Most days, when I have to wake up early, it is a struggle for me. I love to sleep in and I find myself to be more productive at night, hence why I tend to stay up later than I would normally like to. Last night, I was up until midnight working on psych homework, and then I was lying in bed for another hour or so, thinking. Yet here I am, up at 8 o’clock, typing away on my laptop. Why? Because I set a goal for myself last night, and I truly believe that is why I am up so early, with so much mental energy. This is weird for me, but I cannot say that it does not happen from time to time. Here’s the deal: I read an article last night about waking up in the morning and writing almost as soon as you are out of bed. This way, instead of writing at night, you get the writing done right away; it’s one of the first things that you do, so it does not get pushed off until the very end of the day, or worse, the next day.
Everyone needs to do this
The biggest lie we tell ourselves on a daily basis starts with the words, “I want to…” We constantly find ourselves saying things like, “I want to write a book someday,” or “I want to go travel sometime in the future.” But where the problem comes in, is that “someday,” never comes. “Someday” could mean tomorrow or – more likely – it could mean in twenty, thirty, maybe even forty years from now. And when we keep telling ourselves this, we continue to push “someday” back even further. We say we want to travel someday, today, and then in five years – when it still has yet to happen – we continue to tell ourselves we want to travel, someday. Rather than satisfying that want, that need, to do something, we simply tell ourselves that we want to do it every day for as long as possible, before we either give up on it or actually do it.
And here’s the worst thing: we lie to ourselves. Constantly, we make up these bullshit excuses as to why we did not do the things we said we would. If we want to travel, but have not done so yet, we tell ourselves that we were just too busy or that we did not have the money at the time. Or we say that we are afraid to travel, because of the dangers presented overseas in the modern day. Never thinking of all the millions of people living comfortably in the country or city we want to travel to, it is new to us, so we allow fear to stop us from doing something that we otherwise would love to do.
If we say that we want to write a book, we find ourselves making excuses on not having a good enough topic, or that we aren’t skilled enough to write a book. Here’s the funny thing though: Dr. Seuss wrote a book with only 250 words and it became one of the most famous children’s books on the market, even today. His editor then dared him to write one with only 50 words, which became yet another famous book. Funnier yet is the fact that the 250-word book was about a cat, a hat, two things, a fish, and two children; it’s title, even simpler yet, was The Cat in the Hat. That other book? Green Eggs and Ham.
Don’t tell me that you can’t think of a good enough topic for a book, when there are books out there like Everyone Poops. So what if it is not necessarily what you were planning on writing in the first place? Who cares if you wanted to write the next Harry Potter but landed up writing a children’s book first? You still wrote a book, did you not?
Go to bed with a goal in your head
Ha, I just realized that this subtitle thing rhymes, and I came up with it off the top of my head; I should get into comedy before my funny bone breaks!
While I was lying in bed last night, I was reading articles that I had saved on a blogging website; they mainly had to do with productivity and writing, but I often find myself saving so many – wanting to read them – but never getting around to it. Instead of pushing them off and playing games on my phone until the sandman caught up with me, I chose to read through as many of these articles as my tired mind could manage. Surprisingly, I got through about four or five before wanting to go to bed. Yes, most of them were in list format, and I skimmed through the bold headers as I am sure many of you do with my articles, but I nonetheless took away tons of information that may or may not be useful to me in the future.
Why am I telling you this? Because when I was lying in bed, I had a goal for myself: I wanted to read through my list of saved articles to dwindle it down. The list of twenty or so articles was growing almost daily, and it was becoming rather intimidating. I knew I needed to read through them, for I had at one point wanted to, so I figured why not do it at night, when I have nothing else to do, and I cannot sleep?
Wake up actively pursuing that goal
After I had read through a few articles and felt tired enough to fall asleep – I apparently wasn’t, as I was up another hour or so afterwards – I began to think of what I wanted to do in the hour or two before my first class. You see, I have class from 10 to 10.50 and 1 to 1.50 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; from 1 to 2.20 and from 2.20 to 3.50, I have class on Tuesday and Thursday. Therefore, I have at least two hours every morning with which I could use to write articles. Before today, I would wake up, eat something in bed, and either play video games or play on my phone. Today, I still want to do that. It tempts me so bad to simply sink back into my warm, comfortable bed and relax, maybe sleep a bit longer, rather than sit at my cold, hard desk and type away on my laptop.
But the fact of the matter is that last night, I set a goal for myself. I told myself that enough was enough. For the past few days, I had not written a single article for my blog. Excuses began flooding in, allowing me to push writing off even longer. “I’m just not motivated enough,” I would tell myself; “I’m out of topics to write about,” I would say. The thing is, though, that this is all stuff I can control. I can easily control my motivation by forcing myself to get off my ass and actually do what I wanted to do. If I feel as though I have nothing to write about, well then, I need to actively work on developing more topics to write. Or, I could simply write whatever translates best from my mind to my fingertips. So long as it is coherent and at least somewhat inspirational for you guys, I can be happy with it.
In the wee hours of the night, I promised myself that I would wake up and write at least one article before doing anything else. Surprisingly enough, I woke up this morning with my first alarm, feeling energized; this was actually going to happen, and nothing was going to get in my way. No, I did not jump out of bed and start slapping words onto the screen. The first fifteen minutes or so of my morning consisted of me checking the notifications on my phone – a habit I really need to get out of – and going to the bathroom, putting my contacts in, and getting dressed. But once all that was done, once I could see and function somewhat reasonably well, I sat down at my desk and began typing this article.
The only thing stopping you from doing something, is you
This can easily apply to everything and anything you do in life. If you’re a photographer and you constantly find yourself saying how you would love to travel to Iceland, the photography hotspot of the world, then start planning it today. Don’t wait until tomorrow to plan it, for tomorrow will never come. You’ll tell yourself every single day of your life that you will plan it tomorrow, and then you will find yourself in your late eighties, lying on your deathbed, full of regrets.
I think some of the best advice I received from YouTube was from a video of a few hundred-year-olds, talking about the regrets they had in life, and overall giving advice to us youngsters. Here, go check it out.
What I took away from it may be different than what you do. But I learned that I need to stop telling myself I will do things “tomorrow.” If I want to do something, I either start planning it today, or I stop telling myself I want to do it, because it is evident that I don’t truly want to do it.
I wrote this in 30 minutes
Most of the articles I write are done in less than an hour, so long as the ideas I have for them are already set in stone in my head. This one is no different, despite it being one of my longest articles in a while.
You see, the only thing that is stopping you from doing something, is you. There are no valid excuses as to why you should be pushing things off until tomorrow. With twenty-four hours each day, you can accomplish so much more than what you think you can. So long as you put your mind to it, get off your ass, and actually do it, you can do such amazing things.
This was published at 12 pm EST, just as all my articles are. This means you have another twelve hours of your day to do something you want to with. Even if you are in another time zone, you have plenty of time left in your day to cross off at least one goal on your list. Even if you are currently at work and don’t get off the clock for another five hours, that still provides you with tons of time.
And this article proves that you really only need half an hour to do something. I woke up this morning with a goal in my mind: I wanted to begin writing daily again. But this time, I wanted to write every day as soon as I woke up.
I challenge you to go to bed every night with one goal in your head, and when you wake up in the morning, accomplish that goal. Cross it off your list as soon as you possibly can. The rest of your day will be a hundred times better.