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Early to Rise Challenge: It’s Not Always Easy (and am I the only one who thinks drinking coffee black is crazy??)

Welcome to the Early to Rise Challenge! Throughout the month of March, I’m challenging myself and my readers to make the most of their mornings. So every week day morning at 9 a.m. EST, I’m posting a short Early to Rise post. I’ll share a few of my thoughts on the day’s passage from Early to Rise, tell you what time I got up that morning, and encourage you to leave a comment to tell us what time you got up and how you’re doing on the challenge.

It’s Not Always Easy

I thought it was only fitting that the Day 5 reading from the Early to Rise book was about how this Early to Rise thing is going to be a challenge some mornings. Because that definitely happened this morning.

I almost got up at 5 a.m. when my alarm clock went off. But I made some excuses about being tired (even though I went to bed early) and I crawled back into bed to “sleep for 30 more minutes” not realizing that the second alarm was set for 6 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m. That one little decision set me back by an hour this morning.

However, I’m not going to spend time beating myself up over the decision. I’m charging ahead with my day choosing to have a good attitude. After all, 6 a.m. isn’t “late” and I still had some great quiet this morning before everyone woke up.

But I am going to remind myself of the hour I “lost” this morning the next morning I try to convince myself it’s okay to crawl back into bed for a little while. If I am truly tired, then I need more sleep. But most mornings, I just need to get up and get moving!

Curious minds want to know: Andy suggests drinking your coffee black. Really? Are you kidding me? Why deprive yourself of the goodness of milk/cream and sugar — the things that make coffee so amazingly delicious? 🙂

So, if it’s not apparent, I won’t be jumping on the black coffee bandwagon. But I have to ask: am I the only one who thinks it’s crazy to drink coffee black? I just can’t understand people who do that! {I’m totally jesting around here — in case you didn’t read that into what I wrote — but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!}

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 6:00 a.m. to be exact. But my phone was dead, so I had to charge it before I could take a picture of the clock. Lame excuse, I know, but it’s true. 🙂

What time did you get up? Leave a comment and let us know!

Join in the Chatter!

Want to blog about this challenge? If you’re blogging through this challenge with me, be sure to leave your link to your direct post for today below. Plus, if you’d like to post your daily posts to the Early to Rise Group Board on my Pinterest page, just shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail dot com) and I’ll invite you.

Want to follow along on Twitter or Instagram? Each week day morning on my Facebook Page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account, I’ll be posting a picture of my alarm clock as public accountability. I’d love to have you do the same or join in the discussion on Twitter and Instagram. Just follow hashtag #EarlytoRise to see what others are tweeting and Instagramming about this challenge!

Other posts in the Early to Rise Challenge series

  1. The 30-Day Early to Rise Challenge Begins on Friday (grab your ebook for just $4.99!)
  2. Early to Rise Challenge: Day 1 (Your Mindset Matters)
  3. Early to Rise Challenge: Wake Up With a Plan for Your Day
  4. Early to Rise Challenge: It's Not Always Easy (and am I the only one who thinks drinking coffee black is crazy??)
  5. 15 Things You Can Do Each Morning to Make Your Day More Successful
  6. Early to Rise Challenge: Adjust Your Attitude
  7. 11 Things to Do Tonight to Set You Up for Success Tomorrow
  8. Early to Rise Challenge: Change Your Life By Taking One Small Step at a Time
  9. Early to Rise Challenge: Find the Artist in You
  10. Early to Rise Challenge: "It's Your World, So Change It"
  11. Early to Rise Challenge: Swim Upstream
  12. Early to Rise Challenge: Focus on Other People
  13. 5 Steps to Start Your Day With a Better Attitude
  14. Early to Rise Challenge: Find What Motivates You
  15. Early to Rise Challenge: The Halfway Mark!
  16. Early to Rise Challenge: Choose Who You Will Be Today
  17. Free printable: 17 Ways to Set Your Morning Up for Success
  18. Early to Rise Challenge: Don't Live Today on Accident
  19. Early to Rise Challenge: Be Quiet
  20. Early to Rise Challenge: Face Your Day With a Smile
  21. Early to Rise Challenge: Find an Accountability Partner
  22. Early to Rise: Share Your Success (and why I have a new crazy-early wake-up time!)
  23. 11 Things You Can Do Tonight to Set You Up for Success Tomorrow (free printable)
  24. Early to Rise Challenge: You're Not Alone
  25. 5 Ways to Keep Your Sanity with a Newborn
  26. Early to Rise Challenge: Begin Your Day With Prayer
  27. Early to Rise Challenge: Don't Settle for Average!

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  • Bethany says:

    I started the challenge on Sunday and am rising an hour earlier than normal-6-6:30 ish. I will not attempt to drink black coffee until I can function in the morning. It’s getting easier already.

  • Kelly says:

    I have been doing great – up at 5:00 AM everyday for 3 weeks now. I walk on my treadmill, read, get ready for work, and spend time in prayer, refelctions and following along with Ann Voscamp and readers in counting 1000 graces.

    Yes, I drink black coffe and enjoy it. We have a grind and brew machine that make excellent coffee that I enjoy the taste. Plus, I drink several + cups a day and with creamer and sugar the calories would add up. I do enjoy creamer once in awhile as a treat. However, i gave that up for Lent this year.

  • Brooke says:

    Totally forgot to send in my time this morning – busy work day! However, I woke up at 6:33!
    NO to drinking black coffee either. I love my cream and sugar and won’t be giving that up soon. Working at Starbucks, I have learned to love coffee and the blonde roast is the only thing that I can even come close to almost drinking black…but I definitely think black coffee is crazy too Crystal! 🙂

  • Philippa says:

    Love this series – I’m working on getting up with a smile in the morning! (Am a night owl !) I downloaded the sleep alarm app mentioned yesterday and it got me up on time – seemed to work!

    My husband and I over here in England always have black coffee. (Mine with two sugars though!) When we are on the continent, for instance France, you have to ask specially for milk/cream in coffee. It generally is black! It’s definitely an acquired taste though – it took me a while to give up cream.


  • Jessica says:

    6:09 am…my goal is in the 6-6:30 range for now. I love this challenge, I have wanted to do this for so long. I jut always thought I couldn’t and my excuse was that when I set my alarm it wakes the children…but in the last three months I have made big changes to my eating (pretty close to clean eating) and it has improved how I feel so much that I think it is time to tackle early rising! I just downloaded the recommended sleep app yesterday and it is so nifty!

  • Elisabeth says:

    I used to hate coffee; then Starbucks came out with this free coffee every day for two weeks… new love. But I couldn’t drink it without milk and Splenda… then one day someone gave me a Starbucks coffee, black, only powdered creamer to go with it. No partially hydrogenated oils for me thank you very much! And I drank it black! Definitely an acquired taste thing and “how badly do I need this” thing…
    But my daily luxury is still one (large) cup of good quality dark roast coffee, 2 splenda, a little dairy milk, and a ¼ tsp. dark cocoa. Bliss!

  • Made it up at 6am this morning. It helped that I HAD to be up to make it to class on time. LOL!

    I don’t do coffee anymore (at all) but back when I did, I only drank my coffee black. No matter how little milk or sugar I put in, they made the coffee too sweet for my taste. Nowadays I only drink decaf tea or herbal teas. 🙂

  • Varsha says:

    Hope I don’t back off from this challenge.. Just recovering from my thyroid cancer.. I am more productive and happy when I get up early and do everything before my 5yr old son wakes up… Thanks for this challenge which is helping me to bring me back on track… I usually wake up at 6:00am to prepare lunch for my hubby… I woke up 30 mins late today.. Just the unusual tiredness and the body pain I have everyday prevents me from getting up early 🙁 But I did finish all my work before my son woke up 🙂
    I don’t think I can ever drink black coffee.. I love my coffee/tea with milk… around 10:00am after I drop my son in preschool and the house is calm …
    You are so encouraging and thanks for all that you do..

  • Amanda A says:

    I was off of work today…so no 5:30 am alarm. But I did get up when my husband got up. And I read some more of the book and blogged about yesterday since I didn’t blog about it yesterday. Black coffee= desperate for caffeine! I need cream and sugar and some chocolate! I’d rather have tea (with sugar & lemon!)

  • karen b says:

    I obviously am one of the crazy people out there. I drink& LOVE my coffee BLACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will have to say to me alot of creamers ruin my coffee plus its calories that I don’t need. Yes I know you can get nonfat or whatever but we like real here(partly because of being dairy farmers:)

  • Nicholle says:

    5:40 today even though Fred was scheduled for 5:00 still early for me. Can’t do black coffee. Aldi’s hazelnut creamer and splenda for me.

  • Kate says:

    I’m with you! No back coffee for me. I drink mine with whole lactose free milk( lactose intolerant) and maple syrup. It is one of the highlights of my morning. Also, it has to be super hot ( no Luke warm for me). I got up at 6:12am. Progress!

  • Rochelle says:

    I got up at 6:15. I am not much of a coffee drinker, but when I do drink it it must have a lot of cream and sugar!!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I got up at 6am but I always get up 6am on weekdays with school age kids to get on the bus. I’m not sure I would even attempt to get up earlier then that because getting to bed before midnight most nights seems quite impossible no matter how hard I try because from 8 to 11 my husband wants to spend time with me and we can vent out the days frustrations from work. Sadly he doesn’t quite comprehend that I get to bed by 12 and then lay there for an hour to get past his snoring and then am back up at 6am while he doesn’t get up til 7 LOL
    Good for you for getting up early and yes drinking coffee is black is insanity LOL

  • Karla says:

    I really like my coffee with heavy whipping cream in it and capaccino mix, it’s one of my favorite joys, but only for extra special moments. I find that I also really like my coffee black and here’s why: I don’t get the sugar swings from it if I drink it black and for me that’s a huge deal. When my sugar levels go up I’m happy, when they start going down I become a bear. Someone once told me that the world is like a forest, and when Karla’s happy the whole world is happy, but when Karla’s not happy the world is full of crabapple trees. It makes sense when I think about it – sugar isn’t something that necessarily mixes well with me, but I do like it a lot. 🙂

  • Jill says:

    Which time? After going to bed at 830pm due to a horrible headache, I was up at 10p, 11p, 2a, 4a, and finally up for good at 5a (my normal time to get up). I’m pregnant and waking frequently for trips to the potty! HA

  • Kristin says:

    Today I planned to sleep in past the new “regular” weekday time, as I have a commitment tonight that will keep my up late. But, I’m really commenting about the coffee. I absolutely LOVE black coffee, and would not drink it any other way. There is something so delightful about the aroma and taste of quality black coffee from freshly ground beans. With that said, if the coffee is cheap (such as the stuff at work) then I simply can’t drink it, black or any other way.
    Definitely a personal preference, I think!

  • Lynda says:

    Wow! I don’t think I have seen a post with so many comments. Drink mine black. Hubby uses those flavored creamers and they often have them in such yummy sounding flavors, but then I try them and hate the aftertaste. I prefer the slight flavor of flavored beans if I go flavored, or a spoon of cocoa.

  • Amanda J says:

    I will confess. I slept in. A lot. My husband didn’t wake me up till 9:30!!!

  • Erin S. says:

    I used to hate the taste of black coffee… my dad always drank it black growing up and I loved the way it smelled but couldn’t stand the taste. Now, I don’t mind it black although it definitely tastes 100 times better with creamer! I agree, it gives it a completely different taste.

  • Robyn O. says:

    My alarm went off at 6:30, but I’ll admit I pushed snooze 3 times. I finally rolled out of bed at 6:57. This challenge is proving challenging for me:)
    And definitely a no to black coffee. I can’t see the point of that at all!

  • KimH says:

    You crack me up Crystal. I have to say, I used to be with you on the black coffee.. yeck!!
    My mom used to drink it & I thought it was horrid.. why drink it if you drank it like that.. haha.. Fast foward many years later.. About 3 years ago I had to give up the cream & sugar in my coffee.. it was a booger to do it.. but it was causing me real problems.. I drink it black now. Every once in a while when I dont feel good, I’ll add sugar & cream cuz it gives me that “comfort” feeling.. but after I drink a few sips, the thick sugar covering that coats my mouth grosses me out & I have to go dump it.. Its a terrible thing. 😉
    Enjoy your coffee any way you can! Blessings!

  • I got up at 6 ish, a little earlier than my planned 6:30am, because I heard my hubby get up at that time. I am LOVING this challenge! Instead of waking up to “I pooped my pull-up, can you change me?” or “I wet the bed” or screaming, fighting, and wrestling over the biggest spoon I have been waking up and having time to read my Bible, pray, reflect a little bit, do some pilates which is very relaxing, and go to the bathroom, get dressed, and prepare for my day. I love that I can start the day in such a positive way instead of feeling so behind and stressed and rushed and hearing the noise of kids. We put an alarm clock in our boys’ room and they know they can’t come upstairs until the Christian radio comes on at 7:30am. Because I’ve had such good early mornings, I’ve been happy to see them at 7:30 and ready with their breakfast and a smile and worship music playing in the dining room. Very different from the harried and annoyed mom I used to be before this challenge! I like decaf coffee. Regular coffee makes me too jittery. I like froo-froo coffee like mochas but I also like it black too. I don’t drink it all of the time, but once or twice a week it’s nice because I like the taste and the warmth.

    • Angie F. says:

      Lindsey, I think you have really hit the nail on the head: “Because I’ve had such good early mornings, I’ve been happy to see them at 7:30 and ready with their breakfast and a smile and worship music playing in the dining room. Very different from the harried and annoyed mom I used to be before this challenge!” I think THAT’S what this challenge is all about! What a great, uplifting, joy filled tone you’ve now set, not only for your day, but for your whole house. (Btw: I’m just starting Pilates again. LOVE it! So good to develop a strong core and also to prevent lower back pain.) Pleased for you…and Varsha too. 🙂

  • Angie W. says:

    Got up at 8:50 today. Yesterday was about 9:05am Felt so good, I’m trying for 8:30am tomorrow!

  • Susan says:

    I drink my coffee with half-and-half, no sugar. My goal is to wake up by 6:30 AM each weekday morning, but I had the phone alarm set for 6:00 AM today, due to a need to leave the house early. However, I awoke at 5:30 AM, so I got up then. I have definitely benefited from going to bed earlier to make Rising Earlier feasible.

  • Stacy says:

    Today was a day the challenge won. I snoozed until 6:50 am! I was productive in the little time I had, but I felt rushed all day long. I look forward to winning tomorrow, and the quiet me time that will follow. And black coffee? Yuck! LOL

  • Melodie says:

    Out of bed at 6:03!!!!! Wooooooo! Tuesday is my early morning at work so it was nice to actually have a relaxing morning, safe drive to work and punching in a couple minutes before I’m supposed to instead of a couple minutes after 🙂
    And I’m very much a coffee with cream gal. I’ve tried it black a couple of times, but can’t handle it!

    • Angie F. says:

      Well, I guess I’m one of the few here that falls into “No thanks, I’ll pass on the coffee”. I’m lactose intolerant, but it really doesn’t matter whether it’s black, or full of fillers and flavors. Can’t stand the stuff, I even avoid the bean isle in the grocery store!

      Funny thing is, I was raised in the Seattle area (a coffee stand on practically every corner), so you’d think it would practically be in my veins. I’m a part time barista too! I know, it’s weird. Friends have tried all kinds of tricks to woo me to their side; even adding chocolate (which I love) or caramel; but it doesn’t make it any better, I can still taste the coffee. :(~

      For me, just enjoying God’s Word, some exercise and the pristine beauty of living by a lake in the Inland Northwest-and sometimes a nice cup of moraccan mint or chai tea, no or low caffeine-is all I need to come to each morning! I feel so blessed. Don’t even mind the rainy days, although I admit it does make it harder to throw the covers off and get up!

      This morning my alarm was set for 5:55, so I could get up in time to take a friend to the airport. Hubby is out of town, so I haven’t slept well for three days (I tend to stay up too late too! So rebellious and undisciplined of me), and apparently neither has the dog. She burst into my room at 4:25 and insisted on some attention. She wanted to snuggle in with me and refused to leave! I didn’t get back to sleep, but did have some quiet prayer time. It’s all good. Early to bed tonight. 6:30 am alarm tomorrow.

      • Angie F. says:

        um, that should be “aisle”. Guess I’m too sleep deprived tonight to proofread well before I hit submit! geesh.

  • alison armstrong says:

    vanilla stevia and unsweetened coconut milk goes in mine

  • Kate says:

    it eats up your stomach black! I mix mine with quite a bit of skim milk, so I’m not getting a lot of extra calories, but I am getting some calcium!

    • Becky says:

      At least Andy is ok with coffee. One book I read on super charging your morning suggested no coffee at all…..umm NO! Lol! It’s my morning & I will have my coffee if I want….WITH cream & sugar 🙂

      Crystal, thanks for your help on twitter. I am the same person (bgarza85) I couldn’t find the posts on here because you weren’t posting on weekends. I was the lost one that had fallen away from the pack, but I’m back now with my creamed sweetened cup of joe 🙂

  • Tanja says:

    We got the auto call at 5:30 that school was cancelled today due to snow. So I slept in until 7 which was a bad idea since then we had to go out and shovel 7 inches of snow so I got no quiet time before the kids got up. I’ve been striving for 6am and that way I get an hour before my 3 kids (ages 7, 5, and 2) get up.

    And on black coffee. I love it! but it has to be a good coffee. We grind our own and use 8 o’clock. The cheaper coffees are not good black.

  • Meghan says:

    I’m not reading the book, but I’m curious as to why Andy recommends drinking black coffee in the mornings?

    • Andy Traub says:

      It’s about trying different things. I just did it as an experiment because some people swear by drinking it black. It was a challenge for myself and I suggest it because if we want different results in our lives then we need to take different actions…sometimes the small decisions can result in large changes.

  • Misty says:

    It’s interesting that you started this. I just found your website but I can’t remember who to give the credit to. Sorry. Here’s why I started just this month getting up early. I’m so happy I’m not the only one.

    I’ll tell you why I’m doing it. I started it because my oldest asked me why I’m always in my pajamas. Then I noticed she didn’t want to wash her face or brush her teeth. I sat her down and we talked about taking care of ourselves and I apologized for not being a very good example, sitting in my pajamas, showering every day, etc. I told her I would promise to get dressed and I would take better care of myself, if she would take better care of herself, like doing her hair and brushing her teeth. This is the second week of doing it and I feel so much better after I take a shower and do my hair, even if it’s in a ponytail. I put on shoes and clean clothes. My oldest has stopped asking me if she has to wash her hair, she just does it, and she brushes her teeth morning and night without me having to check her breath or toothbrush. She started wanting to do her hair before school and started really thinking about what she can wear that looks good together. I don’t want it to become a materialistic issue but I want her to understand the importance of taking care of herself because no one else is going to do it for her. So I say all that to say that’s why I started getting up at 6:00 even when I don’t want to. I have two girls who I must set a good example for and to show them how to be treated by other people. It was super hard to get up this morning but I knew my oldest would see that even if I’m tired, I still take care of myself.

  • Kim in Cali says:

    I don’t think it’s crazy or gross to drink black coffee, but I sure don’t like mine that way. I have a little half n half in it and that’s it. No sugar or other add-ins so I’m allright with that, and hey I only have one cup a day so it’s not an issue 🙂

  • Laura says:

    I drink mine black but I didn’t understand why he was suggesting others try it. Did I miss something there? Why did he want people to try and drink their coffee black if they don’t like it that way?

    • Andy Traub says:

      I suggested it because the book is about trying to do different things. To challenge ourselves to break out of habits and see how doing things different will create different results in our lives. Hope that helps!

  • Andy Traub says:

    Apparently coffee is a hot topic! (Pun intended).
    I suggest drinking GOOD coffee black. One of the main reasons I like it black is I can drink MORE of it black and it’s a completely different experience. The other reason is that it’s different and doing things different gives you different results. Give it a shot Crystal!!

  • I get up early every morning to get some work done and have a bit of “me” time before my 4 boys get up.

    My main motivator ? Coffee. Black. Can’t stand cream or sugar.

    I do, however, add a spoonful of coconut oil to my hot mug of coffee sometimes. Nice way to sneak in the health benefits of coconut oil, while making the morning coffee a little more interesting.

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