May: A Month of Early Mornings

Early morningsWow, lots of M’s in that title! Not intended.

Last night on Facebook I made a pretty dramatic announcement. At least dramatic for me. You can read it here if you want. A monthly challenge, if you will. To help me conquer my sleep issues.

After a lot of thinking and fighting in my soul, as well as research, I’ve finally decided to commit to a month of 5am mornings. I have a lot of reasons for this personal growth challenge:

  1. I want to tackle the assumption I’ve made about myself that since I’m a “night owl” I can’t get up in the morning. I no longer accept that excuse.
  2. I want a consistent, non-rushed time to be quiet and spend time with Jesus. Reading Scripture, praying, reading theology books and encouraging my friends via text.
  3. If I’m going to do any exercise, the morning is the time to do it. Otherwise everything else in the day just takes over. So I’m going to try to exercise.
  4. I want to prove to myself that I won’t die if I’m a little tired during the day. That being said, I won’t be depriving myself of sleep. Just shifting my 7-8 hours around so they start earlier.
  5. My day is exponentially more productive and focused when I intentionally wake up in the morning. I need a little more order in my days to provide for creative ups and downs.
  6. Lord willing, I am planning on having babies at some point and I really don’t want to be rudely awakened to the concept of early mornings. I know every child is different but most seem to favor early mornings as a rule so I’m expecting to have to get used to that once I’m a mother. I’d like to choose it for myself now and make it a habit.
  7. I don’t like when one aspect of my life is controlling me. I already struggle with comfort idols and sleep is one of them that I’ve never taken as seriously as I should. So for reasons that affect my relationship with God, I want to stop relying so much on sleep for the comfort I’ll only find in Jesus.

I could probably keep listing reasons but you get the drift.

I’m super excited about this and am so so nervous too. Y’all know I love challenging myself with things, especially creative challenges like my 12 hour art projects and 100 day challenges.  But this is a whole new level of personal development and it is uncomfortable. But good. Really good.

I’ll write a post once I’m done with this month to talk about my successes and failures and how I was able to do it (hopefully!!).

But I already know from past experience of trying to form this habit, that the main way I’ve been able to force myself out of bed is by having a plan for what I was going to do with the extra time. If I don’t have a plan, I don’t have a good enough reason in my groggy 5am brain to stay out of bed. I have to have a solid answer to the why question.

So, to share something right up front, here was my plan that I stuck to this morning. Things will probably shift around throughout but this is my basic layout for how to spend my early morning time:

5:00 — wake up, brush teeth, go downstairs and drink a glass of water* (stand outside if I want to), bring another glass upstairs, say hi to Facebook (this is my accountability for the month)

5:15 — Bible study: read, pray, write, text a friend an encouragement

6:00 — write a letter (I’ve got several penpals.)

6:30 — go for a walk with JD

7:00 — 18 min exercise (I’m trying this one out) + shower

7:45 — creative reading + writing

8:45 — minimize something (I have a whole list of things that I want to clean out. Like drawers, emails, shelves, etc.)

9:00 — start my work day

*If you’ll notice I’m doing this as a non-coffee drinker. Should make it interesting.

Like I said, this won’t be perfectly the same every day. I’ll get bored and switch stuff around or other things in life will interrupt it. But the main goal is that no matter how much time I have, I always have a direction or an idea I can go in to fill that time. I don’t have to rely on my groggy early morning brain to come up with things to do. I won’t have an excuse for not waking up.

Thank you so much for reading! Stay tuned as I update as the month goes on how this is going. I’m excited to share some of the creative stuff I come up with from my time too.

P.S. If you have any tips for waking up early, please share them with me! I’m on IG @rachelloftis or on Facebook as Rachel Crone Loftis. I’d love to hear from you!!

Tschüss!

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