40 Days of Waking Up Early

March 27, 2019

40 Days of Waking Up Early

Prior to waking up early.

I’ve been trying to find a better morning routine. I read books, listen to TED Talks, watch YouTube videos all about how you should start your day at 5am (some even said 4:30am) if you want to be successful, want to get more stuff done, etc. Insert anything that would make your life better here, to help you start waking up early.

Although I’ll admit, waking up early does make your life better. You’re able to get more stuff done, the day is in your control. All good things. But let me take a step back here…

I am not a morning person. Staying up late and getting things done at night has always been a time of creativity but not so much production. I think I found I was getting distracted more at night, procrastination would hit and I wouldn’t finish. The work wasn’t always organized and I tended to go way into the hours of the night at times, only to wake up unsatisfied with where I let the time go.

For the past few months, I’ve been trying to wake up at 5am. On and off, I tried tirelessly to create the morning routines I kept hearing about from all the TED Talks, YouTube Videos and books I had consumed about waking up early.

This practice wasn’t sticking, so I decided to commit to a 40-day project and track it to see how often I did and how my day went when I didn’t wake up and get things done to when I did. The difference was very noticeable.

40 Days Early, Well Half That Really.

I tracked my 40 day experiment using an app called Strides. I really liked it and started adding multiple goals. To be honest, my checklist might be a bit too long. I might need to adjust 😉 I think you can have about 7 before you have to pay to upgrade so guess how many habits I have currently active. Yeah, it’s 7.

Like all things when you first start them, I was on a roll. For three days. Until I was tired. When I realized I didn’t have a reason to get up early that day and continued to find the snooze button with one eye closed and a blind finger tapping my phone screen until I got that extra 5 minutes.

Like all things when you first start them, I was on a roll. For three days. Until I was tired. When I realized I didn’t have a reason to get up early that day and continued to find the snooze button with one eye closed and a blind finger tapping my phone screen until I got that extra 5 minutes.

This is the habit I wanted to break. With complete honesty, I would like to say that I completed 48% of my goal. I woke up 19 times at 5 am out of the 40 days I tried to commit. Sure I didn’t get a 100% but I tried and here’s what I learned.

What To Do When You Want To Wake Up Early

Sure there are a lot of videos and books out there, but the most important thing I found was tailoring the goal to my life and my body. Instead of just waking up at 5 am, I asked myself why I wanted to wake up early in the first place.

I wanted time for morning pages, I wanted to start the day with meditation, I wanted to get some writing done. I wanted to get up with an intention I set, and not just because it was time to go to work.

Some days, I had to listen to my body. I learned that some days, I needed more rest than others. I forgave myself. Made time throughout the day to get the things done that I wanted to get done.

I learned that if I didn’t have a purpose for the day, like write 500 words or write a blog post, do yoga, whatever, it was harder to wake up. I also learned that when I did wake up and follow my intended routine I had way better days. The days I pressed snooze, I was in a bad mood and I took things too personally. I made work my priority and thus didn’t give time to myself to create a sense of balance.

After about 30 days into this experiment, I made some changes. Instead of 5 am I woke up at 5:30 am. I learned that my body needed those extra 30 minutes of rest, and that’s okay.

I didn’t always stick to the same routine and neither should you. Mixing things up is okay. Listening to your body is okay. Adjusting and not beating yourself up is the best way to create a good habit.

What Not To Do If You Want To Wake Up Early

Don’t go to sleep late. The best routine to start if you really want to get into this waking up early routine, is to have a bed routine. Wear real pajamas, not work out clothes to tell your body it’s time for bed.

Set an intention before bed and plan out what you want to get done. Adjust when needed and learn through the experiment instead of just grading yourself. There comes a time where instead of checking a box, you should learn from your mistakes and work towards progress instead of perfection.

You don’t have to follow what everyone else does. Take tips and certain routines from others and make your own. You’re not trying to be the next Bill Gates or Beyonce, you’re trying to be the next best YOU. So find what feels and know that you might need to sleep in one day or read instead of working out one day.

It’s okay to try things and it’s okay to not get a perfect score. The point is to try things with the mindset that you’re trying to find a lovely life, and in order to do that, sometimes you need to get a 48% on a 40-day goal, to see what you need to adjust to get you there.

waking up early
More about loveleemonicaa

Founder and creator of Find A Lovely Life. An old soul with the heart of a child, trying to remind everyone how lovely they are. On any given day, she probably has her nose stuck in a book or she's laughing at her own joke. Her patronus is a dolphin and her dog is named Jude.

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