We usually only wake up early because we have to, and on days we don’t, we don’t. But there are actually many benefits to waking up early because you want to, and you’ll find that you have a lot more time to do things that you may have been putting off.

1. Take your time

No one likes rushing, yet somehow we do it on a daily basis. We hit snooze on our alarm clock, we sleep until the last possible second, even sacrificing other parts of our morning routine for it, and sometimes even still arrive to work or school late. Waking up earlier, however, even one or two hours earlier than you need to be awake, can place you in a better state of mind to go about your day, without the pressure of being in a rush. You can even step outside, watch the sun rise, and go for a walk if you wanted to.

2. Get moving!

This may not be the first thing that you’re thinking of as you open your eyes to wake up, but this is how routines begin. By waking up 1-2 hours earlier, you could get up and go for a jog around the neighborhood. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to try that 6am spin class at your local gym. The first time will be painful, but once you start, it’s actually difficult to kick the habit of being active in the morning.

3. Quiet time with God

As believers, our goal should be to start our day in prayer and meditating upon the word that God gave us. But when we’re waking up at the last possible second and hurriedly hopping in the shower and putting on our clothes, this necessary time is often pushed aside. Waking up even 30 minutes to an hour earlier can motivate us to start our day with God, so that we’re more inclined to think about Him more throughout the day as well. Remember: With God, all things are possible!

4. Prepare a nice breakfast

Up till now you’ve probably been eating a breakfast bar as you jet out the door, or maybe you’ve forgone breakfast altogether. We’re all familiar with the fact that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but more than that, dieticians suggest that the majority of the day’s calories should be ingested in the morning, so that they can be burned throughout the day. So don’t refrain if you don’t have to! Set aside 30-45 minutes in the morning to whip up something good.

5. Self-reflect and plan

Waking up a bit earlier can get us thinking a bit more about ourselves, our lives, and our current situation and circumstances. It doesn’t have to be a time where we drown into a hole of negativity, but through the extra time, one can plan for the next day, week, month, or even year to accomplish goals that have been pushed aside for far too long.

6. Spend time with those you love

You don’t have to do this by yourself! Call up a friend in the morning and keep each other accountable! The two of you can meet for coffee in the morning and catch up on life, or even have devotional quiet time together! We are much stronger together as a body.

7. Develop self-discipline

Mastering the ability to wake up early is a means of developing self-discipline that could easily carry over to all aspects of your life. The first couple of days will be difficult, but gradually begin by waking up earlier in 15-30 minute increments in order to develop a lasting change that will make for a more productive you everyday.