Up Before the Sun.

I was at a birthday party the other day and a friend asked me this question, “So what’s up with the Jocko thing you’re doing?”.

For those that may not know, he’s referring to Jocko Willinck – and specifically how he get’s up at or around 4:30am and post’s that pic to IG. Jocko has a saying (and a book) that “Discipline Equals Freedom”, and this is one of the ways he displays to his following that he is a practice what you preach kind of guy.

Back to the question from this friend. What he was referring to was why I have been getting up at 4:30 every morning. I also post this to IG, but in a different form and my assumption is that’s the reason the comparison happened in the first place. So, when I have the ability to get outside on a walk at that time I will put up a pic in the IG story with a time stamp. Now it’s not at 4:30a, but that’s what time I get up so I can hit the road and snap that pic around 4:50a.

The simple answer to the reasoning behind the pic is this:

  1. I want to hold myself accountable and true to what I’m personally trying to accomplish.
  2. I want to show people that I’m holding myself accountable.
  3. I hope to inspire someone to want to do the same.

The answer as to why I get up every morning around 4:30am is a little more complex and the reason for this writing.

First, for anyone that has kids you know how hard it is to get some time to yourself. Our day starts around 6:30am, meaning that’s when everyone in the house is up. It doesn’t really stop until the kids are back in bed at 7:30pm. They have a nap in between, but this time is usually spent catching up on things that need it like cleaning up after the kids, chores, missed work, etc.

Getting up at 4:30 allows me a couple hours to myself to do things like think, read, listen to podcasts, write, and so on. Bottom line, it’s “me time” and it’s literally ALL MINE.

Second, I own a gym. Our class times start at 5:30am so for the last 12 years I’ve had to get up that early to get to the gym on time and be ready for that class on the days I need to. So, it’s been a necessary thing to be up that early, but the conisistency came way later in my life, especially after kids.

It took me a long time to realize and get a handle on this next part, which is the most critical of all the pieces and really the take home of this.

It creates enough consistency that there’s no question whether I’ll be able to perform for the day.

The problem with getting up early is that you have to continue to do it. You have to embrace it, and what you’ll find after a long enough time is that you’ll continue to want to do it. Honestly, I’d rather sleep until 7am every day and get all the sleep that I actually want, but so goes the times.

Which brings me to my next point that you can’t stay consistent with it, unless you’re consistent. This means I have to go to bed every night around 9pm. Sometimes the lights go out at 8:30p…those are glorious. I’ll relate this to another story that was shared by another friend standing next to the one that originally asked the Jocko question.

He mentioned that he would get up and hit the home gym every morning at 5:30a and did so for a bit but couldn’t hang with it because it was tough to do. I get that, and again is the main reason to try to keep your timelines consistent day in and out. Meaning you can’t go to sleep at 11pm on Saturday and wake up at 9am Saunday morning and expect to go to bed at 9pm on Sunday and get up at 5am on Monday morning. Our bodies are smarter than this and need a rhythm to stay in for optimal function.

As we get older, this get’s more and more obvious.

Moral of the story here: If you’re having trouble being consistent in your life you may need to take a long look at your sleep patterns. Our performance as humans starts and ends here. Keeping them consistent day in and day out is tough, but worth it. I challenge you to take 30 days and go to bed and wake up at the same time every night.

See what it gets you.

See how you improve.

See how you stop having mid day lulls.

See how much better you sleep overall.

See how much better you become.

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