Using the Method to wake up earlier

November 11, 2011 by Joshua
in Blog, Tips

At my last seminar one of the attendees suggested a simple first transformation for him could be to wake up earlier. That very day, my friend wrote about how to wake up earlier, suggesting a few techniques, which his readers added to.

The suggestions were helpful, but all based only in the environment or only in their behavior. Nobody wrote about changing beliefs. In fact, they tended to accept beliefs as unchangeable.

Needless to say, I consider changes that fighting against beliefs will likely work against you, risking reinforcing beliefs you don’t like, while changing your beliefs in tandem will reinforce your efforts. If you had to do only one, I’d recommend switching beliefs, since they have a chance at influencing your behavior and environment.

If you believe you just can’t wake up early, forcing yourself to once or twice might just convince you it’s impossible to change yourself. If you believe you can, you’ll eventually find a way.

Many people confuse their beliefs with reality. They think “I can’t wake up early” states an unchanging fact. They don’t realize it’s a belief, a model then can change, not just by forcing it with willpower.

Anyway, here’s my post on Sebastian’s excellent blog. Read the post there for context.

The solutions above are all based on changing one’s environment (changing alarms, room temperature, etc) and, to a lesser extent, changing one’s behavior (doing chores at night, springing out of bed). These may help, but without corresponding changes to one’s beliefs won’t solve the problem in the long term.

That is, no matter what one does with their alarm, anyone who believes “I’ve become a master snoozer” or “between when the alarm goes off and me actually waking up, I’m a completely different person” will overcome those environmental changes. Occasionally environmental or behavioral changes will change beliefs, but rarely. More commonly, beliefs will override environmental or belief changes.

Anyone can change their beliefs, though it takes practice. On the other hand, changing beliefs costs nothing and is completely under one’s control.

I would recommend, along with the environmental and behavioral changes, adopting beliefs like
– “If anyone else can get up in the morning easily, so can I”
– “I’m the same capable person in the morning as any other time”
– “I used to be great at snoozing, but I can be just as great at waking up quickly”
– “early to bed early to rise helps make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”
– or whatever works.
To stagnate in complacent, self-defeating beliefs is the opposite of improving your life.

I wrote about the shortcomings of only changing your environment to improve your life here — http://joshuaspodek.com/not-the-method-method-1-new-house — in the context of a series on shortcomings of other methods to improve your life — http://joshuaspodek.com/not-the-method-methods.

It loses something without the context of the Model and Method. I guess that’s why I posted it here too.

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