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Early to Rise Challenge: Wake Up With a Plan for Your Day

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.

Wake Up With a Plan For Your Day

We’re skipping the weekends for this challenge because I’m all about giving yourself grace and breathing room while still challenging yourself. And also? I need to extend that same grace to myself. Which means that I typically sleep in until at least 7:30 a.m. on the weekends. Kudos to those of you who powered through and got up early the past two days, though! 🙂

Today, I’m catching up on the Early to Rise book by reading Days 2-4. There are a lot of excellent thoughts there, including making friends with Fred (your alarm clock — Andy recommends the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app. Have any of you tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.) and how you can “be selfish at 5 a.m.” since it’s not taking away from your family to do so — well, unless getting up early means you end up being a grump toward your family and everyone else the rest of the day. If that’s the case, you either need to go to bed earlier, or you need to rethink the wake-up time you committed to.

I was inspired by the Day 4 reading on how getting up early sets the tone for your whole day. I’ve certainly found this to be true! When I wake up with a plan and I execute that plan, my day goes so much better than when I sleep in late and spend the morning pretty much putting out fires and going around and around in circles.

Today’s challenge: make a plan for your mornings, if you don’t already have one. Think about three to five things you can do each morning to set your day up for success. Tell us what they are in the comments. I’ll be sharing a post tomorrow on things you can do each morning to set your day up for success.

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 5:33 a.m. to be exact.

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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  • marie says:

    Very excited because my goal time is 6am and I was out of bed at 5:50! I read scripture, made some scripture index cards, and printed coupons. I just wish I could get rid of the feeling that I should be able to do more in an hour.
    But on the positive side I’ve started making sand witches for lunches ahead, portioning out fruit and veggies for lunches and snacks in baggies. Now it literally takes me seconds to assemble two lunches.
    One goal is to start exercising. The doctor said today that in another 3 weeks I can! So my goal is to figure out how to implement it into my schedule so I’ll be ready. I’ve already figured out how to get more reading time in so I’m very excited. It’s baby steps but they’re steps….

  • Genevieve says:

    Okay… my goal was 6:30 and I was out of bed by 6:34… pretty good. I am contemplating moving my goal time up a bit. I felt a little rushed this morning and I want my routine to be a little more relaxed. So, my new goal is … 6:15 without adding anything to the routine. I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

  • Mel says:

    7:31 here! I’m working toward 6:30 or even earlier if possible because man, do I get a ton accomplished during the day when I get up early. It’s only 11:42AM here and I’ve already: read today’s book chapter; journaled; had breakfast; washed, dried, & folded all of my laundry (still need to put away); ran some errands; answered emails and Tweets; put in a little time on a freelance project; had lunch; fixed an issue on one of my websites; written an article; cleaned out my car; taken out the trash.

    I mean…that’s a huge improvement over here! I am starting to see some areas to improve/tweak, though, so tomorrow I’m going to try this routine:

    1. Get up at 7:15AM.
    2. Read chapter.
    3. Start hot tea.
    4. Journal
    5. Drink tea and finish writing the day’s To Do list (I start it the night before as part of my bedtime routine).
    6. Start breakfast – something more substantial than yogurt so I’m not starving at 10:30!
    7. Get dressed/do hair and makeup.
    8. Eat breakfast while checking email/Twitter/Facebook.
    9. Get cracking on the day’s tasks.

  • Robyn S. says:

    I woke up at 5 am this morning. My morning routine is reading my daily bible plan, praying and writing in my prayer journal and gratitude journal, and reading my other books. Then I start a load of laundry, straighten up my bathroom and bedroom before my 3 kids wake up at 7am. I love my mornings of quiet before the craziness begins!

  • Nicole Taylor says:

    I got up at 5:16 this morning (alarm was set for 5, but I got up!). I’m trying really hard not to “do”, but just to “be” as the book suggests. Because of this, I am really loving the silent mornings! Believe me, it’s hard getting out of bed, but once I do, I really enjoy the quiet. I read the chapter for the day, write in my gratitude journal (I’m doing the Joy Dare), pray, and read some of my current book (The Four Agreements). I don’t touch my computer! Oh, I do have coffee too :). What I found this morning is that I am so much calmer and happier than I normally am on a rushed morning (that’s the point, right?) I turned on some music to wake my husband and kids gently, went in and gave them each a kiss, and then got myself dressed! I am usually the last one dressed with ten minutes to dress, do hair, and make-up before flying out the door and get my daughter to school late most days! I actually folded some towels, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the breakfast dishes, and did a 10 minute pick up! Oh my! This is incredible! THANK YOU!

  • christine says:

    not off to good start this week- up with sick 2yo. good news she’s fine, just hope other 2 don’t catch whatever it was.
    here’s hoping tomorrow is better!

  • Erin S. says:

    5:10am this morning which is an accomplishment for me as I love to stay up late, but have had to discipline myself to go bed early. I am LOVING my morning time before the little ones wake up! I am truly a different person throughout the day. Thanks for the inspiration and kick I needed do this!

  • Diana says:

    It helps me to set the coffeepot on auto. The waiting coffee gives me a little incentive to get up 🙂 Now if only I could rig up a way to waft the aroma back into our bedroom! 🙂

    Also, I’m not officially doing this challenge because it’s a season of little ones. (Up every two hours last night, for example!) But getting up early consistently is definitely a goal I’m keeping in mind for future years, and I’m enjoying this series even if I’m not really participating! 🙂

  • My wakeup time for the challenge is 4:30… I have made it every day so far! I use Sleep Cycle, and yesterday I was wide awake at 4:00.. and the alarm went off a couple of minutes later. I blogged about “Fred” on Saturday. 🙂 Anyway, I like the Sleep Cycle app, but as someone mentioned, it doesn’t work as well if you share a bed. My husband works several nights a week. I still use it sometimes when he is home, but I don’t think it’s as accurate. JMHO. It definitely helps to have a plan for exactly what you’re going to do… I’m using the early time (after devotionals) to work on a grant proposal, and I make a “to do” list every night of what I need to accomplish the next morning in the allotted time.

  • Stacy says:

    I got out of bed at 6:04 am!! I was able to read both of my book chapters for the day, doa 15 min. morning yoga affirmation/stretching session, pray, cook/eat breakfast, and unload the dishwasher all before I went to work! My most successful day yet. I pray I can keep the momentum going.

    The plan to start my day successfully:
    1. Read the Early to Rise chapter for the day.
    2. Read the Draw the Circle: 40 Day Prayer Challenge chapter for the day.
    3. Pray and start reading Proverbs.
    4. Do some type of stretching and meditation.
    5. Cook and eat breakfast at home instead of taking it to work or buying junk on the way.

  • Susan says:

    I was up at 6:21 this morning for our day of shopping in the US (we live about 2 hours north of the border in BC). The only routine today was my shower! I have 5 things I’d like to do in that early-morning time, although I’m only getting 3 of them done consistently:

    Devotions/Quiet Time
    Read for inspiration

    I probably need to get up earlier than 6:30 to do all I’d like to do in the early morning, but I know my record on rising early, and any earlier than 6:00 and I won’t stick to it. Maybe by the end of the month?

  • Amber says:

    Was up at 5;00 am!

    As for a plan..

    Wake up 5 am.
    Read Andy’s book
    Make breakfast/lunch for work/Eat breakfast
    Read Proverbs
    Out the door by 8 am on days I work

  • Shelley says:

    My time is 4:30. I have made it everyday!
    It helps that my husband is an early riser.
    My Plan:
    Read Lent Bible Plan
    Read Andy’s Book
    Daily email
    Make Bed/15 min room pickup/Ready for work.

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