Being the Best You: Waking Up Before 5 AM to Jumpstart Your Day

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Audrey Pachuta

Go the extra mile. Try new things. Step out of your comfort zone. These words are etched into the foundations of the lives we are “supposed” to be living, yet our busy schedules often prevent us from following these philosophies the way they are intended. When the redundancy of our routine makes it feel like the day is seizing us (instead of the other way around), it is important to take a step back and think about how we can regain control of our own lives. 

Like most people, I dread leaving my warm bed every morning. Most days I put the alarm on snooze until the latest possible second before finally waking up and rushing out the door. After reflecting on how I could improve my life, I realized that I could accomplish so much more in the morning by simply breaking my unproductive routine. The time that I waste each morning could transform into an exciting jumpstart to each day and help me fall in love with life, even on a dreary tuesday morning. 

To test my theory, for seven days I woke up at 445 AM, made my bed, and then did something new before school each day. To further limit wasted time, I kept my phone locked in a box for these days as well. Below you will find short journal entries from a few of the days describing what I did each morning, and my recommendations for how you can do it too. 

Thursday 11/12- Dance Party

If you are a fan of Grey’s Anatomy like myself, you are definitely familiar with Meredith and Christina’s “dance it out” ideologies. What better way to energize my day, than to start it out with getting my body moving! I only danced to three songs, but those 10 minutes made all the difference in terms of productivity. Unlike other days, I showed up at my first period class wide awake. Feeling invigorated, the routine tasks that usually took me a half an hour, were completed in minutes. I had so much time that I even enjoyed a cup of coffee from my favorite mug before leaving for school. 

Friday 11/13- Breakfast

Seemingly unexciting, making and eating breakfast before school completely altered the course of my entire day. As soon as I woke up, I hurried downstairs to the fridge and got out some eggs and leftover steak from family dinner the night before. I fried up some steak and eggs and enjoyed them at my kitchen table while reading the newspaper. When I arrived at school, I noticed a shift in my level of focus, and the grades on the exam I took that morning proved that to be true. Like many students, I find it incredibly difficult to time manage during a long test, but that day I finished with so much time to spare.  

Monday 11/16- Journaling

As you know, Monday mornings are always the toughest in terms of rolling out of bed and acquiring the necessary energy to go about your day. On this particular morning, I jumped out of bed, opened my journal, and began to list all of my goals for the week. I have kept a journal since I have been able to write, but often it is full of my unorganized thoughts that never amount to anything. That day; However, I made sure that my goal setting was different. I separated my ideas into separate categories involving my health, my schoolwork, and my friends and family. Planning the week ahead of me made me feel so much less stressed.

Contrary to what I initially believed, putting my phone away for the week ended up being more pivotal in changing my life than the early wake ups were. Instead of scrolling through Instagram or Tik Tok, my evenings were filled with laughter and time spent with my family. On the nights when I didn’t have my phone, we played board games, hosted family live streams, and went out for ice cream. Spending time with family is an important goal that too often gets pushed aside for something else. Without my phone to distract me, I was able to see that I could accomplish all of the things I needed to do, and take time to focus on the people who matter to me the most. Remember during the holiday season that YOU can do this too. 

As an adult, you will want to remember the mornings you dedicated to becoming the best version of yourself. You will want to remember the 5 AM dance parties and the 7PM games of scrabble with your mom. Take one week and test my theory out for yourself, I promise you won’t regret it.