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Early to Rise Challenge: Find What Motivates You

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.

Find What Motivates You

I thought it was interesting that Andy talked about getting up early for a flight in today’s reading from the Early to Rise book — because that is exactly what I had to do this morning! My alarm clock went off at 4:15 a.m. and while it took me a few minutes to rouse and get up, I had to get up — or miss my flight to South Carolina (I’m speaking at the Southeast Homeschool Convention this weekend)!

It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we are highly motivated. To be successful at rising early, it helps to discover what motivates us to get up.

For me, I’m motivated to get up by a few things:

1. I know that I’ll be glad I did later. If I’m tempted to crawl back into bed, I remind myself of the benefits I’ll experience later on in the day if I get up and get moving.

2. I love the early morning quiet. I love my children to pieces, but there’s something very refreshing and energizing about starting the day with quiet. I use the first 20-30 minutes of the day to read my Bible, pray, write in my gratitude journal, and sometimes read from a devotional book. This prepares my heart and mind for the day ahead.

3. It gives me a jumpstart on the day. When I wake up early, I always feel like I have a lot more time in the day. If I wake up when my children do, I feel like I start the day already behind.

4. I love coffee. My morning cup of coffee is something I look forward to and savor. But please, make sure it’s with milk and sugar. 😉

What motivates you to get up in the morning? And if you’re not very motivated to get up in the morning, what changes could you implement to help you become motivated to get up?

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

I got up at 4:18 a.m. in order to catch my early flight to South Carolina.

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!


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  • Shannon says:

    Have a safe flight Crystal and way to go getting up sooo early this morning! God and my family motivates me to get up early and in the nearly 2 weeks of this challenge I have become a healthier, quieter, and more efficient person with my extra time.

  • Elizabeth says:

    6 am … see I just can’t do it LOL
    Ah got to love those early flights. You travel a ton though so I’m sure you’re used to it by now.
    My house is so small that even when I wake up at 6 I’m constantly hushing the children and tip toeing around until I wake my husband up at 7 so the idea of waking up to fold laundry isn’t very motivating though I’d love to see my couch again LOL
    Enjoy your time and have a safe trip.

  • Sandra says:

    God be with you as you travel, Crystal. Best wishes on a successful presentation. I’m certain those who attend the Southeast Homeschool Convention will enjoy that which you bring.

    By and large, the Lord motivates me more so than anyone/anything else. My personality is one which is goal oriented and I do best with the large, seemingly impossible ones. While I dive in, full-firce, I am keenly aware I, alone, cannot accomplish the goal at hand without leaning upon the Lord.

  • Rose says:

    Welcome to SC! I live about an hour from Greenville! It is the best city in SC! Enjoy yourself and make sure you go to Falls Park! And enjoy the convention…I am sure I know a bunch of people attending….

    • Nicole says:

      Yes enjoy your trip–SC is beautiful especially in Greenville and near the mountains. We too live about an hour from Greenville and hope you enjoy your trip and the weather!

      • Rose says:

        Hey Nicole! We are in Oconee cty…. very close to mtns and lakes, etc…. hope Crystal gets to enjoy some of the area… we have a great homeschool group in this area, too…

        • Nicole says:

          @ Rose, we are in the Tryon, NC area (20 miles north of Spartaburg) I see we are like 3 counties from you 🙁 we are looking for a great homeschool group near us and are talking with some others about starting one. Know of any great bloggers local to the SC/NC area? Love this blog but also like local ones 🙂

  • Hope you have a lovely trip! The weather (here at least) seems delightful to fly in. 🙂

    I got up at 6:00 exactly. Much better than yesterday’s 8:37. 🙂 It was so nice to read, exercise and shower, see my husband off to work, and have time to get an important to-do crossed off my list before the children wake up.

    I wanted to tell you what a blessing this series has been, even though I’m just now joining in thanks to sickness. Reading about your early mornings and how much you’re able to do in them, was such an inspiration to start getting up early as soon as I felt better! Thanks Crystal!

  • I totally agree, Crystal. Lately I’ve been getting up between 5-5:30am to work on my eBook I’m hoping to release in a few weeks! Today I didn’t get up until close to 7am because my little one didn’t sleep very well today. 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    I got up before 6! Sooooo exciting. Especially because that means that my baby girl slept through the night. 🙂

  • Shelly says:

    I have been really motivated by that first morning. I could not believe how refreshing it was to be up in the quiet of the morning. So now when my alarm goes off and I don’t feel like getting up I just remember the quiet of that first morning and I a get up.

    Today I was up at 6:21

  • Are you doing a meet-up here in South Carolina sometime this weekend? If so, I would love to meet you. If not, I might have to stop by the convention. Will you be around this entire weekend or just a portion? So excited you are here. 🙂

  • Mel says:

    6:53! Except that’s now Pacific time since I’m in L.A. for the next 2 weeks (at home I’m on Central time). I was awake earlier, but so tired after traveling all day yesterday and wanting to make sure my back/neck had as much rest as possible, that I let myself doze for a bit. But then it was up and at my now-regular morning routine!

    One of my goals while I’m out here is to use the time zones to my advantage and get up at 6AM. After 2 weeks of that, when I get back home, my body should quickly adjust, right? Hey, it makes sense in my head. 🙂

    My motivation is the sense of purpose and accomplishment I feel throughout the day now. That’s something I’ve struggled with quite a bit since getting laid off last June. In theory, I had all this free time to accomplish projects that got pushed aside while I was working, and I’ve made some progress on them, but the reality is that depression set in and motivation was sorely lacking. After nearly 9 months (egads, has it been that long?!?) I finally feel like I’m taking control of my life and contributing to the world, even if employers are still passing me over. (If I hear “overqualified” one more time…)

    Hope you have a sensational trip, Crystal!

  • Genevieve says:

    I got up at 6:45… fifteen minutes late. Dang! But your words on what motivates you to get up early helped me refocus. I am thinking about what motivates me… starting the day with journal writing and scripture study are a great motivator for me. Also having a relaxed HOT breakfast also helps me get out of bed in the morning. Finally, I fell like I start the day on the right foot when I get up early. Tomorrows goal: 6:00 am… I have a very full day and need to get an extra jump start on the day!

  • Melissa says:

    I hope you have a great time at the Convention.

    I was up at 5:08am. My motivators for getting out of bed are the lure of coffee (for me that is black coffee) and breakfast, knowing that my dog depends on me to feed him and let him outside, and that I don’t want to be late for work and if I linger in bed I’ll either be late to work or unable to complete some of the 5 things that set my day up correctly.

  • TeamBonk says:

    My children are on spring break (“March Break”) up here in Canada so I’m not rising as early as usual … but that’s ok! 🙂

    I was up early enough to get the morning off to a good start.

  • Pam says:

    Today for me was a lesson on what happens when I do not get up early. My husband has a virus and was up on and off all night. I don’t think I slept until at least 2 a.m. or so. I wake to hear my daughter coming in the door with the two grandkids. What time is it? Eight thirty. I need to get my granddaughter on the bus for 8:45! What a mess.

  • Meredith says:

    You are actually out my way! I live about 1.5 hours east of where you will be. Have fun in SC!!!!

  • Amy Lauren says:

    Welcome to SC! It’s where I live so I am partial and love the state.

    Not sure where you are or why you’re here, but enjoy the awesome weather and food!

  • Kristen says:

    As a night owl, mornings have never been easy for me! I have been following along with this challenge and am feeling more and more convicted to shift my sleeping hours back. The only thing holding me back is that somehow my children have a radar and can sense if I am up early and they get up, too. This defeats the purpose in my mind! But at night, I know they are asleep and will stay asleep and it is so nice to have a long stretch of quiet time. But I do love getting an early start on the day when it does happen. Thanks for sharing your early-rising journey!

    • I totally understand this! I am a night owl by nature and would so love to be an early morning person and have all that quiet time to myself, but I just can’t seem to make it happen. This challenge has been really tough for me and I’ve failed more than I’ve risen early-ha! However, I do love that late night time after the kiddos are tucked in and I can do whatever I want/need to do. Maybe I just need to accept that and not feel like such a loser about early mornings:)

    • Whitney says:

      Do all children have that radar? My 2-year-old was up at 5:15 vomiting (just low blood sugar from refusing to eat her dinner the night before) and I thought I could get tons of stuff done while she got some earlier morning TV and Cheerios. Ha! My 16-month-old woke up at 5:30 and my four-year-old was up at 6:30! We were all quiet as mice, too! Sometimes I have to try to remind myself not to count down to the teenage “sleep till noon” phase.

  • Katie says:

    We’ve been getting up at 4:15 every day because my husband is off to work and I get up to make him coffee and breakfast… I used to go back to sleep for an hour after he left but this week {even with the time change} I’ve been wide awake and just stayed up! We’ll see how long that lasts, but I’m thankful for lots of extra time in the morning to read and write my to-do list before our baby wakes up!

  • Lauren & Dana says:

    Happy that you are coming to our town. I’m sure you’ll have lots of people giving you pointers on where to go, what to do, etc., but if you would like some other suggestions from a couple of “local-yocals” and faithful readers, feel free to email! Hope you enjoy your stay in our beautiful city. (*Be sure to head downtown to Main St. and Falls Park!)

  • ClareC. says:

    6:01. Or just as late as I can possibly get up to get the lunches packed and breakfast ready before my oldest heads off to high school at 6:25… 🙂

  • I hope your trip and the convention is spectacular, Crystal!

    I was up at 7am today but it still worked out because my son slept in too. What is motivating me to get up is threefold: quiet time with the Lord, to have more time to get things done during the day and the desire to finish a book of short stories. 🙂

  • Kristi says:

    Welcome to Greenville!! I hope you have a wonderful time at the convention. The temperatures may actually feel like spring tomorrow and Saturday! =)

  • Siné says:

    I, like you, enjoy starting my day with quiet. Being up before my children makes that possible. I find the uninterrupted time to knit and read is a huge motivator for me. I get to pursue things that I am too exhausted to attend to at the end of the day after my children are in bed.

    I was up at 5:10 today without an alarm! (my 5AM alarm never went off despite being set and on)

  • I accidentally set my alarm for pm instead of am but my body still woke up at 6:45am and had an hour before the kids got up. Got soooo much done! I’m telling all my friends about this challenge. I love it!

  • Diana says:

    Greenville! My hometown 🙂 Hope you love it! Main Street is fabulous–it has changed so much for the better since I was a kid. Hope the convention goes well too!

    Here’s an article about some great restaurants if you have spare time and want to explore:

    (Pardon the source. Esquire is not something I want to be associated with. But it was a good article…)

  • I got up at my goal time, 6! Now I am thinking of making an earlier goal time.

    Good luck at the convention!!


  • Enjoy your trip! I look forward to my morning cup of coffee with cream and sugar too! I didn’t get to bed until 12:30 last night, and my 6-week-old was up twice during the night. I was still up at 9:00am this morning. I’m looking forward to earlier bedtimes and and earlier waking with each passing week. 🙂

  • Becky says:

    I was up at 5am this morning! A few things motivate me to wake up early. My husband wakes up with me so it helps to hold each other accountable to get ourselves out of bed early. We have 4 kiddos, so arising before they do helps to savor the quietness of the morning. We pray, read the bible, I check my social media especially check the blog of the person who inspires me greatly these days Money Saving Mom 🙂 and yes, my coffee WITH cream & sugar is my morning companion as well.

  • Lucy says:

    My doggie woke me up exact 6 a.m this morning, that’s my goal waking up time!!! Thanks to my lovely pooch.

  • Katie says:

    6:30-ish. Ironically, motivation has been fading lately. Too much to do; nothing tangible to show for it. That’s always a spirit-killer for me. Tomorrow’s goal is to set aside time to do something that STAYS DONE for a while.

    Why does the upright bit in the “4” on your clock look kind of melted?

  • Brooke says:

    Up at 4:45. I so needed everything that Andy says for today. I feel like like I have been lazy with the challenge this week (while most of it has been from lack of sleep, that has been from lack of discipline). I am a 2 alarm girl so I will put a stop to that! I loved the idea of giving yourself a consequence for not getting up. I may have to start doing that! 🙂

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