Wake Up Bitch

April Challenge

I’ve always been one to hit the snooze button and wake up an hour later, frantically running around the house to get ready for the day. Thankfully, my work is a little more lax when it comes to schedules and I can work later if I come in later but I just hated feeling so stressed out before my day even began. One of my coworkers told me she got up around 5:30 AM every day to go running and spend time with her dog before work. I was in complete envy. How in god’s name did she have the willpower to get up that early? I decided sleeping in was a bad habit of mine. I realized waking up at 8 felt good in the moment but ended up ruining too many of my mornings and thus April was the month to tackle sleeping in.

Getting into the Routine:

1. Going to Sleep Earlier
Waking up really early is absolutely miserable/almost impossible when you stay up till midnight or later. I decided when it hit 10 p.m. I had to brush my teeth, grab a book and read until I fell asleep. Having a routine before bed, helped my body recognize that it was time to sleep and I got a lot more reading done.

2. Tricking Myself To Wake Up
I had fluxes waking up early. One week it would be okay and one week it would be terrible. I found I had to pull tricks to fool my cranky morning self or I would negotiate and hit the snooze button without thinking. One trick was to keep my phone alarm across the room. Another was to make a cup of coffee immediately. I also started picking up freelance projects that I’d work on before the day or else I wouldn’t have time to do them.

3. Creating a Productive Morning Schedule
The first week I started waking up early, I didn’t know what to do with the time. I’d make coffee and groggily get ready for the day and realized I wasn’t doing that much more than waking up at 8. After a few days, I started to feel awake enough to get stuff done. I started to make a nutritious breakfast every morning, getting the dishes done before work (instead of coming home to them), meditating, reading, and getting an hour of freelance done.

Benefits of Waking Early:

1. More Relaxed
Having a couple hours to yourself before all the emails come flooding in and the day gets really strenuous is good for the soul. I often had amazing conversations with myself over a cup of coffee because I wasn’t in any rush. The rest of the day, even on the bad days, seemed more manageable.

2. More Energy
Because I had set a bedtime, I had a lot more energy in the day with a guaranteed eight hours of sleep. I started going to the gym five to six days a week instead of maybe twice a week. I saw major differences in my body and felt a lot more confident. Not going to lie though, I thank a lot of the energy this month to coffee, which I normally don’t consume very often.

3. More Punctual
Before this month I would roll into work around 9:30 a.m. and feel guilty about all the people who were there before me. I’d skip lunch break and eat at my computer to make up for it or work later and have less time at night for myself thus staying up later. This month, I found myself rolling into work between 8 to 8:30 a.m a lot. I found some real benefits to coming in earlier since it was more quiet and I could get real progress done. I also could get to my 5:30 p.m. workout classes in time and not feel guilty about leaving work earlier.

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
~Benjamin Franklin
“The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years.”
~Thomas Jefferson
“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”

There is a reason some of the most brilliant people in the world have quoted how important it is to wake up early. Just google it if you need more convincing. I plan on implementing getting up earlier for the rest of my life because although it was painful some days, all the benefits outweighed those extra couple hours of sleeping in.

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