASAP as well. :-) Loving your podcasts and blogs/articles. They have been very insightful, helpful and thought provoking…..as well as self reflective.

    • Hi Melissa! I love Robert Monroe’s books! He was such a big inspiration to me when once I started to awaken. They are a combination both left and right brained I’d say. Monroe is a more left brain thinker, and got into OBE research by trying to make sense of his own spontaneous experiences. He treated it like a science experiment, trying to objectively study and explore. But you still come away with a sense of wonder and joy while reading it. Tom Compbell’s book, I read the first on in his Big TOE series and it was a little dry for me. I like Monroe’s better. Welcome to the blog and my podcasts Melissa! I look forward to hearing more from you!

  5. Hi there! Great article you have, I would also want to share my thoughts that Meditation indeed has positive effects not only in the body but also in the mind, a total holistic wellness that brings us to know our inner-self better. It gives us a peace of mind that helps us have a much better perception about our lives.
    Our advocacy is to promote the positive effects of meditation, yoga and inner wellness.
    Help us, visit our website at http://www.iamthechangeiseek.org and also http://www.goodreads.com/kathleensuneja
    Thank you and have a great day!

  6. I didn’t realized that the “Out of the body” experience could play a part in what I had become today! Never thought of it that way before but from reading your post, it might have played a bigger part in defining who I am than I previously thought!

    During my Uni years, there was a 2 months long break between terms and I was alone at home for 2 months. I started digging through movies to kill time, when I found this movie from the director, Richard Linklater called Waking Life. The movie is about lucid dreaming, life, philosophy and everything in between, and that was when I started to practice lucid dreaming, out of curiosity.

    Of course, I no longer do it anymore, but this could be the beginning of how I started to embrace experiments, opened myself up more to the world, to the concept of traveling alone, to people and to just do things normal people wouldn’t do.

    Thank you for this amazing post! I think I may have found the true reason why I am what I am! :)

    • Pete that’s wonderful to hear! Waking Life is one of the best movies about dreams ever made. I watched it again recently after having many of my own lucid dreams and OBEs and it still checks out and has profound meaning about life in general too.

      I’ve slowed down my deliberate practice of OBEs, but sometimes they happen spontaneously. It’s definitely an eye opener to a bigger reality!

  7. Jeff, this is an excellent post! And thank you so much for paying it forward and sharing “The Miracle Morning” book with others! :^)