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Make the Most of Your Mornings: Getting Out of Bed On the Right Foot (Day 3)

Now that we have our plan in place for the evening and we have a set bedtime in place, it’s time to take about the first thing that has to happen if you want to start your morning off the right foot… getting out of bed.

For some of you, getting out of bed is simple. You wake up energized, refreshed, charged up, and ready to spring out of bed and take on the world. If that’s you, you can just skip this entire post — you’ve got a handle on this already!

For many people, however, getting up in the morning can be a challenge. You wake up feeling groggy and exhausted. You push the snooze button as many times as possible because you dread trying to pull yourself out of bed in the morning. You barely make it out of bed in time to throw on some clothes, hastily put your hair up in a ponytail, and dash out the door feeling unkempt and behind.

If the latter somewhat describes you, here are some advice and ideas for getting out of bed at a decent hour each morning:

1) Go to Bed at a Decent Hour

If you want to get up feeling refreshed in the morning, your first step is to go to bed at a decent hour so that you can actually get a refreshing night’s rest! If you’re tempted to stay up later than you should, remind yourself of how great you’re going to feel in the morning when you get up. And then go to bed.

Commit to sticking with your pre-determined bedtime faithfully for three weeks. Hopefully, at the end of three weeks, it will have become more of a habit.

2) Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

If you go to bed on time, but you’re still feeling groggy and out-of-sorts every morning when you wake up, it may be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Try going to bed 30 minutes earlier or sleeping in for an extra 30 minutes each morning for a few days and see if that makes a difference.

3) Do NOT Allow Yourself to Use the Snooze Button

For the next three weeks, the snooze button is off limits. Period. If you need more sleep, set your alarm to go off 15 or 30 minutes later rather than using the snooze button.

4) Make Sure You Have Something to Wake Up For

It’s much easier to wake up excited about the day if you have something you love waiting for you when you get up. I love the early morning hour of sipping my coffee, reading my Bible, journaling, praying, planning out my day, reading, and blogging.

This quiet time refreshes me and energizes me for the day ahead. And it’s something I look forward to waking up to each day.

By the way, I’ve also found it’s much more enjoyable to wake up to a clean room and clean kitchen each morning. There’s just something about being greeted by a shining sink that inspires me. But if I know that my house is a mess, it’s less motivating for me to get up in the mornings. That’s why I try to take time each evening to do a quick clean up — it makes the mornings much more enjoyable!

5) Get An Accountability Partner

Need extra help in pulling yourself out of bed? Team up with a friend who also wants to get up on time and make a pact to text, call, or email each other as soon as you get up each morning. If you know you have to “report in” as soon as you wake up, you’re going to be less apt to roll over and go back to sleep.

6) Get Up and Do Something

Instead of lying in bed making excuses as to why it’s okay for you to sleep in, get up and do something. Even if you feel tired at first, if you get up and take a brisk walk, take a shower, or do 25 jumping jacks, you’ll probably soon forget how much you wanted to stay in bed.

Whatever you do, when your alarm clock goes off in the morning, GET OUT OF BED. It’s the first and most important step to making the most of your mornings. 🙂

My Day 2 Project Update

1. I set my bedtime for 9:30 p.m. Jesse and I both agreed that we think this is a realistic time for me to consistently shoot for. However, I didn’t actually get in bed until 9:50 p.m. last night. But hey, that’s progress over what I have been doing the last few weeks!

2. My Top 5 Evening Must Do’s:

::Tidy Up House

::Get Ready For Bed (Contacts Out, Face Washed & Moisturized, PJ’s On, Take Pills)

::Clothes Laid Out For the Next Day

::To Do List Made For the Next Day

::Read In Bed

Day 3 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. If you haven’t decided yet, be sure to take time to do so today and leave a comment on yesterday’s post and let us know!

2. Determine what time you’re going to commit to wake up every morning for the next three weeks. Consider what your pitfalls to consistent waking up are and think about possible ways that you can help yourself be more successful. Leave a comment telling us what time you are committing to get up every morning and also how you’re going to set yourself up for success in this area.

What are your best tips and suggestions for getting up at the same time each morning?

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147 Comments

  • Katie Haney says:

    Those are all great tips! Something that has worked for me has been leaving our blinds in our room open a bit. That way, when the sun comes up in the morning it is so much easier for me to get up because our room is filled with light and I know the day has begun!

    • valleygirl says:

      I agree with the blinds, I do the same!

      However, I usually leave chores from the night before. THIS is actually a motivator for me in the morning. Before I can sit and enjoy my coffee or anything, I do a quick tidy up and finish what was leftover. When I know dishes are down there waiting for me I am more apt to get up and get them done knowing it’s a must before I can get to other stuff. My evenings are so crazy with dinner, clean up, playing outside with the kids and bedtime routines x 3 that once it’s all said and done I want to relax with the hubby, not do anymore housework. So that’s what I use my early mornings for.

  • Shelly says:

    I got to bed on time. That is a good accomplishment for me as I have been staying up later the last few weeks. I was able to get all of my 5 items done before bed. I will usually get at least 3 done but last night I was determined to get them all done. I am making good progress now I hope I can keep it up.

    I am committing to waking up at 6:30 each morning so I can have some time to talk with my husband before we need to be out of bed at 7.

    I know when I go to bed on time and stay on a regular sleep schedule it really helps me to be rested when I wake up. I have also found that if I wake up but stay in bed just a little while to talk with my husband or snug with my little one gettting up is easier when it is time instead of having to jump right out of bed and get going on my day.

  • Anna says:

    It was really fun doing my evening “must-do” list last night. And it felt great to go to bed knowing that breakfast was prepared, and everything ready for the next day!

    I’m going to try to get up every morning at 6. And I’m one of those people who wakes up and has to get out of bed and get going right away. 😉 But I still need the commitment to stay consistent with a wake-up time.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Lorna says:

    Great tips there. My get up time is going to be 8am and I plan to do a workout first thing to really get me off to a good start!

    • That’s my motivation too. I am working on losing a LOT of weight, so exercise has to be a huge priority for me. I have three kids. a If I don’t wake up and work out before they get going, I’m sunk. I give myself 30 minutes after waking to take care of the dogs and log my daily weight. At the 30 minute mark, I have to start my workout. No excuses. I have never been so consistent with exercise as I have been since I started getting up early.

      • Kendra says:

        It’s been reported that one who exercises early in the day is more apt to be committed, while excercising in the evening provides more strength.
        Overall, it’s the consistency that counts! Good for you staying committed!

  • Melissa says:

    I did decent with my goals last night. I was aiming to be in bed by 1am, and made it to bed before 2am, which is an improvement for me ^_^ Not so hot waking this morning though, my alarm went off, and I hit snooze and rolled back over!

    For today’s goal, I am committing to being up and OUT OF BED by 9am every day. It’s the out of bed thing that’s usually the issue for me, because I like to lay in bed and just enjoy being warm and comfy. But I enjoy making breakfast for my husband more, so that’s going to be my motivating factor these next few weeks!

  • I am aiming to get up at 6am. I want it to be 5am, but it is very difficult to get to bed before 10pm, so I’m sticking with 6 for now. I’m working on compromise with my hubby, who is a night owl 🙂 We’ve agreed that 10 is good for now, especially with some of the outside commitments we have due to him being a minister.

    My 5 things:
    Tidy up house
    Clean kitchen
    Make to-do list for tomorrow
    Set up workout gear
    Get ready for bed

    I am finding that I need to do some of these things quite early in the evening or else it takes too long!

    My eleven year old did the dishes last night. So that helped a lot!

    • Sarah M. says:

      I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to do the dishes!! We don’t have a dishwasher, and with four little kids, we make a LOT of dirty dishes. I do clean the kitchen most nights, but it is a huge struggle. I drag my feet coming downstairs after getting the kids to bed at 8, I check Facebook, I tidy up another room, I sit with my husband, and finally drag myself into the kitchen to clean up, sometimes as late as 9 or 9:30.

  • Mackenzie says:

    Got everything done on my list last night. The problem? Didn’t get to bed till 11pm. Seems the whole bedtime thing is going to be a bit harder than I anticipated 🙁

    • Sarah M. says:

      I find it extremely difficult to get to bed at 10, although that’s probably my ideal time. It seems way too early to start getting ready for bed at 9:45, and my husband doesn’t like to go to bed until 11.

  • laurie bishop says:

    i get as much as i can done the night before – lunches made, even my tea cup & tea bag set out on counter, sinks shining, keys out of my purse so i can grab and head to gym at 4 30 a.m., clothes laid out, etc….that way when i come back after working out and have 1/2 hour to shower and leave for work, nothing is left to do but that! is more work at night, but oh so worth it!

  • Carrie says:

    Well last night I was bound and determined to go to bed by 10. It would have been easy if the kids would have cooperated. I made it to bed, but had to get up several times to remind them to get to bed. I tossed and turned…and remember seeing midnight on my alarm clock. (On a side note, I woke the noisy kids up when I got up…)

    I set the alarm for 6. One of the kids must have turned the volume up on the clock radio because it was so loud it made me jump. Of course, I still hit the snooze bar and did the same thing for several more times. haha

    Before bed, I picked up clothes, packed my work bag, showered, clean up the house somewhat, and picked food for lunch. I will keep doing this, because it did help.

    I am really going to try to keep getting up at 6, but I can’t promise this for the weekend!

    Thanks for trying to help me do better, Crystal.

  • Joy says:

    I did real well gettting my 5 evening must-do’s done and getting to bed on time. I was just starting to relax when the electricity went off. For 2.5 hours I dealt with scared children and smoke dectors that beeped every 5 minutes. Needless to say I did not get a restful nights sleep, but I am not giving up and will try again tonight!!!!!

  • Julie Turner says:

    I was able to complete all of my evening to-do’s last night. Even better, having them written down, motivated me to get them done early and have some time to relax with before going to bed (early) ;).

    I did snooze this morning, but when I actually got up I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that many things that set me back in the morning were already taken care of! Doing those things in the evening set me about 15-20 minutes ahead of schedule today.

    I’m commiting to a get-out-of bed time of 7:00 a.m.-no more snoozing. If I can do this, I’ll earn an extra 15-25 minutes each morning.

  • Jen L says:

    I did fairly well with my bedtime last night. Set it for 10, actually went to bed about 10:15 because hubby was out much of the evening and got home about 9:57. Took some time to catch up with him… Did 4 of my 5 tasks on my list–I didn’t make lunches. Not sure it’s actually the right thing to have as one of my 5 cause I tend to make them in the morning while the girls eat breakfast, and it’s not that bad. May come up with something else for a 5th. Thinking maybe just assiging a random household task per day???

    My awake time goal is 5:30. My 2 and 4 year old tend to get up whenever I do, so that holds back some ‘morning time’ for me. :-/ This morning I woke up before my alarm and wanted to just enjoy a cup of coffee in silence. HA!! Not so much…

    • Anna says:

      I understand that feeling. While I can get up before the kids, as soon as I venture into the kitchen and turn on the tea pot they are awake!

  • Anna says:

    I started back to work and some kids went back to school this week. Single mom of 4 here so I really need to stay motivated and organized. I did my 5 items on my evening routine list but I have been trying to get up at 6 am but the last 3 days pushed the snooze button 🙁 several times. The air conditioner is going and it is cold! First thing is to make sure the air conditioner is set higher so not hard to get out of bed. My other issue is I have a back injury so I stretch before I get out of bed and then walk 4 miles. This helps me stay flexible and avoid having surgery. Problem is I am not motivated to stretch but the walking I seem to accomplish. I need to work on this issue. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    OK, 5:45 am wake up call, no snooze button, 20 minute stretches and 45 minute walk and then I am ready to go.

    • Lana says:

      I cannot tell you how much ‘Christopher’s Tissue and Bone Massage Oil’ would help you with aches and pains. I have used it for more than a year on a knee that was slammed into the steering column in an accident 20 years ago. It has been such a huge help and helped it to heal because it is so much more flexible that I don’t have to favor it like I used to. I order it from Vitacost.

  • I did well with my 5 evening ToDo items. Went to bed about 30 minutes late though.
    I am committing to getting up at 6, working to move that to 5:30. My biggest pitfalls are myself and how cozy my bed is! I will need to just get up as soon as the alarm goes off and not give myself time to think!

  • Heather says:

    Okay……so I have set my bedtime and got my 5 evening must do’s. I have set my bedtime for no later than 1030. Last night however, with getting things ready for our first day of homeschool today, I didnt get in bed until midnight, yikes! Even that is an improvement over how me, the night owl has been doing! I actually started going to bed earlier all last week to get myself ready for school and I started walking/running with some friends in the morning at 515 so I have to go to bed! Anywho…..My list of 5 must do’s before bed are
    1. straighen up house, dishes in sink washed and coffee ready for morning
    2. ready for bed (contacts out, teeth brushed, etc…..)
    3. School work ready for the next day, folders and workboxes filled
    4. to do list for next day
    5. walking clothes set out for the morning

    My wake up time is 5am! Crazy I know but I can get my hour of walking in, and can have coffee, quiet time, get breakfast ready for the kids and final touches on homeschool done.
    I have been doing this for a week now and so far so good. I am a recovering night owl but its getting a little easier each day and I am getting so much more done! So so nice!!
    I love this challenge, im looking forward to more!

    • Lisa C says:

      Heather, I love how you included getting ready for bed (contacts out, teeth brushed etc etc). Goodness, that always takes a little longer than we think, doesn’t it? I might look into incorporating that into my Top 5 Things because I can “head” to bed but don’t get there for another 20 minutes or so!

      And I love how you get up at 5. I can’t imagine getting up at 5 but I like that idea. I’d love to be able to workout (take a walk, go to the gym) in the morning. Not a morning workout person but I admire those who are…maybe I can be one too someday! 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Tuesdays and Sundays are almost impossible to stick to the 10:00 bedtime simply because I play softball. Our last game doesn’t start until 9 so we usually aren’t even off the field at 10 however last night I got home early and I was in bed about 10:30. However I only managed to get three of my 5 things done yesterday. It was quite an improvement though and helped the morning along.

    My goal is to get up by 6:30 every morning…my motivation — i have two kids to get up and get ready for school….however my motiviation for not going back to bed will be a weightloss routine..I plan on going for a walk/run every morning to get me feeling energized!

  • Shannon says:

    This 3-week challenge is a real inspiration to me! I’m totally on board, and am excited about developing a consistent evening / bedtime / morning routine — being more productive and refreshed as a result! Thank you!

    For me, I’ve found the best way to wake up at the same time everyday is to just get in the habit! To explain…once I’ve been getting up at the same time for several days, my body automatically wakes me up just a few minutes before the alarm is set!

    My top 5 evening tasks are:
    Kitchen Cleaned
    Lunches made for the next day
    Supper planned for the next day
    Clothes laid out
    All bags packed and ready

    I will be getting up at 5:30am, so my goal is to be in bed by 9:30pm.

    Thank you for the inspiration and accountability!

  • Marie says:

    Okay so I’ve been thinking about my 5 things and school is right around the corner which will be the first year for us. So I planned my 5 things around that even though I’m not getting lunches made yet, we’ve got 2 weeks.
    1. Kitchen cleaned/ quick pick up of main areas
    2. Lunches made for school
    3.To do list made for next day
    4. Get ready for bed routine, read, relax!
    5. Devotion book with hubby
    I plan to go to bed by 10pm and wake by 6am.
    Last night I was in bed by 9:45 but didn’t wake til 6:30am. It was still before the kids woke so I was able to shower and wash my face and do my hair before the day started!!!! That’s a huge accomplishment in itself!

  • Nicole says:

    I like the idea of having breakfast ready the night before, but I’m not sure how to do that. Anyone have ideas?

    • Kristi says:

      You could get a breakfast casserole or muffins ready to go and pop them into the oven when you get up. Or there are lots of things that can be made ahead and easily prepared in the a.m.–pancakes or waffles, breakfast burritos, instant oatmeal packets to name a few. Crystal has recipes for some of these. Hope this helps!

    • Lisa C says:

      I’ve heard some people have cereals bowls out and ready, and one lady puts her milk in a little pitcher so her kids can make their own breakfast without having to wait for her to do it. I’ve also read on blogs about crockpot breakfast casseroles. THat wouldn’t work for our family. I hope you receive more ideas from other readers. 🙂

    • Aimee says:

      On Sunday morning, I made a big batch of pancakes. We ate some of them for breakfast that day and the rest have gone in the fridge to reheat each morning. You can cook steel cut oatmeal and reheat each day. For me, it’s cooking large portions on Sunday and then using them up throughout the week. Hope that helps!

    • Lana says:

      I don’t think you have to have food actually cooked but having the table set and knowing what you are going to make is half of the battle. That way you can have ingredients and cooking utensils sitting out and ready. Just doing these things saves a lot of time in the morning.

  • Jessie says:

    I did okay with my goals last night. I only got 3 out of my 5 things done, and I got in bed 30 minutes later than my goal but it’s still progress! I was right on track at first, but then something important came up so I had to take care of that. Thanks so much for doing this challenge! It is just what I need! 🙂

  • Well, I didn’t honor my committed bedtime either. It’s set for 9:30pm and I didn’t head to bed until 10:05pm. Nor did I get up on time either. 🙁 I did do everything on my evening must-dos though!

    When September comes I will HAVE to be up at 5:30am, so I am going to practice by making that my target wake up time.

    My biggest problem isn’t waking up though. My eyes usually open on their own around 5:30-5:45am every morning. My problem is dragging myself out of bed rather than snuggling back under the covers and reposing for a long while. But, these are great suggestions and now I am committed to putting them into practice!

  • Megan says:

    My bedtime routine is getting easier every day!! And I’m trying to wake up by 6 so I can have some time by myself before my 2 yr old wakes up between 630 and 7.

  • Meghan V. says:

    One tip that I have found that works well is to move the alarm clock away from the bed so that you actually have to get up to turn it off. Just make sure it is loud enough to get you up!

    • Sarah M. says:

      I set the alarm clock on my iPod and put it across the room. Not only does it force me out of bed, but I have to do it quickly because I don’t want to disturb my husband’s sleep!

  • Jimi says:

    I did get to bed before 10:30. In fact, it was 10:00 when I turned out the lights. Success! My list of five went really well last night, and while I sometimes set out my work clothes the night before, this time I put out everything including undergarments and shoes. It made it so much easier to have it all in one place.

    Thanks to my middle-schooler’s cross-country practice, my wake-up time has been pre-determined…6:00am for this week and earlier than that when school starts. (Although, I must confess that this morning I crawled back in bed for an hour while he was at practice…not a good habit).

    I am the world’s worst at hitting the snooze button. Any suggestions for remedies would be appreciated.

    • Melissa says:

      I use my phone and I have to cross the bedroom to the door to get it.

      My son informs me there is an alarm sold that flies in the air and only turns off once you catch it!

  • Michelle says:

    My night went pretty well! I actually got in bed about 15 minutes early. I may have set my bedtime a bit late. My wake up time is going to be 6:30. That gives me a good 30-45 minutes of time before the kids get out of bed.I am NOT a morning person…I need quiet time with Jesus before I’m ready to face the day 🙂

  • Diana says:

    Missed the bedtime b/c my brother was over and we were all having a much-needed conversations! 🙂 Try again tonight 🙂

    I did manage 4 out of the 5 to-dos, though, so that’s progress.

    I’m going to get up when my hubby does (if he’ll remember to wake me up!).

    Also, I just have to say, when I get up by an alarm clock, my body functions much better if I don’t pop out of bed on the first ring. I seem to need the gradual waking up process that the snooze allows, so I set my alarm early on purpose. If I want to be up at 6:30, I set it for 6:15 and snooze it 3 times until 6:30. But I agree–usually the snooze button does more harm than good!

  • Melissa says:

    10 minutes late on my goal of 9:30,( but couldn’t go to sleep and then woke up at 3am. :0 Nice time of reading though since I couldn’t sleep. Going to try to stick with this by God’s grace anyway and keep trying and see what sleep he allows me tonight.)

    Got my 5 things done and it really set the day at a more calm and peaceful tone to have such a nice clean house in the morning.

    6:30 a.m. tomorrow!

  • Stacy says:

    My goal bed time is 10:30 and last night I was in bed by 10:08 – totally pooped! It took me an hour to do all of my before bed tasks, longer than I expected. I was out and about yesterday and didn’t tidy up the house through the day like I usually do, so I’m hoping that if I try to keep things tidy all day long, my before bed routine will be shorter and I’ll have more time to relax before I crawl into bed. I had to force myself to do my list before I went on Facebook and check my email. It worked out well.

    My wake up time is 7:00am. I slept until 7:20am this morning, even going to bed 20 minutes earlier, so maybe it was just an off night for my sleep. I have fibromyalgia and my body doesn’t always allow me to sleep well so I wake up feeling like I have not slept at all. :/ I am hoping with a consistent routine, things will get a little better. 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    Last night, I was able to complete all of my evening to-dos except cleaning dishes. I actually went to bed earlier than my established 10 p.m. because I was downright exhausted and couldn’t keep my eyes open. For tomorrow, I’m going to set my alarm at 6 a.m. and even if my son isn’t awake by then, I’m going to get right up and get started with my day! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Victoria says:

    My committed bedtime was 9:00. I was in bed, lights out, at 9:30. An improvement overall! I managed to get my 5 things accomplished and it was nice to wake up knowing it was done 🙂 I NEED to be up by 6:00 to have enough time to get the kids fed, dressed, and out the door by 7:30. I’m hoping to eventually be up at 5:30 to have some time for exercise in the morning.

  • Sharyce says:

    I decided yesterday to be in bed by 10, and I was. I got thru mosst of my “to-dos” but with school still a week away, I dont need to be making lunches ect. My Hubby takes leftovers from dinner to work, so as hes cleaning up the kitchen I make his lunch before putting the rest of the left overs away.
    My wake up time is 5:30 m-f and 6/630 on weekends.

    • Sharyce says:

      My motivation for that time is that 4 days a week my hubby(who only works 4 days) will also be getting up and getting ready for his day so its some time for us to spend together without kids. The other 3 days I will need to be up to get the kids to school . The weekends are my days to “sleep in” while hubby takes care of the kids breakfast.

  • I made it to bed by 10:30 last night. I want to be in bed by 10pm so I can be up by 6am. I finished my top 5:
    1. lay out clothes
    2. make lunches
    3. pack bookbag
    4. clean dishes
    5. read
    This helped tremendously! My oldest started kindergarten today and we were able to have a relaxing morning before heading out the door!

  • Ebony says:

    Made a good bit of progress last night…the problem? I was up an extra hour trying to take care of business orders, resulting in 7 hours of sleep.

    I detailed my accomplishments here:
    http://www.heaven-sown.blogspot.com/2012/08/whipping-butts-outta-first-gearday-3.html , but I would’ve loved to have stayed up and gotten another order done….

    I’m committing to a bedtime of : 1030 (instead of my 1130 last night).
    I’m blogging on this topic as well, so I’m hoping that will help me be more accountable, for three weeks anyways.

    Crystal,
    I’m really interested in tips specifically for entrepreneurs who work 9 to 5s…is it just a given that we will NEVER get 8 hours of sleep? 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      I sometimes get nine hours of sleep, so it *IS* possible — but that’s usually on the weekends! On weekdays, I’m doing good to consistently get 7-8 hours of sleep. Sometimes it’s less than that, but I try to make sleep a priority as much as is possible because I function so much better when my sleep tank isn’t running on empty.

  • Love this! I am more of a morning person, but I hate going to sleep the night before with things undone.
    My husband was off work last night and challenged me to a game of Chinese checkers. My goal bedtime was 10 pm… but I got to bed by midnight. I accomplished 3 of my 5 must-dos (lunch prep, make tomorrow’s to-do list, and read 15 minutes). I had a FAR more successful in making this morning productive though – ate breakfast, read my Bible, put lunch in the CrockPot, took a load of cloth diapers to the laundromat, and started a tub of handwashed items – all in an hour before my husband and 3 month old woke up! Looking forward to finishing today off well and waking up again tomorrow!

  • Michelle says:

    I did my evening list last night, however my hubby and i got to bed late, so still need to work on bedtime! My wake up time will be around 7, when my hubby gets up for work. I will have him wake me up, and then make sure I am actually out of bed when he is done with his shower, so I can shower before the kids are up. The getting out of bed is the hard part for me, so hopefully I will be able to make it happen for the next 3 weeks, it will only be by the grace of God!

  • Becky says:

    I was off to a good start and accomplished all five items on my list last night. I figured there was no way it would take me an hour, but it took the full time. (That under-estimation might be why I usually go to bed late!) I was in bed only 5 minutes later than my new “bedtime”, but I still need to work on getting out of bed when my alarm goes off. I love that time of listening to the radio and dozing in the mornings. I need to just Get Up! 🙂

    • Lisa C says:

      I know what you mean, Becky, about not estimating you time right (I apparently do this ALL the time) AND by enjoying listening to the radio while I’m waking up. Proud of you for getting to bed only 5 minutes later than your new bedtime. Way to go!!

  • Lauren F. says:

    I just recently discovered the key to my morning exhaustion and laziness. I think a lot of people, including me at one time, focus on the concept of getting 8 hours of sleep or more every night, but I have found that there is such a thing as too much sleep as well. Too much sleep can leave you just as exhausted as not enough sleep. Each person’s body is different and requires different amounts of sleep; however, I have learned that I function best with 6-7 hours of sleep at night. It’s weird, I know, but after 6-7 hours of sleep I naturally wake up without an alarm and feel pretty alert. For the longest time I always thought it was too early or that I wasn’t getting enough sleep so I would go back to sleep and when the alarm went off or my kids woke me up I would feel miserable. Looking back at my childhood, my dad was the same way. So, anyways, I think it is really important for people to listen to their bodies and not feel like they have to achieve 8 hours of sleep or more like I did. I suggest doing a week long experiment. Go to bed at night and don’t set an alarm. Let your body wake up naturally and note how many hours you slept. When you figure out what your body needs, adjust your bedtime and alarm accordingly. Thanks for the post, Crystal. I really need to improve the morning productivity at my house. I love your blog, you do a terrific job! God Bless =)

  • Amanda L says:

    Bed time is one thing that I struggle with. My husband needs less sleep than me and he usually sleeps better than me. I love having time to talk with him before we fall asleep. This means I usually stay up waiting for him even if I’m in bed early. My goal is to be in bed at 9, but I didn’t make it last night. It was 9:30.

    We get up at 6:15 every morning for hubs to go to work. I would rather stay in bed a little longer, but that’s life. I will sleep in until 7 on the weekends, unless the toddler says otherwise. 🙂

    My 5 things are evolving. I am trying to decide which things I really need to get done at night. The five that are in process right now are make sure lunches are packed for anyone who needs them, load and run the dishwasher, lay out clothes for the next day, make sure the diaper laundry is done as necessary, and have a to do list ready for the next day. I did everything last night!!

    • Melissa says:

      Tonight will be my first night. Should be interesting since we have church until 9:30. I don’t have to work tomorrow either so I might push my wake up time to 7:30 to get a little more sleep. The tough thing for us is going to be the fact that we don’t have the same routine every day. Kids only go to school 2 and 4 days a week right now and I only work 2. So every day is a little different. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

  • Deanna says:

    I signed-up for Inspired to Action’s HelloMorning Challenge a few few weeks ago. It starts on Monday. I think that this series of yours and the accountability of the Facebook group I’m in for the challenge are going to be the perfect thing for me. 🙂 Thanks for always sharing so much of your personal life with your readers. I think that it means a lot to many of your readers!

    • bobcat says:

      So which FB group is it? I saw Hello Mornings–Night Owls Unite, HelloMornings Fall 2012, and HelloMornings Challenge. I guess it’s the Challenge one? Maybe I need to get a smartphone and sign up for Twitter, and figure that out……because I need tons of help getting up on time. I have been saying forever that I need an accountability buddy and didn’t know where to look. Don’t want to depend on family or friends because it is embarrassing, and I’d like someone that understands. I have tried looking on sleep forums but not seeing a lot in terms of accountability.

  • Lisa C says:

    1. I DID set a bedtime for last night. It was 10 (likely 10:30). I actually went to bed about …12:20 am. FAIL!! I washed dishes as I was making dinner and ended up going to bed with 3 items in the sink. I got the coffee pot ready. I also decided on what to have for dinner tonight and prep’d some fresh melon for meals. I did not prep lunches, did not get clothes prep’d, and did not read (well, I checked facebook from my phone for a few minutes after crawling in bed, so I could wind down). Tonight is a new night. I will not make soccer team calls or run out for last minute birthday items. I will not meet a friend at 9 pm for a walk and I will not visit with her for 3 hours because we had so much to catch up on. I WILL get myself in bed at 10….okay between 10 and 10:30! And I will do better on my Top 5 Items! Yes!! Looking forward to succeeding!!

    2. I am committing to getting up at 6 am for the next three weeks. I have my alarm set for 6 already and will really work on not hitting the snooze. I will help myself succeed in this by preparing myself the night before and by getting to bed at my appropriate time! Possible pitfalls could be insomnia (had that on Monday, causing me to finally fall asleep at 1 am), my children waking me during the night (bad dreams, bloody noses, etc etc), or too many irregular things happening in my short evening that could throw off my schedule for that night. :-S

    I really want to do this. My husband has hounded me in the past about making better use of my time and getting up earlier (and going to bed earlier) and I know if I can accomplish this, he will be really happy. 🙂 Gotta love a happy hubby!

    Question: Does this include weekends? Ummmm, that could be a problem, hee hee.

    Until tomorrow……

  • Meegan says:

    Got my 5 things done no problem… Now it will be a 6am wake up that will test the new discipline… But if it means having alone time with my hubby, it’s so worth it!

  • AndreaC says:

    I am having issues figuring out a good (feasible) bedtime. I deliver papers in the morning and need to be out the door between 230-300 a.m. so I can be home by 545 so hubby can get to work. Going back to sleep after hubby leaves isn’t working because my 3 year old wakes up before me (and takes FULL advantage of being unsupervised), but going to bed at 6 or 7 p.m. isn’t realistic because hubby doesn’t get home until at least 6 every night. Anyone have any advice?

    • Crystal says:

      Naps in the afternoon, if at all possible. And extra rest on the weekends, if your husband is home then.

    • Anna says:

      If your 3 year old takes an afternoon nap, try to nap then, too. Sometimes with my kids (5,4 &3) I’ll put on a quiet movies (David Attenborough nature docs like Planet Earth are my favorite) so I can nap on the couch while they’re laying down watching the movie. But I hear your struggle! There are so many days when I’d like a nap, and the kids are just not going to sleep for me.

  • Natalie Groff says:

    My husband and I just moved into a new apartment, so I’m a bit behind on my e-mail. I just found this challenge today and totally want to get on board. My husband and I started getting up together at 6:30 two days ago so we could have breakfast, pray, and study the Bible together, so I’ve already got that one down! I’ve never been a morning person, but at 8 months pregnant, I’m finding nothing is as it used to be and getting up isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve decided that I should try to be in bed by 10:00 PM. I like to go to bed 30 minutes before I “have to” so that I have plenty of time to sleep before my 8 hours actually start. I just came up with a “5 Must-Do’s” list:
    ::Clothes laid out for the morning
    ::Prep breakfast and Wendell’s (my husband) lunch
    ::Get ready for bed
    ::Make to-do list for the next day
    ::Quick 15-minute house clean-up
    I’m pretty excited to see how the next three weeks go. I’d really like to establish some sort of routine before the baby comes. I see this as a pre-baby practice run. Then I can come up with a whole new routine once he’s born 🙂

  • Tiffany says:

    I have a running date with my lab each morning. It exercises her and energizes me! I also have a goal to keep me running and getting out of bed (like an upcoming race). When I don’t wake up and run I’m groggy and usually make poor food choices that day. I’m currently training to run a marathon with my dad which is motivation to get me up and moving!

  • Megan says:

    Last night I made it to bed at my new bedtime of 10:30 and did 4/5 of my Top 5 list. My wake up time for the next 3 weeks will be 6. I will use the hour before my kids get up at 7 to take a bike ride or walk and then shower. This will allow me to get two things done every day that sometimes don’t happen once the kids are up!

  • cathy says:

    I have a friend who keeps a deck of cards on her nightstand.
    When the alarm goes off she turns on her bedside lamp and plays a game of solitaire on the bed. By the time she was done she was ready to start the day 🙂

  • I am struggling to get up at the same time every day and get going. I have a 5 month old that is sleeping through the night mostly. She wakes up to eat sometime between 4 and 5 and doesn’t always go back to sleep well. She usually will go back down until 7:30 but sometimes it takes 45 minutes to get her back to sleep. I like to be up at 7 but it doesn’t always happen because of this. I am looking forward to her sleeping more consistently in the mornings. I have always been a morning person but am not struggling.

  • Debbie says:

    My committed bedtime is 10;30 and last night I turned the light out at 11:15. Tuesday nights are difficult because I work (from home) from 4:00 till about 10:00 and then wanted to get my 5 things done. I did but it was later than I had hoped. But should be able to make it stick tonight!

  • Heather says:

    Although I was a little late in getting to bed last night, I did accomplish all 5 of my items, plus a few more too! I remembered to run the dishwasher before bed and we even got ALL the trash out last evening so there wasn’t that mad dash that we always seems to do to beat the truck to our curb! M

    • Heather says:

      (Something happened and I got cut off…) Anyway…My mornings will be a challenge because I am an early riser, where I can get up at 3AM (I used to do business that early in my old work days…), but its too early to get up so I read or watch TV which then by 7AM I am exhausted already and haven’t even done anything. So, my goal will be to sleep till 7AM and then get up be rested for the day! (We are on vacation very soon and will be all outta whack on a schedule, but am going to try for 7AM for consistancy!)

  • Lori says:

    I was in bed at 9:30 (my goal), but read until almost 10. This is an improvement though.

    My top 5 for the night were completed and it made my morning much better!
    1 – To do list for next day
    2 – Clean the House for 20 Minutes (including prep for breakfast)
    3 – Read
    4 -Check and Answer work Email
    5 -Make lunches

  • Miriam says:

    I found this a day late, but here’s my 5 “must-do’s” and my bed-time.

    Bedtime: 10:30pm
    5 Must-Do’s:
    ~15 min. kitchen clean-up {incl. prep coffee and put DH’s drinks in the fridge for next day’s lunchbox}
    ~Plan/prep next day’s breakfast
    ~15 min. general house clean-up
    ~Get ready for bed
    ~Relax/read for a few minutes

    Wake-up time: 6:15am

    With a 2.5 yr. old and a 6 mo. old, my Must-Do’s will probably have to start as soon as dinner is over and happen a little bit here and there, but I know they will make the mornings go so much better. 🙂

  • Lisett says:

    Got in bed at 9:30pm but didn’t go to sleep until 11pm because my two older girls had a hard time falling asleep. Then was awakened by a crying toddler at 3am, 5am and then evreybody woke up at 6:30am.
    I did do 3 of my 5 must-do’s! I don’t know what I should do about my toddler crying at night though?! I was (am) very tired today! I want to let her just cry but am afraid she will wake up everybody else. I guess I’m going to have to let her though. (btw I still nurse and am trying to wean her….that’s why she cries)

    • Anna says:

      At one point when I was weaning and trying to get my child to sleep through the night I added some rice cereal to her bedtime bottle, as some extra sustenance to get her through. I don’t know that this was the best food option, but it did help. If your toddler is eating solid foods maybe something else with good protein would help fill up her tummy and keep her satisfied through the night. Maybe a cheese snack before bed? Aw, I feel for you!

  • crenee says:

    Still working on getting out of bed when my alarm goes off, but I noticed this morning since I got my five things to do (pack lunches, clean bottles/sippy cups, pack diaper bag/ready school bags, pick out school/work clothes, get ready for bed) done last night, I was much more at ease. I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and have to be at work by 8:30 (I’m a single mommy during the week to a toddler, preschooler and grade schooler; hubby works out of town). So, my mornings and evenings are crazy busy. And I also commute! I know I’m nuts!! lol..Thanks for making me more organized. I also went to bed on time, 10:00 p.m!

  • Sara says:

    I’m committing to get up at 6:30am.

    I really liked the point about having something to wake up for. A clean house and bright sunlight really help with that I think. Also, having a peaceful morning routine like coffee and quiet time makes a big difference. I plan to be more consistent in that area. I also plan to pretty up our bedroom a little to help me feel more positive when I wake up and look around.

    Last night I did 3 of my 5 things and went to bed a little later than planned. I may need to pare down or change my list because evenings are the main time I spend with my husband. We had a really a good conversation last night, which resulted in me not getting all of my things done!

  • Rachel says:

    I nailed my bed time and list to the wall last night! But here’s the thing, I have a 3 month old. I never wake up at the same time. I can maybe tackle that in a couple months when he sleeps more…

    • Crystal says:

      Yes, I should add a caveat for those who have babies, those who have children with special needs who are up in the night, those who work weird hours, and probably a bunch of others, too. You just focus on getting your sleep and don’t worry a whiff about trying to get up at the same time every day. That day will come someday! 🙂

      Congrats on nailing your list — woot!

  • Meredith says:

    I did well with my 5 do to list items. One of my must do’s was to get my husbands work clothes ironed for the next day. It was the last thing I did and I had plenty of time left so I ironed the rest of the week with time to spare. So I think I only have to do that one two nights! However, I have a problem when I get ready to have lights out. My husband “goes to bed with me” but he reads about 30 minutes longer so the lights don’t go out. So, I need figure out a way to fall asleep with the light on or have a talk with him. 🙂

    Tomorrow’s should be interesting, I am a 7 or 8 snooze button kind of gal.

    • Jessica says:

      Meredith, get him a book light and/or get an eye mask. I love my eye mask when the hubby stays up late. Sometimes he reads for hours! He has the book light too and will use that if I ask.

      • Meredith says:

        Omg, I have an eye mask and I didn’t even think about using it! I bought it when we built our house and didn’t have blinds or curtains. Thanks for reminding me!

  • jess says:

    The goal is to be out of bed by 7a the rest of this week because next week it will have to be 6a……you know it is still summer break until next Tuesday! I am however going to continue with the bedtime and evening to-do list.

  • Ha, compared to most people, I feel like such a lazy bum! Made it to bed by my 11pm bedtime and got everything done on my to do list since it’s already a habit of mine. Waking up, however, is 9am. That’s my goal. Sometimes we sleep in till 10am, which loses a lot of the day. Everyone else has such an early wake up time…I feel bad! Since my son wakes up frequently at night, I sleep in with him in the morning. So – bedtime 11p, wake up 9am.

    Way to go everyone!!! =)

  • Kendra says:

    This series already has been such a blessing! My husband gets up for work around 3:45 AM for work, and it’s really hard for both of us to commit to such an early hour- especially certain nights of the week we’ve commited to soul winning and church, which puts us at home at a pretty late hour.
    We were able to determin what time the TV needs to go off in order for us to prepare for the next morning, moved meal time from the couch (gasp! Yes, we eat on the couch in front of the TV: big no-no’s, I know!) to the table to stop prolonging bed time because that’s when I tend to want to talk (ok, my defense is this: it’s the only time things seem quiet enough to where I know we’re listening to each other), and agreed to helping each other look forward to getting out of bed without snooze button assistance.
    I know it’s gonna be tough to start, but I’m encouraged and looking forward to our progress!

  • RedHeadedGidget says:

    I was aiming for 10:30, made it to be at 10:50. I didn’t think that was too bad. My downfall is having to get up in the middle of the night to pump milk for my 6 mo old. Waking up in the middle of the night for an hour and then going back to sleep just kills my sleep schedule.

    I’m aiming for a 6:30 wake-up. Although, I am going to find it much much harder to get up this early on the weekend! My husband (a morning person) will get up and tend to our little guy so I can catch up on sleep.

  • I’m a nurse working rotating shifts (some day shifts, some night shifts), so the bedtime and wake up times things don’t work for me. What does work, however, is making sure that whatever time happens to be “bedtime” that day, that the dishes are done, I have meals planned out (sometimes put in the crockpot before bed), and doing my “wake up” routine in the same order every day helps provide some sense of normalcy with a crazy sleep schedule.

  • Callie says:

    This is my worst habit to get into place! I struggle waking up no matter what time of day it is 🙂 Mornings are especially hard, however.
    My goal is to simply to do it for the next 3 weeks and hopefully get a habit into place. I like your idea of waking up to something you love. I am going to give myself a special treat each morning (different each day) for waking up on time. We will see what happens 🙂

  • Rebecca says:

    I commit to getting up @ 3:45 when my alarm goes off for the first time & not hit snooze!

  • Tracy S. says:

    I did great on my 5 things but got to bed an hour late because I had to get my floors clean before I could shower and get ready to sleep. Had extra 4 legged guests over the weekend and they HAD to be cleaned. Will be getting to bed at 10 tonight. I’ll be getting up by 5:30 every morning so I can have some quiet time before I have to get my oldest up for school. Now to figure out how to keep the toddler from getting up before his brother. Lol

  • Amanda P. says:

    I thought I posted before but it’s quite likely that I didn’t hit send!

    I did well with my 5 night time goals.
    1. Lay out clothes and workout stuff
    2. Lay out project/work materials
    3. Make todo list for the next day
    4. General house clean up
    5. Prep breakfast

    In order to be up by 5 I’d have to be in bed by 9. However, 9:30/10 is probably more realistic.

  • Heather says:

    Wake-up time: 7 am
    Helps to achieve this goal: leave shade up a bit to let the early sunshine in my room and enlist my sister as an accountability partner for me to text at 7.

  • Anna says:

    My evening routine goals:
    Clean Kitchen, make sure counters and table are cleared
    Run Dishwasher
    Pick up Living Room
    Clean up Kid’s room (this is their job, but this is to remind me to see that it’s done)
    Read bedtime stories and have children tucked in by 8:30

    I don’t have to pack lunches, we have no regular outings, and my husband has irregular work hours. But doing these things last night really made a difference this morning. I also prepped the French Press and had the tea pot filled and on the burner, which helped since DH had to leave early this morning. I’m doing that again tonight, also.

    The goofy thing is, I was in bed before 10pm last night and didn’t get up until 6:45, and still felt tired! But I guess it takes more than one night for my body to catch up on lost sleep, and the morning did go much better with my evening preparations. At least I wasn’t dreading the morning!

  • Annabell says:

    Well, last night wasn’t a typical night for me. I stayed at my sister’s house last night, so most of the 5 Evening Must-Do’s didn’t apply. I did, however, get to bed on time! AND I got up on time too!

  • cindy says:

    I have set my bedtime for 10pm and my waking time for 6am. Last night, I did great with getting to bed on time, though I did not complete all of my 5 tasks – since classes don’t start until next week, I’m enjoying my last few days of working from home, so I did not prep lunch, clothes, or school bag. I did leave my electronics charging and made the next day’s to-do list. Tonight, I’ve already prepped clothes and lunch bag, made the to-do list, and am about to plug in electronics and prep lunch. and it’s only 8pm! I’ve got almost 2 hours to hang out with my honey!

  • Rachael M says:

    I didn’t get to read yesterday’s until late last night so I am playing catch up. I am going to try to be in bed by 11. I am usually up by 7 so I can get some things done before the kids get up. They go back to school next Monday, so I think I am going to make 6:30 my new goal. Maybe getting up a little earlier will make bedtime a little easier too. I have the hardest time getting my mind to turn off at night so I can get to sleep.

    My 5 Must Do’s
    dishes
    backpacks ready and hung up
    keys hung on key rack (this is going to help me the most)
    to do list made
    quick pick up

    Thank you so much for the inspiration and tips!

  • sand says:

    i can not get my 5 things done befor i go to bed !! cant figure out how or why
    i go to bed at 10pm,fall asleep around 11pm -i have trouble staying asleep ,i wake up around 3am to pee ? then go back to sleep till about 5 am and cant go back to sleep. i can not get up and clean etc beause we have a very small ranch house. my older child comes in Late and doesnt have to be up for work till 10am,so i try not to make any noise,teenage boy sleep till around 11am. i leave for work at 8am , some days i work an extra job at night and also pick up hours on some weekends. husband is a farmer so he is gone by 5am,expects his lunch in fridge , i also pack older kids lunch for work.husband eats dinner antwhere from 7-9pm.nobody likes the same food and they dont like sandwiches every day. nobody cleans up and there is always dirt and hayshaft around house. i feel like i am in a loosing battle just trying to keep up. my house Never looks clean. any suggestions /

    • Gwen says:

      I would say you need to kick some children’s butt and lay down the law. They’re teenagers. They can get up before 11 and make their own lunch. If you wake them up, you wake them up. It doesn’t sound like they have a job, so they can get a job. And if they don’t like the food you’re going to make for dinner, oh well. Expectations.

  • Kerri says:

    Yesterday was my last day of our family vacation so I missed my 10:30pm bedtime. Spending time with my mom and sister who I may not see for another year seemed like a good enough reason to miss my bedtime. :). We flew home tonight so I am ready for this challenge.

    My wake-up time will be 6:30 am.

    I now have to go… I have five things to get done before bedtime in one hour!

  • Megan says:

    I did get to bed by 10:30 and I put the dishes in the dishwasher, but the rest of my goals were not reached 🙁 There’s always tomorrow! I would like to get up at 7. I will do this by getting out of bed to get my son, who gets up at 7 every day. I always enjoy seeing his smiling face in the morning.

  • Amanda says:

    I decided my bedtime is going to be 9:30 and wake up time will be 5:30!
    Last night was kind of a bust…I was having some serious neck pain and could NOT get comfortable…I was in bed on time but then tossed and turned till around midnight. and then I woke up at 4 am!! I had a chiropractor appointment today so my neck is much better and hoping to get to sleep on time tonight!
    My 5 to do’s are:
    Get ready for bed (me and kid) Shower, teeth brushed, PJS etc.
    Get lunch and breakfast ready for the next day
    Make my to do list for tomorrow
    Put away the laundry from the day (I *always* put this off so I’m hoping I’ll be able to stick to it!)
    Read for 30 minutes.
    The only thing I didn’t do last night was the laundry because my darling husband helped me out with that because of my neck pain!
    My motivation for waking up 5:30 (about an hour earlier than usual) is to spend time with my husband. He works long hours and sometimes we only get 2 hours together at the end of the day…I would love to sit down and have coffee just me and him every day! Also with a toddler I never get my work outs in or yoga session so if I’m up before her I’ll be able to get it in every day!
    Thanks so much for this series! It’s just the kick in the butt I needed!

  • Becci C says:

    Did not do so well on my goals last night. Went to bed at 11:30 instead of 10:30. I’ve got a sick child and am not feeling well myself and we’ve got some other things going on this week that are out of the ordinary. BUT the main reason is b/c I didn’t stay off the computer!! I need help in this area. I am addicted and don’t listen to my own rules I set up for myself.

    I am going to get up at 6:30 weekdays and 7 on the weekends. I think what will help me get up is the thought of having some quiet time to myself plus I will make myself a cup of tea and spend time reading my Bible and praying. And I have to change my habit of hitting the snooze button!!

  • Nicole says:

    YEAH!!!! Got up and walked on treadmill, shower, worked on grocery list, and other things. So nice to get these items done before girls woke up. Felt ahead and ready to tackle the day! Thank you for this challenge! 🙂

  • Larissa says:

    My wake-up time is 6:30 and I will commit to not hitting my snooze button, and making time to read so that I can look forward to it every morning.

  • Denise says:

    1. Day 2 Project Update.

    I set my bedtime for 10:00pm.Unfortunately I was up until 2:00am due to my medicine mix-up, but still up by 6:00am. I’m really ready for a 10pm bedtime tonight.

    Top 5 Evening Must Do’s.
    -Load the Dishwasher. I had all dishes loaded and washed for morning except for two pesky sippy cups I missed. 🙂
    -10-Minute Pick-up. It felt wonderful to wake up to a house that was picked-up!! I might have spend a little more than 10-minutes but it was worth it.
    -Pack the Diaper Bag. Yes. It was so helpful to have the bag ready to go & not be rushing last minute.
    -Stick to a Bed Time Routine for Kiddos. No. This didn’t happen. But it will.
    -Double Check Meal Plan & Schedule for Next Day. I did this and it really did give me a peace of mind.

    2. Determine a wake-up time. I would really like my wake-up time to be 5:00am. I am struggling right now with kiddos that stir at that time and need some early morning cuddles. And I am a terrible snooze-button-aholic, so I do need to work on that. No snooze tomorrow. We’ll see if the kids and I cooperate. 🙂

  • Michelle says:

    I went to bed on time yesterday and completed my five things. Right now – this is the last thing I do before I turn off the lights and head off to dream land. I got home late tonight and didn’t want to complete my five things – but I did – and also got my husband inspired ot help out a little with them as well – even though he was busy pretending to be tired 😉

    I will try my hardest to avoid the snooze button for three weeks – but with that said – I am definately changing the morning alarm to give me those five extra minutes!

    GOOD NIGHT and GOOD LUCK!

  • Amy says:

    So far, I did all the things on my list for tonight, except that I was not supposed to get on the internet while I was waiting for my youngest to go to sleep. I said we would listen to something instead. I do have lullabies playing, but, well, here I am!
    Last night, I wound up being up until 2AM because she had an ear infection and fever and would not go to sleep. . My bedtime is supposed to be 11:30, and I did not make it, but I will be in bed by midnight and that is an improvement.

    I am committing to getting up at 7:30. One thing that has really helped me get up and that I am going to try to do is ditch my alarm clock. For years now, I have slept through the buzzing that a typical alarm clock makes. Instead, I have set my phone to play “Good Morning” by Mandisa one morning and “Beautiful Day” by U2 the next using an alarm clock app. If you have not heard Mandisa’s “Good Morning” song, give it a listen. It is impossible *not* to perk up when that song is on, whether that is a preferred style of music or not. The reason I have the two songs alternating is so that I do not become accustomed to it and start sleeping through it like I do an alarm clock buzzing.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, I’ve tried several iphone apps to play music to wake up to…which one are you using? I haven’t found a good user-friendly one that I like. Thanks!

      • Amy says:

        I have an android, so I know nothing about iphone apps. The one I am using is called alarm clock xteme- free. It was the first one I saw and it was free, so I tried it. I do not use my smartphone for very much at all, but this is one thing I like.
        I had to play around with the settings a bit, but I figured out how to tell it to use a song that is stored on my phone instead of a standard alarm or ringtone.

  • Missy says:

    I commited to being in bed at 9pm….I did not make it in bed on time last night or tonight 🙁 OOPS!! Stuff came up and we did not get the kids in bed on time…therefore we did not get in bed on time. Tonight I had to stay up to get some work done! 🙁 I’m not very good at this so far…but I’m gonna try harder starting tomorrow night!! 🙂 I was able to get all five things done on my list before bed last night but not so much tonight.

    I am going to set my wake-up time for 6 o’clock. In order to make this a success I am going to be more strict about my bedtime and I will get out of the bed when my alarm goes off! 🙂

  • Christine says:

    Got to bed on time last night (10pm) and did my 5 things. I literally giggled as I set my clothes out last night for this morning as I have not done that since grade school. I was shocked at what a difference it made this morning! Why did I stop doing this 30 years ago?! I am loving this challenge series! Now, how to avoid hitting the snooze tomorrow at 6am. That’s going to be a tough one.

  • Chelsea says:

    I’m comiting to get up at 8:30 each morning which should allow 30-60 minutes before everyone else is awake. My biggest pitfall is making up exuses to stay in bed until everyone is up. I’m going to avoid this by reminding myself that I should just get up and I will feel much better about my day. I may even resort to rewarding myself with iced coffee 🙂

  • krystal says:

    no snooze?? you are a drill sergeant 🙂

  • Ann says:

    I am LOVING this series…..just what I needed to get myself on track as the back to school season starts 🙂 Thank you for posting these!!!!

  • Carolen says:

    Getting 3 out of 5 evening to-do’s completed each night.
    Since kids have still not started school, this isn’t too bad yet.

    I have committed to a 3:45am wake up.
    I figure my honey has to do it to make the 2 hr commute to work each day, then the least I can do is be on the same schedule so that it is easier for me to go to bed at the same time as him each night.
    This morning was rough, but I figure it is like any other habit. The first few days are the hardest.

    Two days in a row, yay!
    AND no snooze!

    Bonus? I was so tired yesterday, I went right to sleep when we went to bed at 9am.

  • Brooke says:

    ok I set my bed time for 10pm and wake up time for 6am.
    1 Clean Kitchen
    2fill coffee for am
    3 15min Clean up
    4Dress and wash up for bed
    5 work on getting my 2 year old in bed by 10
    The first day we did great she still wakes up and night but she only woke up once so waking up at 6 wasnt so bad.
    Second night went well we were in bed by 10 again but she woke up like 3 times so needless to say I slepted till 7 but I still felt good getting up because all my list was done the night before. I am so greatful for this challange My husband and I both work from home and we are in need of a routine and motivation.

  • Emily says:

    Can’t properly express how thankful I am for this challenge!!

    My bed time: 10:00 (trying to be in bed by 9:30 to read)
    5 To-dos before bed: Prep hubby’s lunch, Put kitchen in order, Tidy up living room, Kitty litter, Read

    I’m going to wake up at 6 AM (first trying a couple 5:45 AM days to see if I can survive) for the next 3 weeks. I’m going to make this happen by putting the alarm across the room where I need to walk to it, to keep me from hitting snooze!

  • Sherry Lochner says:

    Getting to bed at 10 last night didn’t happen as I had to take hubby to the ER. He was trying to fix the washer, his hand slipped off the wrench while pulling hard, and his wrist slid along the metal at the back bottom of the washer. Praise God he only needed a few sutures! I did get my must-dos done though as soon as we got home shortly after 10.

    I commit to getting up by 6. Best advice – Do not sit and listen to the alarm play, lay back in bed, or hit the snooze, and have the clock where you have to get up to turn it off.

    Thank you for this series! I’ve got my children to write down their must-dos and bedtime. Today we will be talking about waking up. Waking up is a HUGE challenge for my daughter, so hopefully she can get on board and do it.

    • Crystal says:

      I’m SO sorry about your ER incident, but so glad and thankful that your husband just needed a few sutures. How scary!

      • ann says:

        I’m hoping this is easier next week when the kids are in school and we have a stricter routine. I really need to be in bed by 10 and haven’t done that in a long time. My goal for morning wake up time is 6 some mornings and will soon need to get up at 5 am 2x/week to commit to a workout.
        Need to tweek my evening to do list:
        Make lunches
        Tidy up kitchen
        breakfast/dinner plan for the next day
        Work expectations for the next day
        Have clothes/items ready to go

  • I definitely feel much worse if I let myself drift back to sleep after the alarm goes off, because it’s always just a doze, never a good sleep. Even if I feel terrible and groggy at the beep of the alarm, if I make myself get up and at least shower, if not go to the gym or do something around the house, I feel MUCH, much better.

    I also like getting up to a clean house. I often have a whirlwind 15 minute session right before bedtime where I just CANNOT stand the clutter anymore and I know I will feel much better if I get it taken care of. 🙂

  • Hannah says:

    Well, I didn’t succeed in not hitting snooze this morning, but I’ve been sick and am on my second to last day of antibiotics which are tiring me out. I DID make a huge effort to go to bed earlier last night though, and feel much more rested today because of the extra sleep. I usually go to bed around midnight and I was in bed by 10! Huge success for me. Tomorrow morning, up at 6-6:30. 🙂

  • Lori says:

    I’m doing two days at once, so I can’t say how I did last night, but I am committing to a 6:00 wake up, which is going to be a huge challenge for me (considering I got up at 9 today…thank goodness my hubby is home in the morning for my kids! 😉 ) but it’s something I really really need to do!

    I’ve started running recently, so I’m hoping that I can get up at 6 and quickly go out for a jog, then in the shower and my day might just go a little smoother! Here’s hoping!

  • Kim says:

    I REALLY, REALLY need this series. Thanks Crystal!!

    New bedtime: 10pm–I made it at 10:05 2 nights ago & 10:10 last night.
    I tossed & turned til 11:30 the 1st night & til midnight last night. Then the dog started
    barking at 4:30am.
    Wake up time 6am–I had to get more sleep, so didn’t get up til 8:30.
    5 To Do’s
    1. Get ready for bed (wash face, pj’s on, take pills, drink chamomile tea, etc)
    2. Dog on treadmill 45-60 minutes, then outside before bed
    3. Pick up kitchen
    4. Worship
    5. Read declarations
    I did get my 5 done, but have to figure out how to get sleep at night. My mind is still racing when I go to bed. I’ve been underestimating how long many things take to do.

  • Paula Cameranesi says:

    I am commiting myself to getting up at 6. I blew it yesterday because I have a migraine and didn’t set the alarm. My family is still sleeping so no big deal today. In three weeks it will be a big deals because we missed the schools’ bells. 🙂

  • Kim says:

    I did fairly well last night – got my five things done. I ended up sleeping past my alarm, simply because yesterday I had far too many regular contractions (and I’m not full-term yet). My husband urged me to rest as much as possible. But, even doing the five things helps so much on sleep-in days, I don’t feel as if I’m perpetually behind.

  • Leslie says:

    I am going to get my mailbox cleaned out before everyone else wakes up. That way I’m not doing it in the middle of the morning as an excuse to not get things on my list finished.

  • Heather says:

    I got into bed at 10, like I wanted. However…falling asleep was a different story. Took about a half hour. I may need to make it 930…

    I am terrible about the snooze button now… You should hear the song “Snooze Button Blues” by Jewel (her new kids cd) that’s basically my theme song LOL

    NO MORE SNOOZE!! I am gettin gup at 6am. End. Of. Story.

    Good luck to you too!!

  • Denise G. says:

    I set my bedtime and made my 5 things to-do list and I actually did it (even though I wanted to stay up and read a little longer). I am planning to get up at 6:30 and I will have a short to-do list of things to accomplish before I take my daughter to school at 7:10.

  • Melissa says:

    I have a morning ritual which consists of 30-minute mediation,
    stretches, write in my journal, recite my affirmations and listen to some music.
    I’m in bed by 10pm with the kitchen spotless. 🙂

  • Michelle W says:

    I got the kitchen cleaned and the dishwasher ran but that was about it. I got up at 7:15 am. I will not be discouraged because I can do this.

  • Ayisha says:

    I did make my top 5 list, and I got only 1 completed. Open house, late dinner and I didn’t make it to the rest of the list.

    I think 5:30 will be a good time for me. If I can get to bed at my designated time, that should really be all I need to set me up for success.

  • beingjennifer says:

    I sleep with an eye mask on, or I don’t sleep well at all. When the alarm goes off, the eye mask comes off and the blinds are partially open so I get the natural light. One of my challenges is when I’m cold in the morning and want to snuggle back under the covers. That’s what happened this morning. I need to remember to put on a warm sweatshirt and socks so I can feel comfortable when I get up and about.
    This is may Morning Routine list that I hope to follow better from now on.
    7:45 a.m. – Wake and Get-up
    *Potty-(Put warm sweatshirt and socks on if chilly)
    *Drink glass of water
    *Stretch, then Abs & Upper Body (3 to 4 sets each)
    *Drink another glass of water
    *Meditate (start by 8:10)
    *Lite breakfast – yogurt, fruit, toast with almond butter
    *Wash body & moisturize face, floss & brush teeth
    *Make Bed (I wait to do this to allow the bed sheets to air out)
    9:00 a.m. – Start Morning chores – Set timers
    *Check To-Do list and calendar – Start with Top 3 for the day.

  • Robin says:

    Trying to play catch up. I have no problem getting to bed by 9:30 – 10. It’s that I fall asleep on the couch if I sit down to watch a movie or the news. Working on not doing that by working on my 5 nightly duties. My girls are old enough to get themselves up and out the door although daughter number one often asks me to do her hair and makeup…that’s what happens when mom is a makeup artist! (well, one thing I do) .

    What gets me up is smelling the coffee brewing. Can’t wait! Then I must make myself wait to check email…otherwise I’m off in the blogosphere for too long!

    • Crystal says:

      I’m a little jealous that your daughter has a makeup artist for a mom. Can you be my next door neighbor?! 😉

      And I’m totally with you on coffee being one of the best things to wake up to!

  • Cristiana says:

    I am not a morning person at all! I definitely need this! I am one of those culprits that hits snooze over and over till the last possible minutes and then sometimes waking up frantic because I overextended my snooze! The snooze button is going to be a biggie for me but it will probably help me tremendously!
    So yes, I’m pumped! I need to see what I can have to look forward to for me in the mornings now. =)

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