Why jet lag might be the secret to my success in 2013

If you were actually awake at midnight, then you partied harder than my wife and I. After an eight-hour flight from the UK with an exhausted baby, we were both in bed by 10:30 PM with some wine and an old episode of Futurama. I was asleep by the end credits.

On the bright side, I managed to get the jump on one of my new year’s resolutions, simply by getting up early. One of the best things about coming back from the UK, as far as I’m concerned, is the way your jet lag gets you out of bed early. I usually try to prolong it as much as I can, and this time I’m going to try and make it a lasting habit.

If you’ve made a lot of resolutions, or if you just want to get a lot done in a day, then it’s important to focus on the little habits that can help create a domino effect. Getting up early is a big one for me; whenever I manage to get up well before my wife and daughter, I end up getting more done throughout the day, and I’m more likely to feel like I made that day count.

And when it comes to other goals and resolutions, the benefits are exponential. This year, for example, I’ve pledged to have a decent breakfast every morning, exercise each day, and plan each day at the start so I can get the most out of it. The simple act of getting up early means I’m far less likely to skip breakfast or exercise, or to jump into a day feeling lost or disorganized.

It also means I’m less likely to stay up late, which is another habit I want to curb. It means more time with my wife and kid, because I’ll be more in tune with their hours. I’m betting it’ll have all sorts of other positive effects, which I’ll discover as I adapt to the new routine.

Now, that’s what works for me; what works for you could be something today different. But I’m willing to bet that if you look at your lifestyle, and at the things you hope to accomplish this year, you can identify one simple change that will help set the others in motion.

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