Just a note for anyone whoever finds this at one point in the future at decides to start at day zero: If you’re expecting spell-checked, gramatically accurate, entertaining reading from these updates, you’ll be disappointed.
The job of this diary is simply to write, and for once, not worry too much about the words which are written.
Tomorrow I embark on a 30-day challenge which, on the base of things, is simply to wake up earlier each day.
5am, to be specific.
While the concept is simple, I aim to achieve far more than simply “waking up earlier.”
This is more a challenge of self-discipline and will quite possibly shape my entire life.
I’ve never been an early morning riser.
Though I did used to have a paper-round which would see me wake up at 5:30am to 6am each morning, I dreaded every minute. While my phone did not have a snooze button at the time, I did all I could to delay getting out of bed.
In recent years, now being self-employed and not having to wake up for a paper-round, I’ve noticed something different: I can get far more of my important tasks done in the first few hours of each day.
It’s almost at the stage where it’s pointless trying to do anything creative later in the day – which is most of what makes my ‘living’ – because the first few hours are the best to tackle anything.
While it would be nice to share many golden-nuggets of knowledge throughout this journey, it’s not my aim. In fact, I have very little aim with this website besides saying “I woke up at 5am today and here’s how I feel.”
Since there may be only very short updates after this initial blog post, written just a few hours before I go to sleep and less than 10 hours before I wake up at 5am for the first time, I will make sure there’s one here.
I view getting out of bed when my alarm goes off as an internal battle which determines the rest of my day.
If I can successfully conquer the demon which wishes me to remain under the warm, comfortable covers of my bed and place my feet on the ground without hesitation, the rest of the challenges of my day also face little hesitation.
The main things I hope to achieve with this 30-day challenge are;
– Waking up at 5am each day. This is the only challenge that truly matters. If I wake up late, I’ll be honest about it.
– No alcohol. While I do not have a problem with alcohol – I recently didn’t drink for over three months – I find that my days after a drinking are completely broken. I don’t meditate, I don’t work on anything very important and I eat awful food.
– Speaking of meditation, I hope to hit 30 days in a row on Headspace, for the second time in my life. If I successfully use Headspace tomorrow that will be 4 days in a row – I was over 20 recently but took a mini-vacation and forgot one day – so I should hit the 30 day mark on day 26.
– Fitness. This is a fairly simple one for me as I enjoy working out. I’ve always been a very skinny, tall guy (I’m 6’4”) and bulking up is something I’ve always struggled with. Today I’m a “respectable” 85Kgs (187lbs) and don’t look 10% as skinny as I did in the past.
I remember someone once joking “If the wind picks up he’ll blow away.”. That’s how skinny I’ve been in recent years.
– Most important task first. I want to wake up earlier as I get more done in the early hours of each day. It’s imperative that I spend these hours focusing on the most important task I should be doing to achieve my goals.
I’m sure there are many things I should have included in this update that haven’t quite made the cut but, again, it’s not meant to be perfect. I’m writing this primarily for myself, and I hope it makes some interesting reading (at least for me) once the challenge is over.
I also hope to see how the challenge will impact my life going forward, as I’ve always known the final hours in the day are when I’m a) most likely to drink b) mostly likely to be unproductive c) most likely to find myself wondering what to do with my time.
I know I’ll be groggy and uncomfortable when I wake up at 5am tomorrow, but I will. I’m writing this to hold myself accountable to have a public record of my journey.
I think it would be pretty pathetic if I couldn’t make it to 30 days in the eye of a casual reader so that’s some motivation for me as well.
Wherever in my journey you found this article – I may just have started or the challenge is long-finished – I hope to inspire you to try your own 30-day challenge to test your own limitations and see how you can improve your own life.
After all, we all seem to act like we’ll live forever, but one day our family and friends will receive a call which shows that simply isn’t true.
I have big goals for this life of mine, and hope this new challenge – one which many successful and inspiring people now call a habit – will help me to achieve them while I still can.
I think about you every day, Justin. If it’s possible, I know you’re reading.