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Tag Archive: Early to Rise Challenge

Early to Rise Challenge: Find the Artist in You

Welcome to the Early to Rise Challenge! Throughout the month of March, I’m challenging myself and my readers to make the most of their mornings. So every week day morning at 9 a.m. EST, I’m posting a short Early to Rise post. I’ll share a few of my thoughts on the day’s passage from Early to Rise, tell you what time I got up that morning, and encourage you to leave a comment to tell us what time you got up and how you’re doing on the challenge.

Find the Artist in You

Okay, so I have to be completely honest here: I’m not sure of the correlation between rising early and creating and “shipping” something that Andy makes in the Day 8 reading from the Early to Rise book. And I would have loved for him to unpack that a little more in what he wrote.

But regardless, I’m a big fan of creating art and shipping things. That is, I think everyone should be creating in some form or fashion. But our creations shouldn’t be kept behind closed doors; we need to “ship it” by sharing our art with the world.

And just about now, you might be thinking, “But I’m not an artist!” Well, if you’re talking about the paints and canvas sort of artist, than neither am I.

However, all of us have art in us: whether it’s decorating rooms, baking cakes, brainstorming marketing ideas, writing, speaking, singing, photographing… we all are artists in one form or another. And for us to keep those gifts hidden not only stifles our creativity, but it hinders us from many opportunities to bless others.

Yes, it’s work to make art and put it out there. You’re going to probably experience set backs and criticism along the way. But if you just keep doing it, I promise that you’ll find so much fulfillment in the process!

What kind of artist are you? I want you to dig down deep — if need be — and comment and tell us where your art gift lies. You have one. And if you don’t think you do, I want you to text or call some people close to you today and ask them to help you figure out what kind of artist you are.

Secondly, I want you to tell me one small thing you are going to do to make art in the next two weeks. It can be as simple as saying you are going to photograph something or someone and frame it. Or you’re going to sing for some small event. Or you’re going to write and submit an article on a certain subject to a certain publication. Or you’re going to make a throw pillow for your living room.

Don’t keep your gifts hidden! Bless the world with them — and you’ll be blessed and inspired in return!

In case you wonder what “art project” I’ve got up my sleeve: I’m working on creating five well-structured and inspiring presentations that I’ll be giving at two different conferences over the next two weeks. As I’m learning from much more experienced speakers, writing a presentation and delivering it is a craft. Viewing it as such has totally changed my perspective on public speaking — and fired me up with new passion to work on polishing and honing that craft!

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 6:19 a.m. this morning — without an alarm clock!

What time did you get up? Leave a comment and let us know!

Join in the Chatter!

Want to blog about this challenge? If you’re blogging through this challenge with me, be sure to leave your link to your direct post for today below. Plus, if you’d like to post your daily posts to the Early to Rise Group Board on my Pinterest page, just shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail dot com) and I’ll invite you.

Want to follow along on Twitter or Instagram? Each week day morning on my Facebook Page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account, I’ll be posting a picture of my alarm clock as public accountability. I’d love to have you do the same or join in the discussion on Twitter and Instagram. Just follow hashtag #EarlytoRise to see what others are tweeting and Instagramming about this challenge!


Early to Rise Challenge: Change Your Life By Taking One Small Step at a Time

Welcome to the Early to Rise Challenge! Throughout the month of March, I’m challenging myself and my readers to make the most of their mornings. So every week day morning at 9 a.m. EST, I’m posting a short Early to Rise post. I’ll share a few of my thoughts on the day’s passage from Early to Rise, tell you what time I got up that morning, and encourage you to leave a comment to tell us what time you got up and how you’re doing on the challenge.

Change Your Life By Taking One Small Step at a Time

Day 7 in the Early to Rise book encourages us to focus on the little wins that add up to big change over time.

It’s so easy to want to overhaul our lives overnight. But you know what usually happens when we try that? We crash and burn within a few days.

Slow and easy. Step by step. Little by little. That’s what usually ends up making the biggest difference.

It’s those seemingly little, daily decisions that add up to a life changed. It might not seem like much, but those choices you make to exercise (or not), to eat healthfully (or not), to invest a little every day in that relationship (or not), to work for 15 minutes every day on that project (or not)… all of these little things add up.

To win in life you need to make winning choices on a daily basis. Don’t discount the “small things”. They truly do matter.

Tip: Andy recommends the Lift app to set goals or pick habits and then track your progress. Have any of you used it?

What about you? What small choice are you going to make today that is going to make a little impact in your life for the future?

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 5:31 a.m. And no I don’t sleep in the kitchen — it’s just the first place I go after waking up. It’s where I read my Bible, pray, and drink my morning coffee! 🙂

What time did you get up? Leave a comment and let us know!

Join in the Chatter!

Want to blog about this challenge? If you’re blogging through this challenge with me, be sure to leave your link to your direct post for today below. Plus, if you’d like to post your daily posts to the Early to Rise Group Board on my Pinterest page, just shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail dot com) and I’ll invite you.

Want to follow along on Twitter or Instagram? Each week day morning on my Facebook Page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account, I’ll be posting a picture of my alarm clock as public accountability. I’d love to have you do the same or join in the discussion on Twitter and Instagram. Just follow hashtag #EarlytoRise to see what others are tweeting and Instagramming about this challenge!

11 Things to Do Tonight to Set You Up for Success Tomorrow

Things you can do each night to set your next day up for success! SO simple and helpful!

Last night, I shared a post with 15 Things You Can Do Each Morning to Set Your Day Up for Success. I thought it’d be fun to follow that post up with 11 things you can do tonight to set you up for success tomorrow:

1. Make a List for Tomorrow

Take a few moments before bed to look at the calendar for tomorrow and map out a simple plan and to-do list. This will help you wake up with ambition, intention, and motivation.

2. Cross Three Things Off Your List

After you make a to-do list, take a minute and challenge yourself to immediately cross three things off of it. By doing this, you’ll carefully consider everything on your list and weed out those things that aren’t really a priority.

3. Do a Quick Tidy & Pick Up

Take 5 to 15 minutes before bed to quickly pick up and put away things that are out of place in the main living areas of your home.

4. Shine Your Kitchen Sink

I love FlyLady’s advice to go to bed with a shiny sink. It’s such a wonderful thing to be greeted with a clean kitchen in the morning.

5. Take Your Vitamins

I’ve become a big fan of taking my vitamins before bed. When I make it part of my evening routine, I seem much more apt to remember to take them regularly — and I feel better the next day, too!

6. Get the Coffee Pot Ready

I don’t use a coffee pot (I love my French Press!), but for those who do, this can be a wonderful thing to wake up to!

7. Lay Out Your Clothes

Save yourself some time and effort in the morning by picking out your outfit for tomorrow. And don’t forget to dress for the day you want to have!

8. Start Winding Down Early

If you plan to go to bed at 10 p.m., don’t wait until 9:45 p.m. to start thinking about bedtime. Turn off the TV, turn the lights down, and start prepping for your bedtime at least 30 minutes to an hour before it’s supposed to happen.

9. Think of Three Highlights From Your Day

I don’t know about you, but I have a terrible tendency to spend time in the evening feeling badly about things that happened (or didn’t happen) during the day. I can’t change the past, though, so this helps nothing.

If you need to ask forgiveness or work through something, do it, and then make yourself focus on the positive aspects of the day — the blessings, the surprises, the highlights, the good things.

10. Fill Your Soul & Mind With Something Encouraging

Turn on some relaxing music or read a good book before bed. Choose things that will calm and soothe your soul, not make you feel antsy or anxious.

11. Go to Bed Early

And finally, just go to bed. As early as you possibly can. Take it from me: unless you’re staying up with a sick child or for some other very important reason, it’s usually pointless to burn the midnight oil.

Do yourself a favor and get to bed early if at all possible. That’s one of the best ways to set yourself up for a successful morning.

What are your best nighttime tips and tricks for setting yourself up for success the next day?

Make-Over-Your-Evenings_300x250

Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? It all starts the night before! Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Evenings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you maximize your evenings in order to experience more success in your life, more order in your home, and more joy in your soul.

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Early to Rise Challenge: Adjust Your Attitude

Welcome to the Early to Rise Challenge! Throughout the month of March, I’m challenging myself and my readers to make the most of their mornings. So every week day morning at 9 a.m. EST, I’m posting a short Early to Rise post. I’ll share a few of my thoughts on the day’s passage from Early to Rise, tell you what time I got up that morning, and encourage you to leave a comment to tell us what time you got up and how you’re doing on the challenge.

Adjust Your Attitude

Day 6 in the Early to Rise book is about adjusting your attitude. Andy talks about how he was feeling frustrated by his children waking up 15 minutes after he did.

Once he stopped viewing them as interruptions and started realizing this extra time with them was a gift, it changed his mindset completely. I love this — and think that this can be applied to many areas of our lives.

Remember how I encouraged you yesterday to expect interruptions? I said that because it’s something that has really changed how I approach life.

I used to get flustered when I was flying somewhere and there would be delays and cancellations. Six months ago, I decided to change my attitude. Now I expect that every time I travel, there will be unplanned-for delays.

When there are, I’ve already anticipated it, so it doesn’t throw me off course. When there aren’t, I feel like I’ve been given a gift. Either way, my attitude can stay positive and calm because I’ve planned on there being interruptions.

The same is true in my day-to-day life. I’ve started approaching my day expecting the unexpected. Expecting that someone is going to spill things, expecting that there are going to be delays and hang-ups to projects I’m working on, expecting that one or all of my children are going to need extra snuggling time or need correction for misbehaving… and on and on.

This is not because I’m being a Negative Nelly. This is because I’m being Realistic Ruth.

Life happens. Days are never perfect. And if I head into my day expecting it to be perfect, I’m going to be sorely disappointed and irritated when it’s not.

But when things go better than I expected, it feels like I’ve been given a wonderful gift. And I’m genuinely thankful about it. Because the day was better than I expected. 🙂

What about you? What areas of your life are constantly frustrating you? Maybe it’s that your child is constantly waking up before you expected them to, or the dryer that notoriously stops working every few days, or your co-worker who is always late. Can I challenge you to change your attitude about this interruption or frustration? Starting today, expect that it’s going to happen, roll with the punches when it does, and be profoundly grateful when it doesn’t.

Oh and if there’s something else you can do to fix the situation or prevent it from happening so often, do it. Sometimes, it’s not just our attitude that needs to change. Maybe we really and truly just need to buy a new dryer or something. 🙂

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 5:38 a.m.

What time did you get up? Leave a comment and let us know!

Join in the Chatter!

Want to blog about this challenge? If you’re blogging through this challenge with me, be sure to leave your link to your direct post for today below. Plus, if you’d like to post your daily posts to the Early to Rise Group Board on my Pinterest page, just shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail dot com) and I’ll invite you.

Want to follow along on Twitter or Instagram? Each week day morning on my Facebook Page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account, I’ll be posting a picture of my alarm clock as public accountability. I’d love to have you do the same or join in the discussion on Twitter and Instagram. Just follow hashtag #EarlytoRise to see what others are tweeting and Instagramming about this challenge!


15 Things You Can Do Each Morning to Make Your Day More Successful

We’re talking a lot about getting up early here on MoneySavingMom.com this month. And it’s not necessarily because I think it’s cool or fun to get up before the sun.

Quite the contrary! In fact, as I confessed this morning, I often come up with excuses for staying in bed longer.

The real reason I want to encourage you to become more of an early riser is because I want you to reap the fruit that comes from starting your day off on the right foot. By getting out of bed and approaching your day with energy, enthusiasm, and a plan, you’re setting yourself up for success from the get-go. And a successful life happens by stringing together successful day after successful day.

Truly, how you approach your day when you get up each morning can have an affect on not just your entire day — but your entire life. That’s powerful!

So, with this in mind, here are 15 things you can do each morning to set your day up for success (you don’t have to do all of them every morning — but pick a few and do them consistently and see if they make a difference!:

1. Make Your Bed.

It’s a little thing, but making your bed not only makes you feel accomplished as soon as you get out of your bed, it also makes it harder to get back in your bed.

2. Pray/Read the Bible.

My favorite time of day is my early morning quiet time when I read a few chapters from the Bible and pray.

3. Count Your Blessings.

I also take a few moments every morning to write down a few things I’m thankful for in my Gratitude Journal. It’s amazing how focusing on my blessings gives me renewed energy and excitement for the day.

4. Breathe & Spend a Few Moments in Quiet.

You need margin. Every single day. Take time to be still and quiet… don’t just wake up and rush right into your long to do list without so much as taking a breath!

5. Read a Chapter From a Good Book.

I love to read a short chapter or two from a good book every morning. Not only does this help me guarantee that I fit in a little reading every day, but it gives me some inspiring thoughts to consider as I go about my morning.

6. Exercise.

Even if you only have time to do some stretches, sit-ups, and jumping jacks, do something every day to get your heart pumping. If possible spend 10-30 minutes exercising each morning. I promise you’ll feel better!

7. Shower & Get Dressed For The Day You Want To Have.

I’m not sure where I first heard of the concept of dressing for the day you want to have, but I love it — and it’s something I need to work on implementing more.

8. Make a Plan.

Write down at least three to five things you plan to accomplish today. Even if you don’t get them all done, the very act of writing down your plan will give you more momentum for your day.

9. Turn On Some Music.

Good music always improves my mood and energy for the day.

10. Hydrate.

Do yourself a favor and start your day off by hydrating… and then keep hydrating throughout the day. You’ll feel so much better!

11. Eat a Healthy Breakfast.

Don’t skip breakfast! Even if you just eat some yogurt and fruit, get something healthful in your stomach soon after you wake up.

12. Smile.

Need I say more? A smile is one of the best gifts you can give others — and yourself!

13. Do Something For Someone Else.

Speaking of giving, beginning your day with outstretched arms is a surefire way to kickstart a great day.

14. Sing.

Need to boost your spirits? Try singing. It never fails to lift one’s mood.

15. Tackle the Hardest Thing First.

Instead of spending all day avoiding those one or two things that you dread the most, just get ’em done first thing so you can enjoy the rest of your day.

Bonus idea: Expect the Unexpected

Always expect interruptions and delays in your day. This is not being negative; this is being realistic. Then, if they don’t happen as often as you thought they would, you’ve been given the gift of more time and less frustration!

Bonus idea: Give Yourself Grace

Your day won’t go exactly as planned. You will make mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up or wallow in guilt. Heap on the grace and remember that tomorrow is a new day!

Related: Check out Ann Voskamp’s amazing Sanity Manifesto.

What do you do each morning to set yourself up for success?

make-over-your-mornings-504

Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of my brand-new online course, Make Over Your Mornings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.

If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.

photo credit

Early to Rise Challenge: It’s Not Always Easy (and am I the only one who thinks drinking coffee black is crazy??)

Welcome to the Early to Rise Challenge! Throughout the month of March, I’m challenging myself and my readers to make the most of their mornings. So every week day morning at 9 a.m. EST, I’m posting a short Early to Rise post. I’ll share a few of my thoughts on the day’s passage from Early to Rise, tell you what time I got up that morning, and encourage you to leave a comment to tell us what time you got up and how you’re doing on the challenge.

It’s Not Always Easy

I thought it was only fitting that the Day 5 reading from the Early to Rise book was about how this Early to Rise thing is going to be a challenge some mornings. Because that definitely happened this morning.

I almost got up at 5 a.m. when my alarm clock went off. But I made some excuses about being tired (even though I went to bed early) and I crawled back into bed to “sleep for 30 more minutes” not realizing that the second alarm was set for 6 a.m. instead of 5:30 a.m. That one little decision set me back by an hour this morning.

However, I’m not going to spend time beating myself up over the decision. I’m charging ahead with my day choosing to have a good attitude. After all, 6 a.m. isn’t “late” and I still had some great quiet this morning before everyone woke up.

But I am going to remind myself of the hour I “lost” this morning the next morning I try to convince myself it’s okay to crawl back into bed for a little while. If I am truly tired, then I need more sleep. But most mornings, I just need to get up and get moving!

Curious minds want to know: Andy suggests drinking your coffee black. Really? Are you kidding me? Why deprive yourself of the goodness of milk/cream and sugar — the things that make coffee so amazingly delicious? 🙂

So, if it’s not apparent, I won’t be jumping on the black coffee bandwagon. But I have to ask: am I the only one who thinks it’s crazy to drink coffee black? I just can’t understand people who do that! {I’m totally jesting around here — in case you didn’t read that into what I wrote — but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!}

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 6:00 a.m. to be exact. But my phone was dead, so I had to charge it before I could take a picture of the clock. Lame excuse, I know, but it’s true. 🙂

What time did you get up? Leave a comment and let us know!

Join in the Chatter!

Want to blog about this challenge? If you’re blogging through this challenge with me, be sure to leave your link to your direct post for today below. Plus, if you’d like to post your daily posts to the Early to Rise Group Board on my Pinterest page, just shoot me an email (moneysavingmom @ gmail dot com) and I’ll invite you.

Want to follow along on Twitter or Instagram? Each week day morning on my Facebook Page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account, I’ll be posting a picture of my alarm clock as public accountability. I’d love to have you do the same or join in the discussion on Twitter and Instagram. Just follow hashtag #EarlytoRise to see what others are tweeting and Instagramming about this challenge!