Monthly Challenges

April 2017 Challenge – Getting Up at 7 am Every Day

My challenge for April 2017 was to get up at 7 am every morning. For a long time, I have liked the idea of getting up early, to make an early start on the day’s tasks. Once I am up, I enjoy the atmosphere of the early morning, and it always feels good to get things accomplished early on. But I’ve always had trouble being consistent in getting up early. I chose this challenge to try and establish the pattern of getting up at the same time every morning, in the hope that this time it would stick.

Here are the notes I wrote at the end of the challenge:

I found this challenge a breeze. The initial motivation came from knowing that if I stayed in bed, I would have failed the challenge. No way was I going to let that happen. After a few days, it became habitual, and as the month went on I had full confidence that I would get up at 7. I’ve tended to wake up naturally a few minutes before 7, and go back to sleep or doze until the alarm went off. I always got up straight away when it went off. 

It’s been nice having the extra time in the mornings, especially when I’ve had early starts. It has not been so much of a rush. I don’t feel physically very different, other than sometimes I am more tired at the end of the day if I went to bed late the night before. But I haven’t been overly tired for extended periods. I have made an effort to get to bed earlier because of getting up earlier. I succeeded in this to some extent, although I was rarely asleep by 11. But certainly, on some days I went to bed earlier than I otherwise would have. 

I definitely plan to continue getting up at 7 am without fail. In a future challenge, I could experiment with getting up at an earlier time. But not a later time as this challenge showed that I can totally cope with getting up at 7 in my current lifestyle. I think that a set ‘getting up time’, with variable bedtime based on tiredness and what time I get home, works well and I definitely plan to stick with that. Maybe in the future, I could also try getting up at the same time without the need for an alarm, to see if that works. Or perhaps with a quieter alarm.

Did I continue getting up at 7 am?

After this challenge, I really believed I would stick to getting up at 7. But after about another month, I started occasionally slipping and making exceptions. Gradually, I slipped back into old habits of getting up later. I think the main reason for this is that I occasionally have very late nights, which throw me off. Also, in general, I often chill out for too long in the evenings, knowing that I should go to bed but not wanting to.

Since last April, I have done a couple of similar challenges, getting up at 6.30 am. I had a similar experience with those, which I will write about in future posts. But now in October 2018, I am still a way off from consistently getting up early! But at least from my challenges, I know that I can. I just need to find a way of making it stick.

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