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The 30-Day Early to Rise Challenge Begins on Friday (grab your ebook for just $4.99!)

As I mentioned a few days ago, beginning Friday morning (March 1, 2013), I’ll be hosting an Early to Rise Challenge right here on MoneySavingMom.com.

Here’s how the Early to Rise Challenge will work:

1. I’m encouraging everyone who would like to participate to commit to a specific time they’ll be getting up every week day morning in March. You can choose whatever time is best for you, but please remember to be realistic. This is not a contest to see who can get up the earliest or who can survive on the least amount of sleep. On the contrary, this is about making the most of your mornings — whether you get up at 4 a.m. or 9 a.m.

2. Every week day in March at 9 a.m. EST, I’ll post 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.

3. Want to blog about this challenge? I’ll have a link-up at the bottom of each post if you want to blog about the challenge each day. 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.

4. Want to follow along on Twitter or Instagram? Each week day morning on my Facebook Page, my Twitter account, and my Instagram account (still getting this set up!), 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 #EarlytoRiseChallenge to see what others are tweeting and Instagramming about this challenge!

I think this public accountability is going to be fantastic! Who’s with me?

Assignment

1. If you’re joining in the challenge, please leave a comment and tell us what time you are committing to get up every weekday in March. Remember: be realistic!

2. Also, you’ll want to grab a copy of Early to Rise by Andy Traub if you haven’t already done so. He’s offering it at the discounted price of just $4.99 through Friday. You can read my review of Early to Rise here.

If you prefer to receive the daily chapters via email, you can sign up for those using the link in the book after you purchase it. In addition, Andy has recorded all of the chapters so you can listen to them, if you’re more of an audiobook person rather than a reader.

Early to Rise Challenge: Day 1 (Your Mindset Matters)

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.

Woohoo! It’s Day 1 of the Early to Rise Challenge and I am so stoked about how many of you are committed to participating in this challenge.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to stop over here and leave a comment telling us what time you are committing to get up every week day morning in March. Please remember to be realistic. This is not a contest to see who can get up the earliest or who can survive on the least amount of sleep. On the contrary, this is about making the most of your mornings — whether you get up at 4 a.m. or 9 a.m.

Also, you’ll want to grab a copy of Early to Rise by Andy Traub if you haven’t already done so. He’s offering it at the discounted price of just $4.99 through the end of the day today (March 1, 2013). You can read my review of Early to Rise here.

Your Mindset Matters

I love how Andy begins his book with challenging us to stop thinking negative thoughts. That’s the best way to set yourself up for defeat.

If you read about this challenge and started shaking your head saying, “I can’t wake up early” you’ve already gotten yourself headed in the direction of failure. If however, you commit to a realistic time to get up and then you approach it with confidence and a can-do attitude, you’re much more likely to actually follow through.

You can do it, I know you can! So believe it and then follow through with it!

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 5:31 a.m. to be exact.

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: Wake Up With a Plan for Your Day

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.

Wake Up With a Plan For Your Day

We’re skipping the weekends for this challenge because I’m all about giving yourself grace and breathing room while still challenging yourself. And also? I need to extend that same grace to myself. Which means that I typically sleep in until at least 7:30 a.m. on the weekends. Kudos to those of you who powered through and got up early the past two days, though! 🙂

Today, I’m catching up on the Early to Rise book by reading Days 2-4. There are a lot of excellent thoughts there, including making friends with Fred (your alarm clock — Andy recommends the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app. Have any of you tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.) and how you can “be selfish at 5 a.m.” since it’s not taking away from your family to do so — well, unless getting up early means you end up being a grump toward your family and everyone else the rest of the day. If that’s the case, you either need to go to bed earlier, or you need to rethink the wake-up time you committed to.

I was inspired by the Day 4 reading on how getting up early sets the tone for your whole day. I’ve certainly found this to be true! When I wake up with a plan and I execute that plan, my day goes so much better than when I sleep in late and spend the morning pretty much putting out fires and going around and around in circles.

Today’s challenge: make a plan for your mornings, if you don’t already have one. Think about three to five things you can do each morning to set your day up for success. Tell us what they are in the comments. I’ll be sharing a post tomorrow on things you can do each morning to set your day up for success.

What Time Did You Get Up This Morning?

Me? I got up at 5:33 a.m. to be exact.

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: 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!


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: 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!