You’re not going to want to hear this, but you need to get up earlier. I know its seems impossible when so many things beg for our attention; the house is dirty, laundry isn’t done, kids are screaming, work is looming….it can all be too much. If there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is, how am I supposed to have the energy to be an early riser? I certainly wasn’t convinced, until I started seeing the life-changing magic of pouring into yourself in order to pour out to others. (*Please do not try to do this if you have a tiny baby who still needs all your attention in order to survive or if you are working crazy shifts that require special sleep schedules. You guys need your sleep and are off the hook.)
I first got the idea when reading “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis (get your copy here and you can thank me later). She talks about getting up at 5 AM to have a single hour of quiet in her home (with 4 children) to work on her goals. Who wouldn’t want an hour of quiet? All the mommas raise your hands! And I will be honest when I said to myself “that sounds great, but I’m not a morning person. I simply can’t get up that early.” That was my excuse. But then there was this little voice that said “what if I just tried it a little bit at a time?” A wise woman once said “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
So I buckled up started in 15 minute increments. I used to get up around 6:15 AM anyway, what was 15 minutes earlier, right? Then the next week it was another 15 minutes earlier until I got all the way to 5 AM. Granted, I may hit the snooze every now and again, but I still get my quiet hour in to work on whatever I want. This is my hour, for me and only me. No laundry begging to get folded, no dishes that need to be washed, no noses needing to be wiped. Just me doing what I want to do. And the crazy thing is, the more time I spend doing the things I love, the more present and happy I am for my family.
What you do with your hour is your choice but I believe it should be something that brings you joy, even if nobody else understands it. They don’t have to get it; it’s your dream and not theirs. Maybe this is your opportunity to work out, maybe you like to sew, start writing that book, do interpretive dance, or just possibly, you’re sitting at your kitchen table at 6 AM hunched over a laptop and raving to anyone who will listen that their dreams are valid and worth chasing.
Pick your one big goal that you can complete this year and go ALL-IN, even if it takes a million baby steps to get to that finish line. We are less likely to achieve the 18 things we would like to see happen when we are dividing our time 18 different ways. PIck one for right now (hold on the others for later!) and put your focus into that one thing until it’s done. My most recent big goal was running a 5K race. It was too dark and cold to run that early in the morning, so I would use my hour to to get my house work done and then my afternoons were free to go for a run when I got home. I prioritized my to-do list in order to achieve my goal without sacrificing my other responsibilities.
So figure out that thing that keeps popping back in your mind that won’t leave you alone and just start. Does it suck to get up in the dark every morning when everyone else is snug in their beds, yeah, sometimes. But if you get to bed at a decent hour to get enough sleep, you can get up a little earlier and eventually it just becomes habit. Now I don’t even think about it, it’s just who I am. The girl who gets up early to work on her dreams. So stop with the excuses and take 1 single solitary hour just for you in the 24 we all get in a day. Your dreams are worth it and they waiting for you to step up to the plate. Trust me when I say this is time well spent. Now let’s watch that sunrise and get to work!