Getting up Early…How it Changed My Life



getting up earlyWhen the new year begins, I always patiently sit down with my clean paper planner and get excited about all the possibilities for the upcoming year. I also make some time to reflect on the previous year and evaluate what worked (regular exercise) and what didn’t (spending less on shoes). However, one minimal change in my sleeping habits made a really huge change in my life, and I thought I would share it, hoping that you can try it out! While this is by no means a unique idea, I wanted to explain how getting up early not only changed my life but convinced me to become a believer in early rising! So here goes…

Workout? Check

Before I had my daughter, I would workout 3-5 times a week. I was a hot yoga junkie and kickboxing nut, so I liked all types of classes. While I was pregnant, the fear of lengthy labor pushed me to work out every single day. Once I had my daughter, that all went downhill. I was breastfeeding, not sleeping, and felt like the Stay-Puft marshmallow man. Over the past two years, I have attempted to “make time” to work out and found that getting a workout in was next to impossible once the day got started. With my new “wakeup time,” I have my gym clothes ready right next to the bed, head down to my basement, and take 30 minutes to kick some butt. I never had the time mid-day or the energy after my daughter went to bed, so this really got my workouts back on the schedule. Best part? By 7 a.m., I can say that my workout is done for the day—no more guilt when I choose something else over a workout.

Showering Alone is Heavenly 

Instead of half-freezing as my toddler plays peek-a-boo with the shower curtain, I get to enjoy a nice, long brief, hot shower. Okay, so it may not be as long as I like, but five minutes of alone time in the shower is all I need to start the day on the right foot.

Breakfast and Snacks are Ready

With that little extra time in the morning before the tornado toddler wakes up, I can get breakfast going and pack all the snacks for the day.  Now that I am showered and dressed, the only person I have to get ready is my daughter. No small task for those of you with energetic toddlers, but there really isn’t a great need to rush since most of our tasks are already done.

Mood Stability 

I HATE being late, bad hair days, and feeling sloppy. I was starting to feel like I was always rushing to get us both out of the house with little time to put on makeup and do my hair with my old schedule. No, I’m not talking about beauty queen status, but I love makeup and enjoy putting it on as a part of my routine. When I feel good leaving the house because I am not running late or not looking my best, my whole mood is lifted, and I feel like I can handle anything that the day throws at me.

The Gift of Time

The whole year I kept rationalizing that if I had gotten up an hour earlier, then I would have to go to bed an hour earlier as well. Well, um yeah. My thought process was that I needed to accomplish things in the evening after my daughter had gone to bed and that I would be losing that precious hour. When I began to take a long look at this precious evening hour that I was so reluctant to give up, I started to realize that I was often sitting on the couch exhausted from the day. In essence, this hour I was losing really wasn’t productive, but the hour I had gained really helped manage my day.

I’m not going to lie; I didn’t start this whole waking up early thing until close to the end of the year. Why? Because I was so damn tired and had some great excuses. I couldn’t possibly find a good reason to get myself up a full hour and a half before my daughter got up when I was dragging myself out of bed as it was. The first few days were harder than I thought, but I knew I needed to make a change, so I pushed through. Weekends I like to stay in bed a little bit longer, but it’s okay. My stress level is lower, my mind is more focused, and I feel healthier due to a more consistent exercise regimen. Go ahead, take the plunge!

What are some changes you plan to make in the new year?


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