Rise and shine.
There are many benefits to getting up early. I know that these include things like increased productivity, but it’s just so tempting to stay in bed.
But as a mom of a newborn, I wake up around 5 a.m. to feed her. Like any sane person, I then usually go back to sleep until 7:30 when it’s time to get my toddler up and ready for school.
However, there have been some mornings where I feel refreshed at that time and get some writing done, check my emails, or read a few pages from whatever book I am currently reading.
So when I came across the Morning Routine Challenge from the blog My Favorite Life, I was interested to give it a go. After all, it’s a new year so let’s get into healthy habits.
Here is what happened and what I learned from this challenge.
Things That Happened
- I was able to wake early each day.
- I got lots done in a short amount of time, making rising a bit earlier worth it.
- As a mom of two, waking up early gave me some much needed quiet to prepare for the day.
What I Learned
- It can be hard to wake up early, so aim for just a few minutes, not an extra hour.
- It does become a habit over the span of the challenge, but you need to keep it up in order for it to stick.
- Don’t try to take on too many new tasks in your morning routine. Stick to two or three in order to make it work.
- I can become a morning person.
- Having some “me” time is important, and having a routine helps me do that.
- Having a routine also helps me keep my day organized and structured.
The following is my 5-day log of what I experienced and learned during this Morning Routine Challenge.
Day 1: Set A Goal
Today was all about making a plan for the next few days.
“The key we’re going to focus on today is keeping it simple in making our initial plan,” Jennie from My Favorite Life wrote in an email. “You’re more likely to be successful in making this change if you choose just a few doable steps instead of trying to bite off a huge bite to begin with.”
She recommended just having two or three things to add to your routine.
My goal was to wake up 45 minutes earlier in order to have some time to enjoy my morning coffee alone, to shower and get dressed for the day (or just get ready if I am heading to a workout), and to write for at least 10 minutes.
For this morning I did enjoy my coffee while watching her Facebook Live video and got a few minutes of writing done.
Day 2: Start Forming Habits
The theme for day two was all about making habits.
It takes 21 days to form a habit, so I wasn’t expecting large changes to happen overnight.
I did wake up 45 minutes earlier but ended up hitting the snooze. So I guess it would take a lot more work before making this rise and shine thing a habit.
The good news is I ended up waking up 15 minutes earlier, which is what Jennie recommended to do in order to be successful. Think small changes.
This means I was able to get dressed and ready for my stroller mom workout, drink my coffee, and write for more than 10 minutes before getting the kids up and dressed.
Then I was out the door, got a workout in, came back to shower and get more work done—all before my toddler was home for school for lunchtime.
I learned on this day that waking up early leads to increased productivity for sure.
Day 3: Make It ‘Me’ Time
In her video this morning Jennie spoke about being selfish and how this word doesn’t have to be so negative. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes and make “me” time.
And since the point of waking up earlier is to carve that little “me” time, you should fill this time with whatever suits your lifestyle. I could easily see how this routine could include and early morning run for me as I start training for my next half marathon. Other mornings could be to focus on writing since I am working on another book and tend to put it off in the day in order to blog.
This morning I woke up my whole 45 minutes earlier. I had my coffee and had lots of time to write and check emails and do blog housekeeping. This provided me with some me time and start the day, get some things done and then get the kids ready for their day.
It also meant I was able to then go to my morning workout class already getting things done that take me all morning.
Today showed me the power that one healthy habit can cause. Because I felt so productive the day before I wanted to wake up earlier.
Day 4: Stick To It
Today is all about making your routine successful. Jennie shared her tips to make this possible. This includes having the determination to make this new habit stick. She also recommends not looking at your phone or watching TV before bed in order to get ready for bed and turn off your brain so that you can get a good night’s sleep.
On my day 4, I knew I wouldn’t be exercising since it was my rest day. I also knew my son didn’t have school so no rushing to get him ready. This almost gave me the excuse to hit the snooze, but I did get up 15 minutes earlier.
I looked forward to the new routine of actually enjoying a cup of hot coffee in peace. But my newborn was already up and ready to start the day. So Instead of writing I did catch up on my emails but spend some one-on-one time with her before my little guy woke up.
I learned that not every morning will be as structured since I do have two little ones. But that is okay as long as I do attempt to doing what I have planned for me.
Day 5: Make It A Lifestyle
Today was the final day!
This challenge did go by fast and really wasn’t that hard to get used to. I think this is because, again, those small changes. Waking up 15 minutes early isn’t such a big deal and was doable.
Today’s theme was making this habit a lifestyle. It takes consistency to do so. But it’s totally worth it once you realize how much you can get done, how it starts the day off on a good note, and how amazing it feels to put. yourself first and have that peace and quiet—even if it’s just for a few minutes.
I plan to continue to rise early each day, but allow myself one day a week, Sundays, to hit that snooze!
Would you take up this challenge? Sound off in the comments.