I recently finished my monthly challenge of rising at 7:00am every day. Including weekends.
Including days I went to bed at 3:30am, after dancing the night away.
There was one day I took off, due to me being sick all night 😦
So, here is what I have learned for my challenge. Hopefully this post will help you decide whether you would want to take part in a similar challenge one day.
I wanted to share with you what I thought of my experience, from the challenges I had to the benefits I gained! I hope to review all these new “habit challenges” I implement into my life, so that if you haven’t yet joined the challenge, you can see how it plays out. Because I’m nice like that.
In short, I have to say that it was completely worth it. I love this new habit so much – I have to say it is probably one of the best decisions I have made for myself in a long time.
When I started my challenge, the thought of waking up every day at 7:00 truly scared me. I was a self proclaimed night owl. Not really a morning person, though I longed to be.
I usually would wake up with just enough time before my first lecture to get ready and get there. And even that was hard most days! I always wanted to stay in bed for longer and longer.
I seriously looked forward to the weekends JUST for the fact that I could sleep in. Talk about aiming low! I also felt so much resistance when I knew I had a 9:00am lecture because it meant waking up early (and this semester, I have very few of those).
The first week was tricky. It was very up and down. Some days were okay. Ish. Other days were HARD. It was just my body getting used to it.
But I got up anyway.
I was tired throughout the days too. I felt like it wouldn’t get better and I would just never get enough sleep. But keep reading because it gets better!
The second week was interesting too. At times challenging, but not as much as the first week. It still didn’t feel “natural” but I did it anyway.
The third week was when it started getting good. Waking up started to feel close to effortless. There was maybe a 10 second period of discomfort – and this usually is for the 10 seconds after my alarm rings and I am stil in bed. I might still be a bit tired until I get wash my face, but at least I was up!
By the fourth week, it was a piece of cake.
Waking up at 7:00 feels effortless now. Maybe a 5 second period of discomfort. But when my feet hit the floor, all my tiredness is gone completely. Like my body was ready to be awake. Like my body was saying “come on, lets go!”
At first it was like my alarm clock would say “GET UP MALAVIKA!” and I would say “HELL NO!!” but now it’s like my alarm clock just says “…okay.” And I say “ok.” And I get up. It’s a mutual understanding. No more yelling.
Don’t be afraid of this challenge. Really. It just takes some will power. I really did not like waking up early in the morning at all. I was not a natural morning person. But it’s a natural progression, and you can do it too!
Some observations and experiences from my challenege
– We are not necessarily training ourselves to make waking up earlier than our usual time a painless experience. We are training ourselves to overcome our inner dialogue and conflict. We are exercising our will power.
– Getting up earlier gets easier over time.
– When you first start waking up earlier, at first it is a very conscious effort – even the night before. You start thinking “Oh god, I have to be up at ____am tomorrow!! I am already dreading it.” After awhile, those thought patterns cease. It stops feeling like an unnecessary option and instead becomes just “how it is”. You just stop thinking and start doing.
– It has opened up my life in many ways. I have more time to do the things that are important to me.
– My mind is quiet in the morning.
– Being a self-proclaimed morning person or night owl, is varied rather than fixed. It’s relative. It depends on who you want to be and if the habits you are keeping are aligned with that. So don’t use “But I’m a night owl, I don’t function well in the mornings – I could never do it!” excuse with me!
– Even if you are a total night owl, seriously, nothing feels better than getting all your important tasks done before midday.
– In the first week you may feel tired throughout the day, but as you keep going with your challenge, you will find that you have tonns more energy in your day. The first week is just an adjustment week. You can’t take it too seriously.
– You get to watch the sunrise. Every day. What better way could there be to greet the day?
– All those things I used to rush or skip in my morning routine, can be done now with ease and joy.
– There’s no stress about having things done for the day. I have plenty of time in the morning to do it.
– You have to take the thought process out of waking up early, and instead strip it down to just the physical act of getting your butt OUT of bed. Don’t think about it. Don’t rationalize, convince, excuse yourself. Just step out of bed. Like a robot. OUT. And to the bathroom. And do your thang. Waking up early can be the easiest thing you can do. A friend told me “Waking up early is the easiest thing to do ever. In fact, I think getting out of bed is easier to do than thinking about it and rationalizing it.”
– Placing your alarm clock away from your bed is a killer method of getting you up!
– Unless you are a seasoned pro, don’t convince yourself that you will simply “meditate” in bed after your alarm goes off. We all know you’re gonna go to sleep.
– The suckiness of waking up is completely outweighed by the awesomeness of your productivity that day.
– I actually now look forward to waking up at 7:00am on the weekends.
– After a while, instead of condemning yourself for inappropriate or poorly made decisions (like going out till 3:00am and having to wake up at 7:00) you start to become more aware of your decisions and the consequence they deliver. Instead of feeling angry, or disappointed in yourself, you simply make better decisions for yourself, or you learn to take responsibility for the ones you do make without too much fuss.
So, now what?
After taking part in my challenge, I have decided to keep going! It was HIGHLY successful experience for me. I will continue waking up at 7:00 every day. The only difference is, that I might be more lenient on myself, allowing myself to sleep in a couple of hours if I didn’t get much sleep the night before.
Starting from January 2011, I’m going to do a 6:00am challenge. Join me!
It’s the best. I feel like such a rockstar! And I am also soooo proud of myself and to all of you who joined me for making it through the month!