If you missed the previous two posts in this series and want to read them in order, first read The 30-Day Challenge: Waking Up At 6 AM. Next read The 30-Day Challenge: (Week 1-2). Then come back here.
The Challenge officially concluded yesterday!
Throughout the 30-day journey, my mind played tug of war with my body over waking up or sleeping longer. However, each day I woke up at 6am, I accomplished more and felt better doing it.
Before we get to the recap, I’ll summarize the second half.
The Second Half
Since I failed to wake up at 6am three times in the first two weeks, and each miss occurred on weekend days, correcting this weakness became my number one priority. I wanted to make sure Saturday and Sunday were mine!
So, for the next two weekends in the second half of The Challenge, I decided to work out on Friday and Saturday night with my lifting partner. I did this to protect myself from staying up too late and missing the 6am alarm.
Also, I picked up a powerful insight in the first half that I used the rest of The Challenge: To wake up early on the weekends, I needed to focus on staying motivated.
In the past I became satisfied with my effort Monday through Friday and figured since I did what I was supposed to, that’s good enough. This previous attitude killed my internal drive on Saturday and Sunday. I made sure this story didn’t repeat in the second half.
Lastly, I reminded myself that I wasn’t waking up early for the sake of doing it, but to accomplish my long-term goals. This perspective changed my view of waking up from an annoying task, to a helping hand pushing me to success.
My strategic planning and the tweaks mentioned above worked exactly as I designed it to correct the weekend struggle.
This time I woke up at 6am and powered through the morning to the afternoon. I usually napped for 30-minutes around 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Then I had energy the rest of the evening.
You’ll see that I made progress in waking up at 6am compared to the first two weeks (where I went 11 for 14).
For the official second half result, I woke up exactly at 6am in 15 out of 16 mornings (94%).
This makes for a total result of 26 out of 30 (87%).
Recap: What I Learned & Gained
The perfectionist in me is pissed off about missing my target of going 30 for 30, but I didn’t do this challenge to be perfect. I did this challenge to improve my productivity, compete against myself, and make progress, which I did. This experience taught me many lessons, too.
If you started The Challenge after me and are still going, or simply want tips, here are the strategies that work to hit your morning wake up goal:
- Work out during the day to help you fall asleep quicker
- Work out no later than two hours before bed
- Don’t eat too close to your bed time
- Put away electronic devices before you sleep
- Open your shades at night so the morning sunlight helps you get up
- Go to sleep earlier
- Set a deal with yourself to take a nap during the day if you need one
- Remind yourself why you’re waking up early in the first place: for productivity to accomplish your goals
While I learned these lessons, I also gained important results. I wrote my scheduled blog post goals, created a few guest posts, and networked with other bloggers.
More importantly, do you remember how I said I corrected my weekend struggles? Because I woke up at 6am on Saturday and Sunday, I had extra time. And I made the most of it.
So, get ready for your breaking news of the day….I’m starting a new venture!
I began the research phase last weekend and I’m extremely excited about it. I wish I could tell you more at this moment, but I promise you’ll see it in the fall!
Now, let’s refocus on The Challenge.
Although The 30-Day Challenge is over, I am convinced I would be foolish to give up the 6am mornings that empowered me to more productivity (and a new venture)!
Currently my weekend wake up times are up for debate, since I value the flexibility if I go out on Friday or Saturday night.
But, I look forward to voluntarily waking up at 6am tomorrow and every weekday morning indefinitely. And no challenge or social pressure is influencing the move this time. I honestly want to.
It’s not crazy if it works, right?
Readers, did you enjoy reading (or participating) in this 30-day challenge? If you did participate, I would love to see your comments about what you discovered during the process.
Also, would you all want me to do another 30-day challenge with a different topic? If so, what challenges do you suggest?