This morning my alarm went off as usual (5:30ish) and, as usual, I hit snooze while I checked email, looked at the weather, and allowed myself some time to wake up. Eventually, I got out of bed and stumbled downstairs. Most days, I end up getting down here a little after 6:00am. But this morning, I looked at the clock on the stove and it read… 5:52am. It was the first time I made it downstairs before 6:00am. I was so proud of myself.
Here’s what I’ve been learning through all of this:
It gets easier. Really, it does. I have wanted to wake up before my kids for MONTHS. Actually, it’s probably been about a year now. I first posted about my attempts back in September. That’s September 2017. My first few tries were really kind of pathetic–I think I made it out of bed 30 minutes before everyone else. But it still counted, and I kept trying. And guess what? The more I did it, the more I actually started to ENJOY it. And look forward to it. Me, the night owl, looking forward to rolling out of bed before the sun comes up. With anything, the more you do it, the more you make it a habit, the easier it becomes.
The best way to wake up is to create a morning ritual. I look forward to waking up every morning because I know I get to make myself a cup of coffee, sit at the kitchen table, and journal. I journal the same thing–things I’m thankful for, and things I’m working towards. Gratitude and goals, every single morning. Then I usually write a blog post or work on my website but if I knew I had to get up and immediately get to work, I would be tempted to go back to bed. Having that ritual, something I do just for myself, has really helped.
Positivity is everything. Do you know why people abandon their goals time after time? Because they lose motivation. And why do they lose motivation? Because they stop believing they can do it and they get lost in negative thinking. Nothing good can come from your negative, pessimistic outlook. What you put into the universe is what will be returned to you. And if you think that sounds like some spiritual guru mumbo jumbo, pay attention to how your thoughts affect your actions. The one thing I have worked hard at over the past month is keeping my thoughts positive. Even on the days I completely miss my alarm and get woken in a panic by my kids (happened on Monday). Instead of getting down on myself or wondering if I can do it, or if it’s even worth it to keep going, I tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. And I believe I can do it.
Don’t be afraid to put your goals out there. Now that I’ve announced that I’m trying to wake up early, friends ask me about it. They ask how it’s going and how I’m doing. Sometimes I cringe when the question gets asked. But you know what? It keeps me accountable. I don’t want to say I abandoned my goal yet again. I want to have something positive to report. This is the case with anything. You want to go to the gym 3 times a week? Find a workout buddy. You want to quit drinking? Find a sponsor. We weren’t meant to do life without the support of others. Don’t be afraid to make your goals known–speak them aloud, share them with your community. Better yet, ask people to ask you about them.
Never stop striving for better. I could be satisfied waking up at 6:00am. It gives me a solid 45-60 minutes on my own before the kids wake up. But it’s not quite enough time to get done what I want to get done. So, my goal is 5:30am. Eventually. I know I’ll get there if I keep working towards it. Goals are easiest to accomplish if you break them down into smaller chunks. Set an initial goal, meet it, then set another. Keep challenging yourself and never stop striving for better.
Seeing that clock this morning felt great. It feels good when you’re meeting your goals. But if I could add a 6th thing to this list it would be this: Don’t give up. I have been working towards an early morning wake up for a YEAR. At least. I’ve been thinking about it for many more. If your goals seem too difficult, or if you’re having trouble just getting started, pause for a moment and look at what’s getting in the way. You might have to tackle something else first (like, say, getting your baby to sleep through the night!). But don’t ever, ever give up. Your dreams are worth it, and you are too.