We are not ourselves when we wake up. Each time the alarm goes off, we become irrational creatures with one desire: to stay in bed as long as we can. Our noble goals for the day become secondary, and, without the right triggers, they are not enough to make us leap out of bed. Often enough, this "creature" blocks our path to self-betterment.
For the past month, I fought back. I read dozens of articles about rising early and applied suggested techniques to pull myself out of the covers. I also tried several apps for the iPhone. These included ones that measured my sleep cycle, employed sound waves, and even forced me to do physical activity. After weeks of experimentation, I experienced mild success. Still, nothing I tried addressed the primary problem: I couldn't remember why I was waking early in the first place.
The most effective solution I found was one of the most rudimentary. After setting the alarm on the built-in iOS Clock app, I'd plaster my phone with sticky notes. These notes range in content. One may mention the first task of the day. Another may tell me of an event I can look forward to, or challenge me to remain standing for 30 seconds. These triggers jog my memory and help awake my true self.
My success with this technique inspired a project to remind others of their waking ambitions. I began to wonder: How can I help people battle their wicked morning "creatures," so they can do all the good things they plan to do? And if they did those things, could the world be a better place?
I think it could, but it'll take some elbow grease to find out. Here's the start of the journey: