I’ve been participating in the Early to Rise Challenge for two weeks now. I had already been intentional about starting my mornings early for about a month and half, but I’m enjoying the opportunity to attempt to wake up even earlier, and to share that challenge with so many others.
My usual wake-up time is 6:30; I’m spending the month of March working my way toward getting up at 6:00. In addition to participating in the challenge and following along with the daily posts, I’ve also come up with some thoughts of my own.
1. No Excuses
I’ve used every excuse there is when it comes to failing to rise early. As someone with legitimate sleep/fatigue issues, a few of those excuses are probably even valid. Regardless, what I’ve learned in the last two months is this: excuses don’t get things done.
Maybe it’s extra hard for me to drag myself out of bed each morning when the alarm goes off, but you know what else is hard? Beginning my day without breakfast. Missing the opportunity to have a few minutes with my husband before he leaves for work. Realizing, at 3:00 in the afternoon, that I never started a load of laundry like I intended because the kids have needed me every minute they’ve been up.
The bottom line is this: waking up early isn’t easy. Sometimes it’s downright miserable. But you’ll never reap the rewards of child-free morning time, you’ll never find that much-needed extra hour or two in the day, if you don’t at least try. There’s always going to be an excuse to hit the snooze button one more time; don’t.
2. Don’t Look Back
I don’t have a great track record when it comes to sticking to goals. I tend to give up after I lose steam for a few days. For instance, if I slack off and skip a workout for a few days, I often just give up all together, if not completely than at least for the rest of that week. I know the wise thing to do is to pick up where I left off and gain momentum again, but I often don’t.
I’ve been using this challenge as a chance to change that. Instead of letting a late morning or two get the best of me, I make a conscious effort to keep going. I no longer let a day’s derailment ruin a whole week’s worth of effort.
3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Support
I was only mildly excited about participating in the Early to Rise Challenge. I looked forward to using it as an opportunity to change my own habits, but I wasn’t sure there was much value in participating alongside others.
After two weeks, though, I’m finding the sense of community to be invaluable. The encouragement, support, and camaraderie are making my mornings brighter. If the challenge is something you want to try, I encourage you to find a friend, or friends, to do it alongside. Just knowing there are others doing the same thing will push you to accomplish your goals.
Where I Am Now
Between daylight savings time and spring break, I’ve been sleeping in later than 6:30 most days, but I’m still waking up much earlier than the 9:00 or 10:00 that would be typical for me during a vacation. I fully plan to jump right back in to the challenge next week when we’re home and in a routine again.
Next week I’ll be changing my wake-up time to 6:15; the week after I’ll get up at 6:00.
If you aren’t already participating in the challenge, it isn’t too late to start. You can find all of Crystal’s posts regarding the challenge here.
I want to know: are you participating in the challenge? How is it going for you?