Today I had a minor setback with #59 on my list – become an early riser. My goal is to wake up early (between 5:30 to 6:30 a.m.) every weekday for 30 days in a row. Why on earth would I want to do that, you may be wondering. The answer is that I enjoy the rest of my day so much more when I’ve had quiet time in the morning to do things I love, like reading a good book and leisurely sipping coffee.
If I sleep in, I end up feeling rushed and almost cheated at the end of the day when I feel too tired to have “me time”. Part of my inspiration for this item on my list came from Dr. Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. I highly recommend this book. He has some fantastic ideas on how you can become a happier and more satisfied person.
You may remember from my first post on #59 how I found my morning fight song, which gave me that extra boost to get out of bed and resist the oh so tempting, but terrible, snooze button. For the first six days of my challenge, I was successful in waking up and enjoying my extra time. However, today, on day seven, the snooze button won.
Instead of starting my day at 6:00 a.m. when my alarm went off, I hit the odious button, not just once, not just twice, but three times. (!!!)
When I finally dragged myself out of bed at no earlier than 7:45 a.m., I wondered, how could this happen? What about my morning fight song? What about the delicious aroma of coffee brewing? Why did all this fail to lure me out of my blanket cocoon? What about my plans for those extra morning hours?
Plans. That’s it. I didn’t have a plan this morning. When “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” (again, see my morning fight song post) started playing this morning, there was a critical window of time before I hit snooze.
In those precious seconds, I talked myself out of getting up. My train of thought went something like this… What was I going to do at 6? I don’t have to be at work until 11:45. I could go work out, but where? At my apartment complex? At the campus rec center? Or I could go running at a park. Or I could do a workout video here. Speaking of here, I need to clean. I don’t know. Oh, or I could read my book. Or…I could go back to sleep? I’ll have plenty of time to do everything if I just sleep 30 minutes longer. I’m so comfortable right now. My bed has never been more comfortable than it is right now in this moment. If I get up at 6:30, that is still early. Yeah, I have plenty of time. I’ll just sleep a little longer…
And that conversation repeated itself in similar fashions two more times, resulting in my alarm going off again at 7:00 and then at 7:30. When I finally got up, I felt groggy (just as I always do when I hit snooze!) You can read more about the negative effects of snoozing here.
This morning taught me that I need to have a better plan in the morning – making decisions at 6:00 a.m. is not my strong suit. I have enough trouble making decisions when I’m fully conscious. There were too many options to choose from this morning and the longer I was in bed thinking about it, the more I wanted to stay there.
That time in bed between the alarm going off and actually getting up is critical. In fact, this blogger says that the longer you stay in bed after the alarm, the more likely you are to go back to sleep. He recommends that when the alarm goes off, you jump out of bed.
So, I’m back to square one. My goal is to get up early 30 consecutive weekdays. I excluded weekends – I tend to stay up later then, so getting up early is just not going to happen. I (optimistically?) did not factor setbacks into my original goal, so I didn’t make any rules about whether to just add another day if I mess up, or if I need to start completely over.
After some thought, I decided that I need to start over with day one. I feel like I’ll have more motivation to follow through each day if I know I have to return to day one if I don’t get up. For any of you who are doing a similar challenge (check out fellow blogger armingenica), I encourage you to make a setback plan! For some people, starting completely over may be the best option. For others, adding on an extra day may work better so that you can still keep track of the progress you’ve already made. Setbacks happen, but don’t let it get you down. It’s never too late to try again.
Tonight, I’m going to make a plan for tomorrow morning. (How’s that for planning? I’m planning to make a plan! Ha.) When my alarm goes off tomorrow, I’m going to jump out of bed and greet the world with enthusiasm…
before I have a chance to talk myself out of it.
P.S. I’ve updated my blog a bit and added a new heading “A List Within a List“. Here, I will keep track of items on my list that have multiple parts to them, like visiting all 50 states, reading every book by my favorite author, completing the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge, watching the 100 greatest movies of all time, and becoming an early riser.
Also, if you’re new to my blog, don’t forget to check out the list – 65 things I want to do before I turn 30.