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Early to Rise Challenge: Face Your Day With a Smile

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.

Face Your Day With a Smile

I thought today’s reading in Early to Rise was intriguing. And I get Andy’s point, but I have to tell you that I don’t really like the word “smirk”.

Why? Because, by definition, it seems somewhat haughty and self-serving. I know that wasn’t Andy’s intent, but I just don’t like the word.

I prefer, instead, to stick with the word “smile”. A genuine smile is not only blesses yourself, but it blesses everyone you meet.

When I wake up early, spend some time in quiet, and face the day with a game plan, I’m much more excited and energized about life. As a result, I smile more. This, in turn, allows me to bless others — and then I’m blessed back and that makes me smile even more.

Today, I want to challenge you to smile more. No matter what time you got up. No matter what struggles and trials you’re experiencing. No matter what difficulties you’ve already encountered this morning.

Face your day with cheerfulness and excitement. Bless others with a genuine smile — and you’ll be blessed and energized in return!

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

I got up at 6:02 a.m.

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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  • MICHELLE says:

    Got up at 5:00am eastern time…..

  • Shannon says:

    I thought the same thing when I read today’s action post but I knew he meant smile and was just trying to catch our attention more by telling us to ‘smirk’ more 😉 I am dragging a bit this morning and a bit behind my routine but I’ll try to get it together and turn my frown upside down about waking up late 🙂

  • Susan says:

    Arose to the alarm at 5:15 AM. I would have liked more sleep, but that is not possible today. I know that I would feel better if I had gone to bed earlier last night, but my list of things-I-absolutely-must-do was longer than my day yesterday, with the result that I stayed up late until I was finished. (The longer-range solution to this dilemma would have been to do some of these deadline items before yesterday, of course….) So, putting all of that aside, I will remember to smile today! Thanks for the reminder.

    • Crystal says:

      “The longer-range solution to this dilemma would have been to do some of these deadline items before yesterday, of course….”

      This is what I’m working on right now. I’m a lifelong procrastinator who is finally learning that planning ahead and “doing it NOW” actually makes a big difference!

      I’m not where I want to be in this regard, but I’m slowly making some serious effort in the right direction. And that’s been very encouraging for me!

      • Robyn says:

        You mean I am not the only life long procrastinator on this planet? The thorn in my side
        🙁 I was up at 6:00 this morning. I didn’t have as much time to myself because I had to have my daughter to the orthodontist by 7:30. But, we weren’t rushed at all! We left the house in plenty of time, even with snow on the ground, and got there 10 minutes early. I could bless the receptionist with a smile and a “good morning” because it really had been a good morning. One unforeseen blessing from this challenge, is that I’m really looking at my day before it happens and am able to plan better, preparing for things hours or even days before. I’m doing little things like getting kids clothes out the night before, if we have to be out the door. (Thankful that home schooling allows us days when we don’t have to be out the door). Or, if we’re going to be home later than usual, I get pjs out, turn down their beds(including hunting down blankies and animals), and put toothpaste on the brushes. It’s saving me time and frustration. I’m a more pleasant person all around because of this challenge. And I hadn’t even considered that at the beginning of the challenge.

  • Katie says:

    There are so many reasons to smile! God is so good to give us another day– we have each day for a reason! I don’t want to take that lightly.

    Thank you, Crystal, for the encouragement and motivation through this challenge!

  • Sally Hunt says:

    I was up at 5:30 am! (my 3 yr old came in) Thanks for the thoughts of facing my day with a smile. Great advice!

  • Lora C says:

    I like your suggestion of a smile better than the smirk. I am a few days ahead, but I remember reading that and being a bit uncomfortable.

  • Sarah says:

    Up at 6:38am. So exhausted…I have to start going to bed sooner and figuring out how to sleep better.

    I’m very thankful for the reminder to smile this morning. I am totally guilty of getting too focused on whatever I am doing and always having my “game face” on. Haha. I’ll definitely try to be mindful of that and smile more today!

    • Crystal says:

      I’m reading a book right now that you might be interested in:

      I haven’t finished it, but so far it’s been really good.

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks so much for the suggestion. This may actually be very helpful for my husband right now. As for me, well I know where my sleep issues are rooted…pregnancy, toddler and a cold. And I’m not sure I can do anything about any of those things right now! I just have to “get by” knowing that the “good sleep” will come back one day. 🙂

  • Lana says:

    5:30. The sun is shining and it is a good day!

  • I’m reminded of Robert Smith’s 20,000 Days & Counting, where he said he dances when he gets up in the morning (or something to that effect). Smiling, dancing, or whatever else is a nice idea. I have to admit that lately I’ve been tired and haven’t been doing any of the above when I get up, but I can work on it!!

  • Becky says:

    I was up at 5:15am.

    Smiles are contagious! Everyday is a gift. God’s mercies are new every morning. I must chose to forget what happened or didn’t happen yesterday.
    Today is a brand new day! Every morning I get a brand new slate! That is something worth smiling about 🙂

  • Connie C. says:

    I agree, I do not like smirk – it has negative connotations. However, I did get what he was saying.

    Goal was 6 am, feet hit the floor at 6:16 am. Woo!

  • Tasheika says:

    At the beginning of this challenge I didn’t think I would make it, & I hadn’t realize how far I had come until this a.m. I was talking to my teenager who I told I have a hard time sticking with things, as we were talking about doing a exercise challenge (see what this challenge has done, got me doing more challenges lol) she said yeah Momma but you sure have stuck with this getting up early thing : ) I can’t tell you how good it felt to know she witnessed that & hopefully it has inspired her to not give up, especially since I didn’t even know she was paying attention. The kicked is both my teenagers are now getting up early & starting school early because they say they enjoy having more tome in the afternoon to do other things, I have gained so much from this challenge, things that I expected to gain & things I never even considered when starting!!!

  • Luba says:

    I woke up at 5:50 today, read the Bible prayed, put a load of laundry in, got my husband off to work, and have had a great day so far. Thank you so much for this challenge, Crystal.

  • Shelly says:

    Today I was up at 6:05, it was a little harder to get up and I could have waited for my alarm but I knew if I laid there awake too long I would come up with too many excuses of why I needed to stay in bed. 🙂

    I find when I am up early and have some time to myself in the morning I have such a better attitude. In turn I do smile more often. It is amazing to me that just a little bit of quiet time can do so much.

  • Melissa says:

    Up at 5:09am. Yes, there are many reasons to smile. I too have been working on making progress on not procrastinating (but still balancing it with not over packing my day so that I’m using every last ounce of energy…it’s a tricky balance!) When I first got married I realized how much my procrastination stressed out my husband (he comes from a family who always has a plan and acts weeks ahead if they can), and started to work on planning ahead a lot more. I think I’ve made a lot of progress in this area and he’s commented and thanked me for this many times. It’s a lot easier to smile and enjoy your day when you aren’t stressing yourself rushing around doing things you should have done days ago! 🙂

  • marie says:

    So happy because I got up at 5:10. I went to bed on time and then couldn’t sleep til almost 1am. I hesitated getting up and reset the alarm for 6am, which would still be early. But I am so glad I got up. Had my quiet time, straightened the living room, made lunches and got snuggles from my kids! My morning was so much more peaceful!
    I am so thankful for this challenge.

  • Melodie says:

    Love it! I was actually thinking this morning that having a quiet yet productive morning has really affected my work day for the positive :-). Not only am I less stressed but I’m definitely happier when I get to work !!! Makes it easier to remember to greet all the patients cheerfully with a smile when there is already a smile on my face…
    Up at 6:10 this morning. Ironically, our dog is keeping me pretty accountable by coming up around 6 and staring at me until I get up 🙂

  • Siné says:

    I was up at 5 this morning.

  • Mandy says:

    I was wondering if you have any suggestions for having a quiet time in your morning routine when you have a child who is an early riser. My son is up anywhere from 5am-6am every morning, and on the days he isn’t, the alarm wakes him up every time! Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed. Thanks!

  • Anna says:

    I’m just joining you guys. I hope that that’s OK! 🙂

    With the DST change, we’ve been getting up pretty late lately, 8 or 8:30 so I felt like I really need to start doing this and join you guys. My first goal is to start waking up by 7 AM which I’ve done for the past two days although today I was pretty much half asleep till 8. Eventually I’d like to start waking up at 6, and maybe even by 5 or 5:30 at some point since I really think I could use that morning time.

    For now, though, my goal is to get to waking up at 7 AM for a week and then start slowly moving back from there until I get to 6. 🙂

  • EMily says:

    I got up at 5:13 AM! 😀

  • Brooke says:

    Making up day 2 that I missed! I am failing miserably at going to bed at a good time – slept until 4:45 which made my morning crazy rushed… I’ll get better at this eventually. :/
    I agree with you Crystal, not really a fan of the word “smirk” in a positive encouraging way. I knew what he meant, but I definitely like smile better 🙂

  • Andy Traub says:

    Good call Crystal. I don’t encourage you to smirk at other people! Just smirk to yourself because you’re proud of the work you’ve done to wake up early. It’s not about rubbing it in, it’s about being proud of yourself.

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