OK, that’s a pretty large image. I wasn’t even sure an animated GIF would even work there. But it did. So here we are. … Hehe. *cough* Anyway.

A few days ago I woke up quite early. Not something I do without a pretty solid reason, generally. Like catching a plane. Or hitting a work deadline (since I far prefer to go in early over staying late.) Or a new game release. Although that last one has lost its sway with me over the years. I’m gettin’ old(er). Time to leave those early releases to the young whippersnappers. … Although I’ll happily stay up to 3:00 or even 4:00 am. Get up at those times though? Or even 5:00 am? No thank-you.

If you gathered from this I’m a bit of a night-owl by nature, you’d be right. I wasn’t always this way though. I used to drive my parents absolutely batty with my inclination to be up at the crack of dawn. And I don’t just mean as a baby. It lasted a little longer than that.

Somewhere in my teens I think I lost that, electing to stay up late over getting up early whenever there was a choice in the matter. Like… I could clock up some pretty impressive hours in bed as a teen. Sure many of them would be awake and reading, but still.

Now I find myself somewhere in the middle. I head to bed at a somewhat reasonable (I think) 11:00 pm. Well, that’s the goal at least. I don’t always hit it, particularly in the weekends. But come morning whether I have to be up or not there comes a time when I just feel like the day is wasting away without me if I’m not up. Somewhere around 9am at most, 9:30 if I had a particularly late night.

Why Am I Telling You All This?

Well…

After that last post, and the comments from Isey I thought I might challenge myself to try adapt to an early morning routine. Look at almost any ‘THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO THAT YOU SHOULD DO TOO!’ type list, and you’ll inevitably find ‘Get up STUPID EARLY’ somewhere on it. Today was Day 1 of this challenge to myself. And as the title suggests — it was an abysmal failure.

I just couldn’t do it. My alarm routine has formed something of a bad habit. It runs something like this:

  • Set alarm for some highly aspirational time (while still balancing against not being murdered by my wife) — around 6am is safe for this. 6:30am if it’s a day off for her.
  • Groan when it goes off — set for a later time. Maybe 6:50-7:00.
  • Groan when it goes off. Sometimes sacrifice getting ready time for another manual snooze. Sometimes roll out of bed.
  • Once rolled out of bed (grudgingly, very grudgingly) trundle to the kitchen to make coffee if I haven’t sacrificed getting ready time. If I did, first coffee of the day becomes the number one priority upon arrival at work.

And that was my pattern for this morning too, despite all the best intentions upon going to bed.

It’s funny too — you’d think I might just try set the alarm for the actual wake up time of 7:00ish. But no. That doesn’t work for me. There is actually some psychological need I’ve crafted in myself to hear an alarm, then take another 30-40 minutes. Those extra minutes if I consciously know about them are incredibly important. But if I just sleep through them… then that first alarm is still quite a barrier.

Looking at things honestly for tomorrow — I think it’s going to be the same. I mean… I’m still writing this line, this very one, at seven minutes to midnight. And I had a V earlier. Silly decision? Silly decision. But… There was a new flavour. And I had to try! HAD TO.

…Well perhaps not. But I did.

So here we are… *twiddles thumbs*

…So yeah…I probably won’t be getting up early tomorrow, either.

I sort of know what I need to do. There is a setting of expectations the night before, reinforcing with myself that I’ll roll out of bed no hesitation at the sound of the alarm in the morning. Then beyond that there is the actual execution of it. Recognising that beyond any shadow of a doubt getting up early and at first alarm is going to suck. But doing it anyway.

I’m not prepared to give up too much of my evening in trade for additional time in the morning. But Isey says his typical bed time is still between 10-11pm, so I’m hopeful this is a place I can get to.

There was a period in the past where I did it regularly for the purpose of writing. I managed to form the habit, but then a change in life meant a change in a few other aspects of the schedule and it all fell apart. While I’d made a habit of it, the natural cadence of my circadian rhythm hadn’t changed it seemed, so I returned to my ‘natural’ state of late to bed, late to rise.

Day 1 was a bust. Day 2 probably will be also. Day 3? I guess we’ll see!