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Make the Most of Your Mornings: Begin Your Day With a Good Attitude (Day 4)

Attitude is key to having a successful morning.

When you wake up feeling grumpy, grouchy, and out-of-sorts, it’s going to spill over into everything you do. You’ll probably feel unmotivated and apathetic, and frustrated.

If, on the other hand, you begin your day feeling cheerful, upbeat, and energetic, you’ll probably find that you’re more efficient, productive, and you just plain enjoy life a lot more.

Now, there are times in life when it’s hard to have a good attitude. For instance, if you’re struggling in your marriage, having financial issues, recovering from some sort of traumatic experience, experiencing hurt or loss, or dealing with difficult physical issues or depression, you’re probably waking up with a very heavy heart (if you even slept at all!).

Slapping a bandage on your pain and putting on a pretend happy face is not what I’m suggesting you do. Get help; don’t hide your struggles. The best way to find hope and healing is in reaching out for help from those who care and can provide you with the support you need during a dark time.

However, no matter what you’re going through, it’s never an excuse to mope, pout, and have a bad attitude. A bad attitude is only going to make matters worse.

5 Ways Start Your Day Off With a Good Attitude

Here are some practical ideas of ways to help you start your day off with a good attitude:

1) Listen to Music

Music can lift my mood like just about nothing else. If I’m feeling discouraged, putting on my headphones and turning on some of my favorite upbeat songs is one of the best ways to cheer me up.

Find some music that you love and that lifts your spirits and put together a playlist of it to have ready whenever you need a pick-me-up.

2) Smile

Even when you don’t feel like it, if you make yourself smile at others, it’s almost impossible to stay grumpy for long. Try it sometime and see if I’m right!

3) Count Your Blessings

As I shared recently, beginning my morning by making a gratitude list has helped to transform my attitude. I’d encourage everyone to designate some time during the day (in the morning, before lunch, when you go to bed at night), to recount your blessings.

Focusing on what we do have instead of fretting over what we don’t have is a surefire way to give you a more cheerful outlook on life. And even if you feel like you have very little to be thankful for, when you start looking for blessings, you’ll begin to find many more than you ever realized existed!

4) Hug Someone

When you’re down in the dumps, you might not feel like talking to someone, but make yourself go hug someone and you’re almost guaranteed to feel better. And you’ll probably boost the spirits of the person you hug, too!

5) Express Appreciation

There’s something about telling someone how much you appreciate them that always makes you feel more cheerful yourself. Make a habit of starting the day by telling someone thank you for something — whether it’s your spouse or child, a co-worker, a neighbor, or sending someone a text, email, or card to brighten their day.

Take time to notice and appreciate the little things. It will make your world brighter — and just may mean the world to someone else, too.

The First 30 Minutes of My Day = One of the Best Parts of My Day

I’ve also found that beginning my day by sipping a good cup of coffee, praying, journaling, reading God’s Word, and reading a good devotional is one of the best ways for me to start the day in the right frame of mind. My heart is quieted and I’m refreshed and encouraged for the day ahead. Truly, this first 30 minutes of my day is one of my very favorite parts of the day.

My Day 3 Project Update

Bedtime: Made it to bed by 9:45 p.m. — 5 minutes earlier than yesterday and only 15 minutes past my goal time. Progress!

My Top 5 Evening Must Do’s: Done

Wake Up Time: I decided to make a goal to be up by 6:30 a.m. every morning. I’d really like to be up by 5:30 a.m., but I don’t know that I can realistically pull that off on the weekends. So I’m sticking with 6:30 a.m. This morning, I got up at 6:20 a.m. — right when the alarm went off. Yay!

Day 4 Project

1. Did you determine your bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did on them last night.

2. Did you determine what time you’re going to commit to waking up every morning for the next three weeks? If so, leave a comment telling us how you did this morning!

3. Choose one simple thing that you will do every morning to help you begin your day with a good attitude. Leave a comment letting us know what you chose.

What practical ideas do you have for ways to help you start the day off with a good attitude?

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  • I did will with my 5 things and went to bed at 10:00, read for a little while and lights out at 10:30. However, I did not get up at 6 when the alarm went off. In fact, I turned it off and didn’t get up until 7!

    I know I can do it and will do better tomorrow!
    I really want to start my day with quiet time and a devotional. I think that will really get my day going in the right direction.

  • Carrie says:

    I set my bedtime for 10:00 and actually hit it. This from somebody who used to stay up to at least midnight…so I’m definitely making progress. I did all my before bed chores and even went for a walk before bed.

    I’m still struggling with the snooze button, but I only hit it twice and was out of bed by 6:15. This is an improvement, but I need to do better when school starts a week from Monday (We live in Pennsylvania).

    I actually was able to eat breakfast and walk CNN this morning.

    One thing I will be trying is to pray in the morning and thank God for my blessings. I do this at night, but would like to start my day off this way also.

  • Amanda says:

    Last night I was in bed on time after completing all of my to do list and asleep soon afterwards. but I was awake 5 hours later at 3:30 am! (dang pregnancy insomnia) and then I didn’t go back to sleep…when the alarm went off at 5:30 I so did not want to get up! I just wanted to keep laying in bed but I reminded myself of my goal and got my butt out of bed! It was sooo nice to spend time with my husband before he went to work and then I did some yoga, I was dressed and everything by the time my daughter was awake! After getting her ready for the day I was able to jump right into my to do list for the day…it’s now just after 10 am and I’m already making lots of progress on my day! I’m so amazed!!
    I like the idea of giving some body a hug and thanking them every morning to start my day off 🙂 (this person will be my husband of course…no body else is awake at 5:30 am lol)

    • Count your blessings; 4 of my 7 are awake before 5:30 am every day!

      • Carrie says:

        I read your blog and from what you post, I imagine by 5:30 a.m., you already have the house clean, laundry done, and have canned food from your garden. : )

        • Hahahaha!


          Wouldn’t that be awesome, though? I think I’d have to have an 8 pm bedtime to do some of that!

          Programming a load of laundry to start washing an hour before I get up helps, though. I can throw that load in the dryer when I get up and put another one in right after that. On really, really good mornings, I have 4-5 loads washed and dried before noon–not folded, though (the children fold them the next day).

          This morning is not going at all as planned!

          • Susan says:

            How do you prevent clothes from getting really wrinkled if they’re not folded until the next day?

            • I give them a good shake before I carefully put them in the basket. For things like cloth napkins, washclothes, towels, cleaning cloths, underwear, socks, and sheets, a few wrinkles don’t bother me, so those just go straight in the baskets to be folded the next morning. (My cloth napkins are a poly/cotton blend).

              I do hang up my shirts and my husband’s shirts when the loads are done drying. My daughter hangs up the girls’ dresses and blouses, and all of the boys’ shirts in the morning. Some things have to be ironed anyway (100% cotton) so even if they are hung up right away (like my blouses) they’re still needing to be ironed. Most of the things do just fine. A second day of sitting leaves them very wrinkled, but if they are done that next morning before breakfast each day they are fine.

            • I do 3-5 loads every day except Sunday, and I don’t want laundry out all day, so this gets it all put away before breakfast each morning.

          • Anna says:

            I do that too! I only have a 6 hour delay, but the load is still clean in the morning and ready to be dried, and hasn’t sat so long as to sour. This really helps me jump-start laundry-day.

          • lori says:

            I never thought of programming the laundry to run in the morning. My washer has that cycle and I’ve never used it. Genius!

  • I really need to have the kitchen cleaned up before I go to bed.

    I’m also trying to go to bed after I get the baby to sleep and then get up when my husband leaves for work at 4:30. I know that sounds ridiculously early but our kids are normally asleep by 8:30 and my husband also goes to bed when they do since he has to wake up at 3:30AM. By going to bed and getting up early myself I can have at least an hour of quiet in the morning to read my Bible and get prepared for another busy day 🙂 If I take that hour at night it normally ends up being later than I planned and I ‘m not as productive.

  • Jaime says:

    I did my 5 things and got in bed at 10:45, 15 minutes earlier then my set bedtime. My goal is to be up by 6 so that I can have quiet time, do yoga, and make breakfast before getting the kids off to school. I was up at 6:15 this morning, which is a good start. I love the idea of doing a gratitude list in the morning, and will add that to my quiet time.

  • Rhoda says:

    Set my bedtime for 10:00. Lights were off at 10:15. 4/5 bedtime routines done since hubby is out of town and we didn’t read and pray together. Up at 6:45 instead of 6, but it was nice to wake up to a clean kitchen! Gonna work on smiling at my kiddos each morning to get my spirits in the right direction.

  • Gina says:

    Okay, I went to bed 19 minutes late, but I woke up on time at 6:00am. My evening must-dos are a little more relaxed when I do not take Liam to daycare but I still had his stuff laid out and had my coffee ready and had some idea of what I was going to wear so all in all I think I did pretty well!

    • Gina says:

      Oh, and I usually wake up in a pretty good mood, but there are days it is not all sunshine and roses, I try to think about others who are waking up to much worse circumstances than myself and I am thankful for my family and their health and happiness.

      • Gina says:

        Reading everyone’s replies reminded me in something I read in a potty training book. It said there are no failures because failure implies a final destination, and if we keep trying then we have not failed. Every day is an experience and not a failure–there is always tomorrow!

  • Jessie says:

    Wow, I think this whole attitude thing is what I need to work on the most. I don’t sleep well at night (never have and the docs don’t know why), and so I wake up more exhausted than I am at night when I go to sleep. Also, I don’t really enjoy my 2 jobs especially because I have to get to the 1st one at 7:00 am which is so early to me. BUT I am truly blessed to have a job, a wonderful husband, and even a bed to sleep in, so I really need to be happier in the morning! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Brandi says:

    I completed my 5 things and was in bed at 9pm..though I didn’t fall asleep until 9:30 that’s still 15 minutes before my bed time! Woohoo! I was late going to bed the past two nights so I was extra tried anyway. This morning when my alarm went off I kept rereading “don’t hit the snooze, just get up” in my head. 🙂 I was so happy to get up b/c I knew I was meeting my goal and I knew all of you were doing the same thing with me. It was sooo nice to wake up and not have to rush around to get everything done before heading out the door!

  • Mary Ellen says:

    I wake up at 6:30am so that I have an hour to myself before the kids wake up. Mind you this hour to myself includes cleaning the living room, prepping food, etc. I go to bed at 10:30pm. I am much more a morning person and get a lot accomplished then rather than at night. Sometimes I’ll go to bed at 11. But as long as I get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, I’m happy and hit my goal.

    I try to have the kitchen mostly cleaned up before going to bed. A clean sink = happy mom!

  • Meredith says:

    I always hug and kiss my hubby and daughter first thing but I think that I am doing it out of habit. So, I want to focus on slowing it down and appreciate why I am hugging. That is going to be my morning thing!

    I didn’t get up with the first snooze. I did two but usually do five so I am counting that as progress!

  • GM says:

    I ended up in bed 2 hours AFTER the time I wanted so that wasn’t really perfect. However I did get the meat thawed for tomorrow’s meals. I didn’t pack any lunches, finish the dishes, or lay out my evening clothes. Yeah, this whole evening thing is a work in progress.

    I’m going to gradually work my way to getting up by 7am, starting from 10am.

    I’m going to hug my daughter when I wake up in the morning.

  • Heather says:

    I am ordering the book “Be Still and Let Your Nail Polish Dry” by Andrea Boeshaar. It is a daily devotional book that I have had on my amazon list for months now. I think that this may help with my being grumpy in the morning by making me not be. 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    I did my 5 things, actually I did some of them a bit earlier so I could watch a bit of a movie with my teenage son. I was good though and stopped watching it at my bedtime and went to bed on time. Thankfully he understands and is allowing for me to watch this movie in several nights so that I can get to bed on time.

    I have to admit, I was hoping the 3 weeks gave weekends off for the morning rise time, but you answered that question in today’s post 🙁 I did get up today when the alarm went off at 6:40, but I am uncertain I can continue that on the weekends…hopefully I can.

    I will journal every morning during my quiet time, being sure to list the things I am grateful for.

    I can’t believe how much I am getting done by noon. In fact, I am also doing the 4 weeks to a more organized home challenge, and I am done with today’s tasks and I’m going to spend some time reading…guess that means I’m doing three of your challenges 🙂

    Thanks for your ministry, I just wish I’d found it sooner!

  • Oh man, yesterday was a fall off the bandwagon kind of day. I didn’t get to bed on time, but an hour late, and I didn’t wake up on time, but an hour and a half late. Unfortunately, I also ran out of time to get all my must do’s done. Phooey. I did and will continue to wake up and snuggle with my son. That always cheers me up.

    Way to go, everyone!!!!

    • Abigail says:

      Struggling here…my goal bedtime is 9:30 p.m., but hubby didn’t come home from work until 9:20. And I can’t pack his cooler until he comes home. Most of it was pre-packed in the fridge, but I was unprepared for the amount of food he had eaten in just one day (I have to pack for several days in case he is out on the road) and so ended up doing some cooking at 10:00 p.m.! So discouraged because that meant my kitchen was now a mess (one of my top5), past bedtime, and I was TIRED from getting up early! However, God helped me to choose gratefulness, the lunch got packed, the kitchen became decent (not perfect) and I did get to bed…at 11:45. So hard to get up this morning at 6:30! I didn’t hit snooze, just turned off the alarm and got up an hour later at 7:30, dragging every step of the way. I am still dragging my way through the day now at 11:23. I feel like my feet are rocks! Please, tips on how to actually get to bed on time!! My hubby’s hours are very unpredictable. I do pack ahead as much as possible and do lots of freezer cooking. However, he really wants to eat a fresh diet (I’m happy), but it means lots of salads and veggies cut up and I don’t know how much he eats until he gets home (no phone on the road for him, only emergencies).

      • Emily says:

        My tip is to ask your husband to pack his own lunch.

      • Joy says:

        I just want to encourage you to keep your husband/family as top priority. It’s great to set goals and to achieve those goals, but don’t feel discouraged because someone else seems to have it all together/gets to bed on time/wakes up one time, etc. What works for you, won’t work for someone else. I think it’s important to let our hard-working husbands know that we love them. Doing things for them is just one way we show that love. So my tip would be, do what works for you and keep taking care of your man! 🙂 Your marriage/family relationship is way more significant than some internet challenge. Hope you find what works for you! 🙂

        • Crystal says:

          Agreed! Do what works for your family and don’t worry if that means tweaking the plan.

          Also, I talked with my husband about what I was committing to for this challenge and he helped me to tweak some things so that we made sure we were both on the same page and that it was realistic for our whole family. If you haven’t talked to your husband about this to get his input, you might do that and see if you can both come to a win-win situation for your family — which might mean being flexible and changing things up every day or few days so that you get enough sleep, etc.

      • Honestly, Abigail, I think what you’re doing is great! As far as any changes, maybe you could just plan for more rather than less and whatever your husband doesn’t need, you can freeze or plan out as meals for yourself. It might prevent late night cooking sessions like you did just then.

        If you know his schedule (not sure if you do), maybe you could have two coolers to swap out, so you don’t need to be up all night making his food for the next day. Instead, the cooler is already ready for him to go, and the cooler he brings home can be cleaned out the next day and any leftovers can be utilized as best they can. Just do what works best for you, trial and error is how we all learn.

        • Jessica says:

          The 2 coolers seems like a great idea. I was thinking you may want to invest in some of those bag salad kits. Yes,they are pricey, but you could toss a bag in and a container and something from the freezer and he would have a complete meal with salad. Chopping is easy but it does take forever.

  • I have a nice routine in the morning. I wake before everyone else and take care of the dogs. I weigh in and chart my weight (I’ve lost 33 pounds this summer, so that is a very fun thing to do!). I then give myself 15 minutes of “computer junkfood.” (That’s facebook and celebrity gossip time). At the 30 minute mark, I stop everything and exercise.

  • Amanda says:

    I did great w/my evening routine last night. I also went to bed @ 10 and watched tv until 10:30 (I know everything they say about tv and sleep and having a tv in the bedroom, but tv works for me) I, however, did not get up right away @ 5:50. I hit snooze 3 times! OUCH!!! I did drag a little because of that. But once I got moving I was fine and I have had a very productive morning. Now off to start my afternoon routine and get dinner ready.

  • Abigail says:

    Struggling here…my goal bedtime is 9:30 p.m., but hubby didn’t come home from work until 9:20. And I can’t pack his cooler until he comes home. Most of it was pre-packed in the fridge, but I was unprepared for the amount of food he had eaten in just one day (I have to pack for several days in case he is out on the road) and so ended up doing some cooking at 10:00 p.m.! So discouraged because that meant my kitchen was now a mess (one of my top5), past bedtime, and I was TIRED from getting up early! However, God helped me to choose gratefulness, the lunch got packed, the kitchen became decent (not perfect) and I did get to bed…at 11:45. So hard to get up this morning at 6:30! I didn’t hit snooze, just turned off the alarm and got up an hour later at 7:30, dragging every step of the way. I am still dragging my way through the day now at 11:23. I feel like my feet are rocks! Please, tips on how to actually get to bed on time!! My hubby’s hours are very unpredictable. I do pack ahead as much as possible and do lots of freezer cooking. However, he really wants to eat a fresh diet (I’m happy), but it means lots of salads and veggies cut up and I don’t know how much he eats until he gets home (no phone on the road for him, only emergencies).

  • Jimi says:

    I did manage to mostly complete my 5 to-dos, but it was in a rush as we came home from Open House and had to quickly transition and head back out the door for Bible study. And, because of Bible study, I didn’t even come close to making it to bed on time (and then slept horribly). So, one thing I’m going to change as a result is to cut back on my caffeine during the day and see if that helps with the sleeping. And I’m definitely planning to make it in bed on time tonight.

    Getting up – I got up right at 6:00am this morning and didn’t even hit the snooze button once. Major victory!

    Beginning my day with a good attitude…I love your suggestions and have been keeping a gratitude list on and off for some time. I really love the idea of adding to that each morning. It might be better for me to just say I’m going to play some music, though, at least until I get into a better routine. 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    got 4 of my 5 things done last night!
    got to bed 14 min. late
    Hit the snooze this morning…but got up with a smile on my face. I must have been ahead of you today because it was kind of a grumpy morning but I slapped a smile on my face and made the best of it and it really made me feel better!

    I put some music on and got to work as soon as i got home! so far so good i’m not tired and I still have the motivation to finish the rest of the items on my to do list!

  • Last night I went to bed 5 minutes earlier than I did before – progress! My goal is still 9:30pm. My wake-up goal is 5:30 and I was up at 5:36, so not bad with that either! And the best part was I got a lot done before my son woke up which was a good feeling, especially since my son woke up with a fever and horrible cough. Getting up early enabled me to tend to my son without the added “burden” or “stress” of having to get some stuff done, because they were finished!

    The one thing I am going to do to start my day with a good attitude is to spend 10-15 minutes praying while curled up on my “comfy” chair with bible and journal in hand. I do this all ready but not as consistently as I know I should…

  • RedHeadedGidget says:

    I got my five things done and was in bed 15 minutes later than my new “bedtime.” However, I couldn’t climb out of bed at 6:30. I was awake, but just didn’t want to get up. I need to work on my attitude as well, so I need to come up with something creative. The first thing I do when I get up is pump, so I’m thinking I can do something while I’m sitting there for 30 minutes! I’ll be looking through the list for suggestions!

  • I was up until 11:30 pm (1.5 hours late) but up at 6:30am (1/2 hour earlier than usual). I guess my body decided that 7 hours was enough last night. I had a 9:15am OB/GYN appointment for Baby #3 this morning. I like planning things to do in the morning because it gets me up and moving faster. 🙂

  • Jen says:

    Well I tried to go to bed at 10. But for some reason I couldn’t fall asleep. That never happens to me. Usually, the minute I stop moving and sit down I can barely keep my eyes open. I even fell asleep at 8:30 the other night while attempting to watch a movie with my 5 year old. Anyways, I tossed and turned, read for a while, kept feeling frustrated that I was not sleeping and finally went down to the couch to watch some TV at around 1am. That always puts me right to sleep. Problem was I was on the couch and my alarm is in my bedroom so I didn’t have an alarm to get up with this morning. I did however wake up on my own at 6:30, just 30 min past my goal get up time. I think it will be easy to get to bed on time tonight after just 5 hours of sleep last night and a busy day with 3 small children.

  • Heather says:

    I did really well last night! And then my baby started waking up every 1-2 h0urs all. night. long. : (

    I slept in 49 minutes. That caused us to be quite rushed this morning. However, all of my planning the night before really helped!

    For a better morning, I will try getting up with my alarm, brewing a cup of coffee complete with a yummy creamer, smiling at someone, and hugging each child!

  • Rebecca says:

    Last night, I did all 5 things, but didn’t get to bed until 11. I got up before 6 when the kiddo woke up and man am I tired today! I’ll try again tonight to get to bed earlier.

    I want to start each day writing a list of 3 things I am grateful for. I used to do this before bed, but I think it would be even more useful 1st thing in the morning. You can’t be grumpy after reflecting on all the great things in your life!

  • Bertha says:

    There will be so many posts here, so I don’t know if this will be seen, but wow Crystal. Thank you for the encouragement. Crying as I write this. Putting the big sign on my window about my 5 things to do and bedtime was like putting a target on. The dh who normally goes to bed very late came with me and gave one criticism after another. By the grace of God alone I was able to stay calm and not react. However I was afraid and emotionally upset and couldn’t sleep. After he fell asleep I moved to the couch where I could cry and read God’s Word until close to 1. I was awakened later in the night for awhile. God is good. I didn’t get up at 6:30. This isn’t really the topic of this blog, but it is the beginning of reaching out. He is a pastor. Who do I talk to?

    • Sara says:

      Bertha, I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. His behavior sounds to be emotionally abusive. You don’t deserve that! I am not equipped to guide you through this, but I strongly urge you to find someone to talk to who can empower you, and who- this is crucial- will not be deterred by your husbands’ position in your community. Perhaps a pastor in a neighboring town?

      I know that Catholic Social Services often offers counseling services, and you don’t have to be Catholic to benefit from their programs. Planned Parenthood also offers counseling. I wish I knew of more places for you- I’ll keep thinking about it.

      Best Wishes.

    • Crystal says:

      {Hugs} to you. I wish you could come over for coffee and I could hug you in person. I’m so sorry you’re struggling. And thank you for reaching out here. We’re here for you.

      I’ve heard it can be very lonely to be a pastor’s wife — and would even be more lonely if you’re in a difficult marriage. My heart goes out to you.

      Can you email me? I have a few ideas of places you could reach out to for counsel.

      moneysavingmom @ gmail dot com

      In the mean time, I’ll be praying for you — and please don’t let your husband’s words make you feel like you’re not good enough. You are loved, cherished, and beautiful in the eyes of your Heavenly Father. Never, ever forget that. No matter what others say about you, it cannot change who you are in Christ.

    • Heather says:

      I second the idea of a religious leader in a neighboring town, even if it’s a different religion. Or professional counselor.
      At any rate, just remember that you are a valued daughter of God. Even if you are the worst housekeeper/mother/wife/employee ever (which I doubt), it doesn’t matter. You are just as valued in the eyes of God as someone who supposedly has it all together. And NO ONE deserves to be treated that way.

    • Lisett says:

      Bertha, I also am a pastor’s wife and know first hand how lonely it can be. I think Satan tries to attack more the exact people who are trying to be closer to God. All I can say is whenever you are going through a hard time continue to look to the One who will never leave us and who understands the most.
      And remember our husbands are human also, even though you should not accept and tolerate certain behavior, but remember just because they are preaching on Sundays does not mean they are perfect. Although, yes, they should demonstrate and practice what they preach. You should find someone who you can talk to and get advice from.
      I will be praying for you and your family. If you would like you can also email me @ God bless

  • Denise G. says:

    1. Did it
    2. Did it
    3. Song and scriptures with the family

  • My bedtime is 10 pm, and I was in bed by 9:58! It was a great feeling, too, since I accomplished all 5 of my evening Must-Dos. I had an overall efficient and productive day. Looking forward to the same today! My wake up time: 6:30-7 am. I got up at 7 this morning, and accomplished quite a bit in 2 hours.
    To help me start my day with a good attitude, I’m going to aim to read an extra chapter in my Bible reading (I’m currently reading 2, would like to read 3+/day). My back up choice would be music.
    Thank you so much for posting this series! My days are more smooth, I’m accomplishing more, and I go to bed more satisfied with what was completed. Just what I’ve been needing!

  • Michelle says:

    I’ve done well at going to bed on time so far. It’s the getting up that’s hard! So far, I’ve hit the snooze just once 🙂 And also, to help me wake up more cheerfully, I’ll set the IPOD alarm clock to play my favorite song to wake me up.

  • Heather says:

    Last night I ran out of steam 20 minutes before I was planning on going to bed, which was a nice change. The good news is that I got all my 5 things done as I spread them out over the day and didn’t have to rush at night. I even slept in, which for me is to 6AM as I am usually up around 3AM—weird I know! It felt good to sleep that long, 8+ hours! I do keep a mental gratitude list, but never have written it down…I may start. I do have a question though, please don’t laugh, but I have never read the Bible cover-to-cover, only certain parts. I wasn’t raised in a home that read the Bible, so this is new to me. I was wondering if all of you who read in the morning, are you reading certain passages or are you reading it straight through like a book? Like I said, don’t laugh…or judge 🙂

    • leah says:

      No laughing or judgement here! Some people suggest reading 1 or 2 chapters from the gospel of John. When I fall off the bandwagon, I’ve always enjoyed easing back in by reading a Proverb per day. Proverbs 1 for the 1st of the month, Proverbs 2 for the 2nd etc… and by the end of the month, you’ve read the whole book of Proverbs.

    • Emily says:

      Google “Bible Reading Plan” and you’ll find plenty of plans already lined up for you. We currently follow a 2 yr plan which is actually found in the Lutheran Study Bible (from the LCMS, put out by CPH). There are also lots of 1 yr plans out there.

      If you’re just starting, can I recommend starting with a 2 yr plan? I think that is a good starting point – not too overwhelming! God Bless!

    • Check out It is a great community of women reading God’s word together. Right now we are going through Proverbs. It has been such a blessing.

    • Susan says:

      Heather, I’ve read the Bible cover to cover several times in my life, but never literally cover to cover. I’ve followed different study guides where you read different passages each day, and at the end you’ve read the whole thing. I really like this approach.

      Once I joined a group of women from my church for a bible study and weekly discussion, and I particularly enjoyed the fellowship.

  • Carolen says:

    My day will start with a cup of coffee with my Honey.
    Then 5 -15 minutes of meditation.
    Also, every day I already list 3 blessings… I can just do that earlier in the morning to fit this assignment.

    But I did find a glitch in the going to bed by 9pm plan.


    My home team plays tonight, so I am nixing the going to bed at 9pm.
    Sorry, but a girl MUST have priorities!!!

  • I was able to get to bed on time at 10:00. My kids helped with the 5 things to do before bed by helping with the 15 minute pick up around the house.
    My plan was to wake up at 6:30 then out of bed by 7:00. I actually woke up early today at 6 and got to snuggle and talk to my husband until it was time to get up and get him off to work.
    I would like to pray each morning for those who come to mind or things I need to pray about. I am going to make an effort to find three things each morning I am thankful for. While my son was in the hospital for a week each morning I woke up thanking God for any little bit of progress and for a clam spirit so I could help my son through this time. It is amazing what happens when you dwell on the positive instead of the “what ifs”

  • Michelle says:

    1. YES – I didn’t want to – but I did!
    2. I DID NOT HIT THE SNOOZE – in fact I woke up earlier then the alarm 🙂
    3. My one thing in the morning is to snuggle with my puppy dog.

  • Abby says:

    I was a big, fat, miserable failure on my 5 must-dos last night! I got hit with a stomach bug mid-day, and it was all I could do just to crawl into bed. I’m not giving up–I WILL complete my list tonight! I’m going to wake up at 5:30 am and start off with a positive attitude by listening to Mandisa’s song, “Good Morning”– it always gets me going! 🙂

    • Aimee says:

      You’re not a failure for caring for yourself when you are ill. We want to be organized and productive but not at the expense of our health!

  • Maria says:

    It encouraged me, Crystal, to see that you made a change to your original plan. I’m having enough trouble getting to bed earlier, so I’m going to focus on getting to bed at 10:30 and go back to getting up at 7:00 with my husband…something I already do.


  • Melinda T says:

    Yikes! This is one thats a constant work in progress! I wake up grumpy and then wake everyone else up…yup, in a grumpy state! No fun! Thanks for sharing those tips!

  • Tori says:

    Well, I got most of my five done before bed. Dishes were the biggie and they were all clean. I fell asleep in the recliner with the youngest before my bedtime, but made it into my bed after. My goal wake-up time is 4:30.

    Middle Child woke me up about 2 because she had a wet Pull Up and wanted me to change her. And since she fell asleep on the way home last night when I picked her up after work, she had been asleep for about 9 hours and was thirsty. Youngest Child woke up from all of this because he did not feel well. He did not want to go back to sleep. He ended up with a drink and a snack as well. When he was finally ready to sleep again, it was about 4, so I should have just stayed up, but he wouldn’t sleep unless I layed down with him. I ended up sleeping until about 5:15 instead.

    But while my morning wasn’t ideal, I still was doing better with things being finished from the night before. I would say 4-5 of my days end up with some variation of the above instead of what I planned. This too shall pass, right?

    • My oldest and middle child frequently get up in the middle of the nigh too for various reasons. The only one who sleeps through the night is the baby!

      • Tori says:

        I think the youngest is getting two year molars, and the middle one is hitting a developmental spurt.

        My oldest is the only sleeping, but school just started, so she’s tired by the end of the day.

        It’s a bit crazy right now, but nothing stays the same forever.

  • Amy says:

    1. I was on track last night, doing my things and getting to bed within 30 minutes of my goal. Then, DH started talking to me, so I was up an extra half hour. Then, my sick toddler woke up and did not fall asleep until 2AM for the second night in a row. Then, she was up again from 5:30-6AM with a fever and did not fall asleep until her medicine kicked in.

    2. When the alarm (or my song on my phone) went off at 7:30, I followed your order and did *not* hit the snooze button. I knew that was not allowed. *but* I was still so sleepy, I turned off the alarm and fell right back to sleep before I even realized what I was doing. My husband woke me up at 8AM so I could take a shower. I did that, but after I was done, I felt terrible, so I lied down and fell asleep until 9:30AM when my three boys came to see why I was not up yet. Oooops. I was not on track at all this morning. Tonight is a new night, and tomorrow is a new day, so I will try again.

    3. I need to work on this one. Probably more than any of the other things. I wake up with a sense of overwhelm and dread most days. 🙁 But, when I go to sleep with the kitchen clean and have a devotion time, and get a shower, I feel better.

  • Rachel says:

    I’m going to choose to hug/snuggle my daughter in the morning and tell her I love her!

  • Miriah says:

    Thanks so much for this series!! Just the extra boost I need to motivate me into developing routine in my home! My goals are to be in bed by 10:00 & wake up @ 6:00. The hardest part is that my husband also strives to get up at 6:00 but he usually snoozes til 6:40! I was able to keep on track with all my goals except I went to bed 30 minutes later. It felt amazing to wake up to a clean home! The best part is waking up to a truly new day & not having to deal with yesterday’s mess!! I spent my first 30 minutes in the Word & reading a devotional.. Thanks again for your encouragement!

  • Lisett says:

    It felt really good to to sleep (on time), have the kitchen clean, and my 5 must-do’s completed! It really helps to get a head start the night before. This morning I was actually thinking “Well I don’t have much to do!” but then of course my three girls took care of that right away! (by taking a mud bath outside) Lol
    I’m going to start listening to music and smile more at my girls to help my attitude in the morning!

  • Tracy S. says:

    I got all of my stuff done last night and only got to bed 10 minutes late! I even stayed out of the sorbet I wanted because it would have kept me up later. 🙂
    I got up at 5:30 when my alarm went off. Unfortunately, my 2 year old did as well. And by 6 I was having an allergic reaction that I had never had before to an ant bite so my day went a bit haywire from there.
    Gratitude is the best way for me to get into a positive attitude. I found that out when I was working and you had just started posting this particular blog. Now I see Christie Jordan post almost every morning to tell her 3 things I’m grateful for. I always come up with something and I try to look for the little things. This morning it was spider killing sprays, coffee, and the fact that my nerves work so I could feel the creepy-crawly feeling left behind by said dead spider. 😉

  • Challice says:

    I know I am getting into this late. I wanted to start doing it on day 1.
    I find motivation when my hubby wakes me up with a kiss. Its not a passionate one but a peck on the cheek and a smile on his face. Ok, so realistically, I am grouchy for the first 30seconds-1 minute that he does that because I am NOT a morning person. I can sleep until 9AM and still feel groggy and super tired. 😛

    So my goal is in bed by 9:30pm and up by 6:00am.

    Top 5 would be
    1. kitchen/living room cleaned
    2. bedroom bed cleaned off and stuff put AWAY (not just moved to the dining room table and back again on the bed next day)
    3. Load of laundry started so I can hang em up early next morning
    4. meals planned
    5. To-do list made.

    My good attitude encouragement would be to write a note for hubby for his lunch box. It makes me smile and gets me going right.

  • Kim says:

    It’s funny you mention smiling, Crystal. I have obsessive-compulsive disorder and my therapist has me working on dialectical behavior therapy – one of the “tools” is the half-smile because it is SO effective in releasing those happy chemicals we get when we do smile. So when I feel overwhelmed by OCD or whatever else in my life, the half-smile gets the happy chemicals a-flowin’ and I don’t feel as overwhelmed.

    How to begin my day with a good attitude … spending time with my hubby before he heads into work – with a delicious breakfast!

  • Melissa M. says:

    My 30 minutes in the mornings have included some exercise or yoga. I am getting up at 6:30 am.
    I am really enjoying getting my 5 things at night done(picking up the house, start the dishwasher, set out breakfast items, shower, take needed items out of the freezer).

  • Julie Turner says:

    I had all of my 5 things done and was reading 😉 by 9:00- two hours before my sleep time!

    However, I waited up for my husband who had been gone all day and we stayed up passed my sleep time by about 30 minutes. So, I ended up missing my wake up time, and skipping the work out I usually do to stay on schedule. Its completely out of character for us to not be on the same schedule so, I’m really hoping that this is just a one-time slip up during the challenge and I can get back on track with all three aspects tomorrow!

  • Missy says:

    I set my wake-up time for 6:00 am and woke up right on time this morning! In order to set the mood for a good day I will read my Bible and have some alone time with God first thing in the morning! 🙂

  • Katie H says:

    I’ve been so tired lately I haven’t coherently organized myself yet for any of these challenges. And today the attitude is especially hard because my OB’s office called to inform me that my 6 week sonogram may indicate that my pregnancy is ectopic. So I have more testing scheduled over the next week.

    I’m trying to focus on the two blessings I currently have running around underfoot – the oldest is starting preschool in a couple of weeks – but it’s hard to shake the fear that something is truly wrong. Especially when the pregnancy is already eating away at the energy reserves I’d need to break out of the fear cycle.

    Please pray for me, Crystal. We need it.

  • KimH says:

    I keep laughing when I start to read this whole series.. Im not laughing at you.. exactly.. but I am laughing. 😉

    Whether or not you realize it or not, there are just some people who are not wound by a normal by our current worlds circadian standard. Im one of them.

    As long as I work a daytime job & I have to live in a world that runs differently than my bodies time clock, I am not going to wake up happy & rested.. No matter what my attitude is. Actually, its my positive attitude that keeps me moving

    Im 51 years old and I’ve woken up rested maybe a dozen times in my entire life. When I wake up, I feel like I’ve just risen from my deathbed and Im exhausted. It takes me at least an hour to wake up & a shower M-F before I leave my house is a MUST. I can be a happy camper after that and I almost always am. They dont call me Smiley or Sunshine for nuttin. 😉

    My own bodies clock loves to go to bed between 2 & 3 am and wake up around 10-11am. I wake up more rested but I havent been able to keep that sleep keeping since I went back to work about 25 years ago. Someday..

    And in the meantime.. You keep up the great work you’re doing here. I do agree with every bit of it.. but sometimes it just doesnt cover it all. 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, definitely! We’re all wired differently!

      But it sounds like you are choosing to have an attitude of gratitude — and that’s what matters most. Kudos to you! Keep on smiling! 🙂

  • Denise says:

    Day 3 Project Update

    Bedtime: I was definitely closer last night than I was the night before. I set my bedtime for 10:00pm and was asleep before then, but then my sis called (and I don’t get to talk to her often enough) so I stayed up until 10:45. Not too bad.

    Top 5 Evening Must Do’s: Everything done, with the exception of getting Natalie to bed by 9, it was 9:30 though, so still an improvement.

    Wake Up Time: I made a goal to be up by 5:00am, but with the late night I had the day before, I just couldn’t get myself to wake up. Well…I tried the suggestion of actually setting my alarm for 15-20 minutes later, and apparently I turned it off. So, I didn’t get up until about 6:30 when thunder woke me up. Only had enough time to start a load of laundry and start the coffee pot before my son was awake. Followed not too shortly by my daughter. 🙂 Oh well. We’ll try again for tomorrow.

    Day 4 Project

    Positive Attitude: I feel like life has been a bit out of sorts this week with my kiddos waking up WAY earlier than normal. So unfortunately I have not made time to read my Bible & journal. I so miss journaling! I love Money Saving Mom’s suggestion of a “Gratitude Journal.” So I have decided to start my day with a positive attitude by writing down all the things that I am thankful for.

  • Laura Jane says:

    I’m improving, but I’m not there yet. I started my bedtime routine on time yesterday and finished all five tasks early! I did stay up a half an hour late. This morning I snoozed 2-3 times and got up 15 minutes late. Even then, I thought I was going to die! It felt pretty awful. I was half asleep still for the first 30 minutes that I was showering and getting ready. But I did it, and I’m really hoping it’ll get better as my body adjusts, since I’ve been on a crazy schedule all summer.
    If anybody wants some accountability and check in buddies, I started a facebook group. Just request to join group, and I’ll add you:

  • Tiah says:

    Yesterday was a large flop due to a summer concert. I woke up an hour after my designated time of 4:00 am and was unable to run. Fortunately, tonight is a new night. I want to drink my first cup of coffee outside to settle myself for the day.

  • Megan says:

    It’s been a little difficult to get my 5 to do items done, but I have been able to get to bed between 10 and 10:30. I woke up at 7:05 this morning, so I am getting up earlier (at least today!). I would like to get up and have a few minutes with my husband, talking/praying over coffee. That will help me get out of bed also!

  • Amanda L says:

    I was in bed super early last night because I was exhausted. I got all 5 of my things done.

    I was also up super early because of some crazy dreams. So much for that early bed time. 🙁

    I love my veg time in the morning. I check in with online sites and Facebook. I lay on the couch and watch a little TV. Its the only time I really have for myself. I also have started taking a long walk around the neighborhood in the morning with my daughter. It seems to be really helpful in energizing me for the rest of the day.

  • Michelle says:

    I was thrilled to start reading this series last night because I had noticed recently that I needed to make some changes to my lifestyle. I was completely exhausted, overrun, and starting to nod off on the couch with my kids playing on the floor. My kids are 4 and 1 so this is not an “ok” thing!
    I made my Top 5 last night and committed to waking up at 630am every morning. My bedtime was way late last night…so it was 715 by the time I got up today, but baby steps…I have a plan!!
    I also started doing a daily scripture. I’ve never truly incorporated that in my life and the message I got last night was so fitting and perfect for what I needed. God truly knew what I needed! It’s quite amazing. But I read this at night and then the same in the morning, so I can have time to reflect and then in the morning, when I re-read, I can think about applying that to my day! Quite the motivation.

    • Kathy says:

      How do you choose your daily Scripture?

      • Michelle says:

        Kathy- as silly as it is, I just typed in “daily scripture” into google….well first I tried “daily scripture for busy moms” but the first few hits that came up….well, they were great and all, but they all wanted me to buy a book. I don’t have time to sit and then look up which one offered what, let alone, opinions….
        So I typed in “daily scripture” and found a daily scripture I’m new to it all, so I am just using for now until I can really find my way into a Bible study (which two friends have already referred me into) but so far the daily verse has been so uplifting and I just take that verse and read a little bit before and a little after. Then I make my own note on a post it and mark it. I truly believe that the past two nights have been exactly what I needed. I’m looking forward to tonight’s!

  • Leslie says:

    My bedtime is crazy, but I am not hitting snooze. Having things laid out helped me to accomplish more this morning than I have in a month, so that was a plus. I am going to listen to some upbeat gospel music to start my day with cheer and beauty!

  • Christa says:

    My Evening must do’s are awesome. I’ve gotten them don’t every night.

    I was in bed lights off by 930 (30 minutes early). I was up at my committed time of 6am, but only for 30 minutes. With a toddler that doesnt sleep and a 4 month old I guess sitting down wasn’t the best idea. But I’ll do better!!

  • Kerri says:

    2 minutes ’til bedtime, so I have to keep things short. I hit my bedtime and 5 to-dos yesterday, but didn’t get up on time. :(. But because I had prepared the night before, my morning still went well.

    Tomorrow is a new day!

  • cindy says:

    I did great on my bedtime and 5 Evening Must-Do’s!

    I decided, but apparently did not commit to, waking up at 6am. I did not get up until 7:20, after a *very* rough night sleeping.

    I love the attitude adjustment that a good morning gives me! I will begin my days with 3 positive points: one thing I love about DH, one thing I love about my kiddo, and one thing I love about my job.

  • Amanda Dykes says:

    Some nights will be trickier than others as we have commitments certain nights that keep us busy pretty much right up until my chosen bedtime. So, I’m going to have to work on doing my 5 things those days much earlier than bedtime. I learned that last night.

    I’m picking back up again with my 5 things tonight, and with the right bedtime and getting up time.

    I’d like to start my day with a grateful heart by thanking God every morning for specific things for at least as long as it takes me to brush my teeth. Sounds silly, I know, but I want to tie the habit to something I know I’ll be doing every day, so that it becomes a permanent part of my routine. So I guess I can start for being thankful he made us such that we need to brush our teeth regularly! 😉 Time just asking to be tied to important habits.

  • Annie says:

    1. I made it to bed by 10:55 last night, 5 minutes early! And I got my Must Do list finished.
    2. I planned to get up at 7, but the baby got up early to nurse. So, I reset my alarm for 7:30, and actually got out of bed at 7:45. This is a big improvement for me!
    3. I will play worship music while I shower and pray for my husband and each of my children.

  • Lesley says:

    Got all my 5 things before bed done. Got up at 6am. I don’t have a problem waking up (I’m not always happy about it though) because I know if I don’t get up first, then everyone will be late for school or work. We only have 1 bathroom so we have to rotate our time in the morning. My girls take their showers at night and I take my shower after I take them to school. We also carpool, so we can’t be late or else we will have 5 kids late for school. My issue is bed time. I was supposed to be in bed over an hour ago, but I’m still up doing some computer work/paper work for our family business. Just a crazy day today (2 daughters got braces today and back to school night at the middle school) so things that normally would have gotten done earlier, just didn’t.

  • Rachael M says:

    I did well on my 5 things last night and have done 3/5 tonight. I had to work late tonight after a full day of “meet the teacher” for the kiddos and just don’t have the energy to do any more right now. I am failing miserably at the whole bedtime thing, but I am going to keep trying. I got up on time this morning without hitting the snooze button. I am going to make a mental list of everything I am greatful every morning as well as hugging my husband and kids before we head out the door.

  • Lisa C. says:

    1 and 2. I did determine my bedtime and my top 5. I went to bed an hour late but I did all of my top 5. I actually did more than my top 5 which is why I went to bed late but it was great to have all the laundry folded! Then I was hit with insomnia again last night. So I slept until almost 7 instead of getting up at 6. I’ve been miserable all day and am heading to bed when I am done here. It’s been a long week due to lack of adequate/quality sleep. 🙁 I’ve been praying that I’ll be able to sleep all night. :-S

    3. I will either listen to music on a morning walk or list things I am grateful for. I like the idea of a gratitude list. I might do a quick gratitude list and then listen to music while I walk. 🙂 But then, I always give my children hugs so I’ll commit to that as well. Win win!

  • Emily says:

    I didn’t exactly get five things done 🙁 My husband and I start school (teacher and professor) soon, so we’re soaking up this last week of flexibility before we are locked into a schedule. I have been working my morning routine and I have been experimenting with what time I must get up in order to be out the door by 7:15.

    At least now I’ve identified what my nightly check list needs to be, and I’ve figured out what I need to allow myself more time. Next week is the moment of reckoning, but I think it will be fine.

    Oh, and I love giving someone a hug (and a kiss!) first thing. It’s great 🙂

  • Tara Blanchard says:

    I missed my set bedtime of 11:00pm…boo! My iPhone had a meltdown and I freaked out! But I got all 5 of 5 done on my list. Woke up at 7am, which is my goal. I decided to give my kids a compliment before they walk out the door for school.

  • Natalie Groff says:

    Well, I did well with my bedtime of 9:30 yesterday. It was probably closer to 9:15 when I went to bed. I also got up at 6:30 this morning as planned. It was the hardest morning so far, but it helps that my husband is doing this with me. I didn’t do to well on my 5 evening must-do’s, though. I’ve managed to lay out clothes for the next day two evenings in a row and got ready for bed well enough, but I have yet to prep my breakfast, make up a to-do list for the next day, or tidy things up for a full 15 minutes. I did manage 5 minutes the other night, though! As for one simple thing that I will do every morning to help me begin my day with a good attitude, I think I’ll go with playing music. That will definitely help.

  • I like to begin my day with working out. (I have to do it then while my husband’s still home, since I go to the gym.) It wakes me up and feeling energized. Then I come home and once my husband leaves for work, I sit down with my coffee and do my devotional, write in my prayer journal and just spend time with God. Then I will usually get started on my to-do list or get some blogging done. I feel so productive when I wake up early and get things accomplished before my daughter wakes up.

    Really enjoying this series!

  • Ayisha says:

    My goal for bed is between 9:30 and 10:00. I made it to bed at 10:40. 🙁 Working on it still. I only got one of my top 5 done last night! But I did get three other things done that weren’t on my top 5. So hopefully that will get me closer to staying on task the rest of the week.

    My goal is to get up at 5:30 every morning. I was up at 5:40 today.

    And I would like to start doing some type of exercise, but I don’t know if I can get up at 5:00 everyday! Looks like I’ve got lots to work toward!

  • Sherry Lochner says:

    I was able to get my daily routine, nightly routine, 10 pm bedtime, and getting up at 6 am. Woohoo! My son was able to do his as well with his routine. My daughter didn’t realize that we were starting our morning routine, so she didn’t have her alarm set. Ugh!

    There is nothing better than starting the day reading my Bible and praying to set the attitude of the day. 🙂

  • Annabell says:

    My plan is to be in bed by 10 and up by 6. So far, it is going well. Just doing this series and having other people to keep me accountable is enough to give me a good attitude in the morning. By the time this 3 weeks is over, it should all be habit anyway, but I think taking time to read my Bible, devotions, and write in my journal gives me a good attitude in the morning.

  • beingjennifer says:

    Oh, I love getting up and doing my ab workout. It’s been so good to help my back! I’ve been sitting and standing straighter and I feel so much more supported in my body. Yay! It started as just sit-ups while I was still in bed. Sit-ups in bed are so much gentler on my back! Now I’m adding lower abs and upper body weights sometimes, too. I love the gratitude list and hope to add that to my day. I am very fortunate to have a wonderful hubby. We practice verbal appreciation regularly with each other and he’s the best hugger!

    Since I just found these posts today, I’ll let you know my progress update tomorrow.

  • karrie says:

    I’m catching up on the posts…I haven’t started my routine yet but after talking to my husband we’ve decided to do this as a team…set out clothes, making sure the house is picked up and the dishes are done, making a to-do list for the next day and getting breakfast ready to go. My bedtime is 10pm and my get up time is 5am…only 7 hours but its the only thing that’ll work right now. My kids get up at weird hours, sometimes 5am other times 7am. I’d like to get into the habit of doing yoga or something active in the morning before the kids wake up. I need to find my balance to help my attitude in the morning, it’s been less than chipper lately!

  • Anne S. says:

    I’ve been getting up to do some studying in my Bible for a little while now, but I’d like to add your habit of writing down things to be thankful for. Tonight is my first night for doing the evening routine at 9:00. Maybe if I think and pray about it from the start of the day, I’ll be ready when it’s 9:00. 🙂

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