Morning. Having trouble uploading my picture today. I did not rise from bed until 6:20 AM, twenty minutes after my target wake up time. I wanted to stay in bed longer than that but I finally pulled myself up. Today's reading is right on point. Andy talks about the spirit of the Challenge. He says not to be legalistic about getting up early. Some days it just won't happen. For me, today rising at 6 am just didn't happen. The lesson of the day is to allow yourself grace when you don't meet the goals you set for yourself. 

If you know me, You know I am a planner, so meeting my goals and sticking with the schedule I set are important to me. But over the last six months I have learned that it is not about the plan, the schedule, the bed time, or any of those things. It is about becoming the best me I can be. So I didn't rise early today. I'll make the most of my early morning time and try again tomorrow instead of making myself feel bad for not rising early today. My coffee is perking and I am ready for my blueberry waffles and another great day. 

Do you allow yourself grace when things don't go as planned?

I'd like to be polite and say good morning, but today is feeling more like a "bah humbug" kind of morning. I made the decision to get out of bed on time today, but my body is not happy about it. Doing this challenge is really teaching me mind over matter. My mind has to be stronger than my body when it says "stay in bed, just one more minute."

Key point from today: Today is an adventure, and by getting out of bed early, we get a head start on the wonderful adventure called life. Let's just say I am tired, drained, and have  slight headache, so I am not feeling very adventure-ready right about now. I will press on, because I know that this too shall pass and I will once again enjoy the adventure. I am downloading the sleep cycle app on my phone to help wake me up during the lightest part of sleep (within a thirty minute time gap). Maybe that is why I am such a grump this morning....but I will press on.

Thought to ponder: A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner. - Anonymous. How are you sailing this morning? Make it a great day.

A couple of months ago I embarked upon a challenge to rise earlier for 30 days in order to become a better person. I did not complete the first thirty days. The second time, I completed the 30 day program, but I was unable to stick to rising early after I completed it. The goal is to renew that spark for rising early and make it a continued part of my daily routine, even after I have completed the month-long reading.s. 

I enjoyed the quiet time I created for myself at 6:00 am in the morning. Time that allowed me to make and eat breakfast, brew and enjoy a cup of coffee, pray, read, and work on my life goals list. Not only did I reap those benefits, but I arrived at work more alert, refreshed, and ready to tackle the day and whatever it brought. And trust me, when you work with high schoolers, the day brings a whole lot!

Tomorrow I will begin the challenge for the third time, and hopefully the last! I commit to waking up no later than 6:00 am Monday - Friday, allowing for grace on the weekends! For accountability, I will post the times I wake up each day and what I did with the early to rise time. Now, who wants to join me? :)

Early to bed, early to rise. Makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
We have all heard the adage "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."...but how many of us live it on a daly basis? I for one can say, not me! As I mentioned in my previous post, I have never been an early riser (unless you count nghtly unplanned awakenings at 3 am). That being said, there is something about the early morning hours that is attractive to me. I would love to be awake to watch the sunrise, have time for meditation, prayer, and yoga to get myself centered before the hustle and bustle of the day. A few years ago, I was the coffee gal at my previous church. I had to arrive early to get everything set up so that my fellow church goers could enjoy a cup of joe before the service. Thankfully, I lived in walking distance to the church, which was helpful. Though it was a constant struggle to peel myself from the bed, I enjoyed the serenity of an early Sunday mornng walk. Most times, it felt like the world was all mine. The streets were so quiet and I could be alone with my thoughts on the walk to church. I think this is how my love of walking started.

Today I took some time to get some much needed rest. After church and brunch with a good friend, I posted up on the couch with my blanket, pillow, and laptop for sleep and a movie! With as much as I need to do around the house and with crafting, it was great to have some down time. While browsing one of my favorite blogs, www.moneysavingmom.com, I came across a post featuring the ebook Early to Rise. I recently completed the ebook What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (book review coming soon), and I wondered how this book would compare.

I was excited to learn that this ebook is a bit longer and "meatier." The purpose of the book, from what I can tell, is to learn how to wake up earlier in the day to lead a more productive, enjoyable life. In addition,
www.moneysavingmom.com author Crystal is hosting a challenge for the month of March. The objective is to take thirty-one days to work at waking up earlier (and going to bed earlier!). I have never professed to be a morning person, but I know that I am not as productive with my days as I would like. I am single wth no children -- I should have tons of free time right? Um, well, it doesn't really play out like that. One of my goals is to be a better steward of my time and I think this challenge will be very beneficial. Crystal will post daily updates on her blog during the month of March to discuss her progress/challenges, and others can share their progress as well. I know that it will be a challenge for me, as I already have a sleep issue that leaves me sleep and energy deprived, but I plan to put my best foot forward and give it a shot! If you're interested in joining me, sign up for daily emails at www.moneysavingmom.com.

My biggest challenge will be to consistently keep my PM routine in order to get up early. There always seems to be a phone call, text message, movie/tv show, or something I just have to get online for that keeps me from being consistent. In my research on creating healthful rest, I've learned that it is best to put away computers, television, and other electronics at least one hour before bedtime. Having a smartphone and frequently sleeping with my computer in the bed pose a huge issue to restful sleep. It will be difficult to break these long-standing poor bedtime habits, but I remind myself that the return will be great -- a night of restful sleep, arising in the morning ready for the day, and a productive and energy filled day. All of these things work together so that I can fulfill my purpose and goals each day!

    What do you think your biggest challenge will be with rising earlier? Are you a night owl that is now a morning person? I'd love to hear about your experience!! Any advice for those of us who struggle getting up in the mornings? Leave your comments and tips below!!