It may sound counter-intuitive, but if you really want to bounce out of bed in the morning, you need to wake up early.
The precious hours of the early morning are a vital time for taking action toward your most important goals.
Does this take self-control? Sure does. Yet, so does every good goal. The great news – getting up early actually will help you have more self-control.
The Self-Control Tank
In a famous study out of FSU, two separate groups were invited to eat freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. The first group was allowed to dive in and eat the cookies. The second group was invited to resist eating the cookies and to eat some radishes instead. Both groups were then given impossible geometry puzzles to solve. The individuals that ate the cookies worked on the puzzles an average of 20 minutes before giving up. The individuals who had to resist eating the cookies, gave up after eight minutes on average.
In one sense, when you exercise self-control, you reduce your immediate capability for more self-control. So it is not as if the more you use, the more you you have. Rather, it is more like a tank of fuel. The more you use, the less you have; therefore, the best way to live is to accomplish the most important tasks that require the greatest level of self-control first thing each day before anything else.
Out of this same tank of self-control, also comes our ability to make decisions. The more energy we use in decision-making, the worse we do with self-control. The more energy we use for self-control, the worse we do with decision-making. The early morning is also the optimal time for your most important decisions.
The Self-Control Muscle
It has also been found that self-control works like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger your long-term capability gets.
It is important to be engaged in the right amount of daily activity that requires your self-control.
On the one hand, you don’t want to overdo it because then you will experience great difficulty exercising self-control and good decision making for the rest of the day. Leave some daily margin for yourself since you never know what surprises might be waiting for you.
On the other hand, you do want to underdo it because then your self-control muscle will not grow and even diminish.
Experiment with your schedule and find the right amount of tasks which require high levels of self-control to commit to each day. Seek to always have new goals that stretch you, yet always limit the number of new goals so you don’t stretch yourself too far.
Write your goals down, wake up early, and take action toward those goals immediately.