Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How To Be One of Those Early Risers

I never thought I'd be the type of person to wake up earlier than absolutely necessary to work out before work. I also never thought I'd be the type of person to start a blog and stick it out for over 30 posts without really knowing if anyone is reading. This is really good news, because I usually have a hard time sticking to the tasks with extrinsic motivations or that I just don't feel like doing.

Three weeks ago a construction project started on my considerably minute highway commute to work that would route me, and a ton of other commuters, onto a bumpy two lane road. Dreading this change, I vowed to start getting to work on time, 7:30-8am, as opposed to my typical 8-8:30am arrival.

I started by setting my alarm for 6am that week. Monday my alarm went off and I went back to sleep until 7am, just to jump out of bed and rush out the door to beat the traffic. Tuesday ended up being a repeat of the day before. Wednesday I tried something a little bit different. I still didn't get out of bed at my 6am alarm, but I did force myself to stay awake in bed. I did the same thing Thursday, and I think by Friday I may have gotten out of bed as early as 6:30am. Through the weekend I "slept in" till I naturally woke up around 8am or so.

I was feeling pretty accomplished by getting up by 6:30am or so a few days in a row, so I had a crazy thought. What if I use the extra time to do something useful? What if I use the extra time to accomplish something?? What a novel idea. So anyway, all that week (week two) I woke up at 6am, got out of bed a little after, worked out till about 6:40 or so, and STILL got into the shower earlier than I had in months.

In two weeks I was a before-work-worker-outer. Outrageous. I still can't believe it. Honestly.

So what I want to pass onto you is this:

A) It took me about a week to become an early riser - I'm already kind of a morning person, so it might take you longer if you're not. I am also lazy as hell, so if you're not a slob, at least you have that going for you.

B) I have been putting myself into a lot of very specific categories for a long time, and now I'm sure I have been limiting myself. By saying "I'm not that kind of person" I ended up in a position where I had never even tried to be that kind of person. I am that kind of person. I'm all the kinds of persons.

C) By learning about how I am (generally slow to start) I figured out how to better handle a challenge. I have worked out, largely through writing in this blog, that I need baby steps to accomplish things I don't necessarily want to do. What kinds of things do you do to adopt a new habit?


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