I am heading to Haiti tomorrow! I thought this would be a great time to dig up some tips from the archives.
Here are a few tips that this night owl has found helpful on the road to becoming an early bird.
1. Remember that when God sees you He sees Christ’s perfect obedience.
Christ has already been perfectly obedient for us. God is not looking at you, going “Why can’t you get up earlier?” He is not disappointed when you wake up late. He is greatly glorified in our obedience, but He still uses our stumbles, too! (This is a great point to consider, especially during tough seasons like the sleeplessness of having a newborn.)
2. Focus on your evening routine first.
Trying to get up early will be killer, if you do not go to bed earlier. This is the first battle. Win it, before you try to tackle getting up super-early.
3. Set an alarm for bedtime.
My phone goes off at 9:30 every night with the caption: “Head to bed!” This is a reminder for me to start wrapping up whatever I am working on, and start getting ready for bed. If I take its heed I am in bed, lights out, by 10pm.
4. Take small, manageable steps.
My first morning goal (while I was working on my evening routine) was to get up just 15 minutes before the kids. Six months later, I was consistently up an hour and a half before them. To get there, every once in a while I backed up my time 5-15 minutes (I also took advantage of the “falling back” time change for a big jump). Change takes time!
5. Sit up as soon as your alarm goes off, put your feet on the floor, and start walking.
This really works. I am a complete zombie for that first minute, but the biggest victory is getting out of bed! I have come to realize that whether it is 5:30am or 8:30am it is just as hard to get out of bed. If I can get vertical and moving, the rest follows.
6. Tell others of your attempts to rise early to meet with the Lord.
It is much easier to give up, if no one knows what you are trying to do. Ask some trusted friends to pray on your behalf. Who knows? They may want to join in the early morning fun!
7. Manage your expectations.
There WILL be days you hit snooze. You WILL mess up a stay up way too late. The unexpected comes and takes the wind out of your sails. When this happens instead of wasting energy on feeling defeated, be thankful for the extra sleep and start over the next day. Persevere! His mercies are new EVERY morning.
8. Find verses to help you fight for the goal.
Keep them up around the house, in places that will encourage you. Make them your prayers! Here are a few favorites of mine.
9. Surround yourself with others who are striving for the same thing.
This is why I love Twitter; Twiccountability. If you are not up for tweeting, find a friend or two who are trying for the same thing. Text each other in the morning, just to say good morning! If you are on Twitter, or interested in it, you can find a Twitter tutorial here.
10. Invest in tools that will help you succeed.
The first few months I was working on getting up, my kids would wake up early, too! This was incredibly frustrating, and really defeated much of the purpose of getting up. Someone had suggested a special alarm clock to help keep my kids in bed while I was getting up. Being a bit on the frugal side, my first thought was, “no way I am going to spend $30 on a dumb clock!” But after a few more weeks of frustration, and failed attempts to keep my early riser in bed, I decided it would be a good investment. The kids were very excited about it, and I was shocked at how well it has worked! $30 well spent.
What tips for getting up early do you have to share?