The best resolution is the one you actually stick to.
Getting up for 21 Damn Early Days isn’t just about going to bed and getting up early, it’s about designing your life and creating an environment that enables you to succeed - ultimately giving you the freedom to create the life you want to live.
Yeah, people are going to tell you it's crazy… and, we have to admit, it sure as hell is.
But let us tell you this first, it's f*cking worth it.
It will bring hours where no one wants a damn thing from you. Where you stop the hamster wheel of life and take back what's yours. Where you wake up for you, for what you believe in, and for what you want in life - not for anyone else's agenda.
21 Damn Early Days will give that to you… if you let it.
Setting yourself up for success.
To help set you up for success, we’ve put together some of the best tips, strategies and things you need to know.
It’s worth taking 30 to 45 minutes to go through this before Monday. It’s a small upfront investment that will yield huge results.
And while we are doing this as a group, at the end of the day know that your success will come down to your individual effort. While we can help you, tell you how to do it, and keep you accountable, at the end of the day, if you don’t put the work in, we can’t get your ass out of bed.
Take notes, jot ideas down, and keep an open mind, because the more you prepare for it now, the easier it is going to be to hop out of bed on Monday, ready to rock it.
A couple of thoughts going into this.
1. It won’t be easy.
Like all good things in life, this will be a challenge, especially for those used to a later bedtime. Throughout it, keep in mind why you’re doing it, rely on support/accountability to help you and be willing to experiment with things that will make it easier. Give it everything you got, and if you stumble, be willing to get right back on track. We’ve been there, we know how it is, and we know you can get through this.
2. Understand why you are doing this.
This is one of the most important things to know. Take some time right now and really dive into why you are doing this. Write it down and keep it close. Look at it the night before and when you wake up. Refer back to it again and again, especially on nights you don’t want to go to bed and on the mornings you don’t want to get up.
Early mornings will help you get up and get after life. When you get up that early, you’re getting up because you want to, not because you have to. That’s a simple, but insanely powerful feeling. It gives you a sense of control over how you spend your day and sets the right tone for the rest of it.
By waking up hours before the rest of the world, at the end of each week, you are essentially giving yourself an extra day to live. This is the 8th day of the week that people dream they could have, and you're getting it for yourself. Make the most of it.
To do: take a few minutes and write down why you are doing this.
3. Remember that this is an experiment.
If you’ve never done this before, keep in mind it is an experiment that lasts for 21 days. The purpose of it isn’t just to get up at 4:30AM, it’s to see if that lifestyle fits you. 21 days is roughly how long it takes to form a habit, so by committing to this for 21 days you will truly know whether it's for you or not.
At the end of it, if you absolutely hate it, that’s all good. At least you can say you have done it and know it’s not for you - unlike the person who says they could never be vegetarian, but hasn’t tried going a day without meat. #dontbelikethem
4. Let go of your expectations and morning baggage.
If you’re like most people, you’ve spent years cultivating a “mornings are f*cking evil” attitude. With the stress of work/school/society, it’s basically been forced on us since age 5. By the time we’re young adults, we’ve built this mechanism of hitting snooze 20,291 times, dragging our ass out of bed, making coffee, and stumbling into work.
Yeah, let all that go. Throw away every misconception instilled in you since grade school and start 21 Damn Early Days with a clean slate and open mind. That mindset, at the very least, will make it a hell of a lot more enjoyable.
On the upside, you’ll realize like we did, that it was completely wrong. People just aren’t starting their mornings the right way, and there is so much more to be gained than just a couple hours.
Set your intentions for the day, crush your goals, and carry that momentum forward into all areas of your life.
To do: if you got expectations and baggage, drop it.
5. You’re not in this alone.
We’re all going through this together. Use the Facebook Group as a place to share your thoughts, triumphs, things that helped, and even the struggles. Really, we want to know, and we are sure somebody else in the group has had the exact same thought or feeling. Don’t be the person in class hoping somebody else raises their hand and asks a question that you want to know the answer to. Take the initiative, step up, and ask away. We are in this together, and it’s through sharing our experiences that the whole process gets easier.
6. Understand what in your life will be impacted by this.
We all have different jobs, schedules, living arrangements and partnerships. Take a survey of what in your life will be impacted by you getting up at 4:30AM. If it's a partner, let them know what you are doing and why, and get their support (note: you should have probably already done this... #ByeFelicia). If it's a negotiable scheduled item, make sure you plan your day before and after to catch up on sleep. Planning ahead goes a long way with this.
To do: figure out what things in your life will be impacted by this and if you need to any adjustments for them.
The night before.
Getting up at 4:30AM doesn’t start when your alarm clock goes off, it starts the night before and we’ve listed some things you can do to make it easier.
1. Know your bedtime!
This is huge. How many hours of sleep do you need?
For most men, it’s 7 to 9 hours and for most women it’s 8 to 9 hours. However, this is a uniquely individual thing. Take a look at your sleep history and over the next couple nights, come up with a number that will work for you.
Count back the number of hours from 4:30AM and that’s your bed time. If you need 7.5 hours of sleep, then your bed time is 9PM. Given that it takes roughly 15 minutes to fall asleep, you should be in bed with the lights out by 8:45PM.
That can sound crazy at first, but once you’re into the routine of it, you’ll realize it’s not as tough as it sounds. Also, keeping a consistent schedule helps.
If you're bed time is currently later (past 10:30/11), we recommend slowly cutting it back over the next few days so that Monday isn't such a jolt to your system.
If there’s a night you have to stay up later, account for that the day before and the day after to keep your sleep bank account up. Keep in mind those events at night that might jeopardize waking up in the morning and ask yourself, are they worth it? If they are, go for it. If they are not, cut them.
And remember that getting up at 4:30AM isn’t about cutting out on sleep, it’s about shifting your lifestyle to give you free time when it’s best spent.
To do: figure out how much sleep you need and determine what you bed time is.
2. Create a night time routine.
The body is way smarter than most of us give it credit for and creating a night time routine can serve as a cue to it that it should start getting ready for sleep.
Your routine should take at least 15 minutes, be similar each night and be done at the same time each night.
During it you can: prep yourself for bed, sip herbal tea, read a book, prepare for the next morning (setting up coffee, getting out gym clothes, etc.), set your alarm, and/or mentally go through the process of getting up.
Preparing for the day ahead the night before is one of those little things that’s going to help you succeed. You are much more likely to get out of bed and hit the gym in the morning if your bag is already packed and all you have to do it throw on your shoes and head out the door. Keep things simple and you will thank yourself.
To do: spend a few minutes and figure out how you'll wind down your nights.
3. Setting your alarm.
Depending on how much trouble you have with snoozing, you can choose to put your alarm clock away from your bed. When it's out of reach, you're forced to get out of bed. Putting it next to your bed is just a temptation to hit the snooze button and fall back to sleep - for a whole useless 9 minutes.
If you're a bit better with not hitting snooze, we love apps like Sleep Cycle, which help to time your alarm with your sleep cycle. It’s black magic, but it works!
The morning of.
Most people are the most productive when they wake up, and setting up a routine ensures they maintain that level of productivity for longer periods of time.
Following a system when you wake up gives you the opportunity to start the day on the right foot, set the tone for the rest of the day, and builds a good habits that creep into every other aspect of your life.
The tips below will help you do just that.
1. Avoid snooze.
Avoid snoozing your alarm clock. Just don't do it. Not even once. As soon as the alarm rings, get out of bed to start your morning. You will eventually awaken and feel better that you've persevered through morning drowsiness. Hitting snooze is the equivalent of stumbling out of the gate.
2. Design your mornings.
We’re not just getting up at 4:30AM for the hell of it. Making sure it’s worth the investment starts with designing them and building out what you’re going to do with this extra time. Have something in mind each morning that you know is worth getting out of bed for. Maybe it's sipping hot coffee or maybe it's smashing weights with a friend.
Whatever it is, make it fun, make it something you want to do, and make it something that’s going to get your ass out of bed at 4:30AM.
Here’s a sample of what a designed morning looks like. Writing them down helps to make sure you follow them:
1. Get out of bed.
Seriously. This may sound ridiculous now, but actually getting out of bed immediately is the best way to get up and stay up.
2. Read the check-in email.
Each morning at 4:30AM you'll be receiving an email from us that lets you check in and lets us know you're up. We'll also be dropping some thoughts, tips and rad tunes to make your mornings just a little better.
3. Wake up your senses.
Once you've gotten out of bed, give yourself that much-deserved pick-me-up. It could be a cup of coffee or tea (that brewing smell will be sure to get you going), a cold glass of water, a nice shower or push-ups. Whatever it is, make sure it awakens one (or more) of your senses. When your body and mind are stimulated, you'll automatically wake up to take it in.
4. Do physical exercises that stimulate your body.
Push-ups, jumping jacks, and lunges are great for ridding morning fatigue, help get the blood flowing, and wake up your mind
5. Review goals
- Take a moment to look over why you are doing this and what you want in life. It puts your mind in the right place to get after it.
5. Engage in activity you want (gym, write, most important tasks) aka getting after life.
This is your morning and you can do with it as you please. Now is the time to tackle the goals you set out without the distractions of everyday life. Make the most of it.
To do: spend a few minutes and figure out exactly how you'll spend your mornings. The more detail the better.
3. Keep your mornings pressure-free.
One thing we tend to lose as adults is the feeling of freedom we had as kids. When we had no sense of schedule, deadlines, goals, or pressure, we were always emotionally available and our imaginations made us feel like anything was possible. I’m not sure when this became “uncool,” but it’s definitely the best way to start your day.
What are the things you always want to do but never get to do? Build what you love to do into your morning routine and stop feeling guilty about it! Not only will you start your work day refreshed and motivated, you’re more likely to wake up early when you’re pumped to do so. When you start doing exactly what you want to do in the morning, your attitude toward everything changes and you become better equipped to handle future stress and challenges.
And let's be honest, we've all know there's things we want to do but "don't have the time". We'll here the time. No f*cking excuses.
Some extra tips.
1. Exercise earlier in the day.
Working out within 3 hours of your bedtime should be avoided. It takes time for the chemical cocktail released during exercise to work it’s way through your body.
2. If you under-sleep one night, try and make up for it the next night.
3. Taking naps is totally cool.
Seriously, taking guilt-free naps in the middle of the day is one of the best feelings.
4. Keep hydrated.
A glass of water not only helps keep you hydrated, but it gives you that little extra kick in the butt when you have to get out of bed in the morning to use the washroom #lifehacks.
Things you should avoid.
1. Avoid caffeine late at night.
We try not to touch the stuff as soon as the afternoon rolls around, but at least 6 hours before you go to bed is your best bet.
2. Avoid large meals before bed.
Eat any large meals 2 hours before bed.
3. Avoid blue light within 1 hour of bed.
Computer screens and cell phones both give off blue light, which messes with your circadian cycle, suppressing melatonin and making it harder to fall asleep. Try and avoid it at least an hour before bed.
If you have to use your phone/computer, there's a couple little hacks. We use a program on our computers called F.Lux that changes the temperature of our screens to something warmer as the sun goes down. This allows our bodies circadian rhythm to remain somewhat undisturbed and makes falling asleep that much easier. You can also get a pair of bad ass blue light blocking sunglasses from Amazon.
If you are going to use a phone close to your bed time, turn down the brightness as much as possible
To do: come up with any personal things that you should avoid or could de-rail your progress.
Keeping you on track.
1. Refuse to break the chain.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the productivity hack “break the chain,” where you consider each day you accomplish your new habit a “chain link.” If you miss a day, you break the chain. It’s a great (and simple) way to stay motivated and push through the mornings you’d rather bathe with a toaster than wake up early. That said, when you stumble, just try and get back on the next day. If you're having issues, reach out and we will do our best to help you along the way.
To do: print yourself off a one month calendar and get yourself a sharpie to cross off the days you get up.
2. Keep track of what you’ve accomplished.
A huge motivator to continue waking up is keeping track of what you accomplish when you first get up. For us, having all of our major work accomplished by 9AM, when the rest of the world was just getting started feels unreal. It brings a sense of calm to the rest of the day and we don't have to worry about interruptions or distractions preventing us from accomplishing our goals – because they are already met. Checkmate.
To do: decide how you're going to keep track of what you've accomplished (journal, to-do lists, note pad, etc.)
3. Eliminate excuses to sleep in.
As you continue to adjust your sleep cycle, some days will be harder than others. There will be mornings where you’ll do everything to justify shutting off your alarm and going right back to sleep. Sometimes it will work, and you’ll want to slap yourself later for letting it happen.
During this rough patch, do what you can to make your mornings easier. If you’re so tired you even dread making coffee, program your coffee maker. If your home is cold in the morning, leave your housecoat and slippers beside your bed. If your mind flat lines when you try to decide on breakfast, decide the night before and prep the ingredients. Better yet, prep the entire week. Eventually, your abilities to wake up early and function will happen at the same time, but for now, throw yourself a bone.
To do: write a list of all the excuses you know you'll come up with. Keep adding to it as you go.