Become an Early Riser even when you are busy
Would you like to learn to become an early riser? Are you a morning person? I am a morning person. Rising with the sun and go to bed with the sun is my sweet spot. Perhaps that is why I love being a farmer and following the rhythm of the sun.
However, I live a very full life. Between being a wife and mom, farming, homeschooling, working, blogging, church, and being an officer for a nonprofit group, I am stretched thin. I rise before the sun and go to bed after the sun. People often ask me how I get it all done. The truth is, I don’t. There are definitely areas in my life that I would love to improve in, like having a clean, organized house.
Accomplish Goals, Despite Barriers
When you become an early riser, you can accomplish more than before. For me, there was one major barrier. My job is teaching for VIPKID and my teaching schedule begins at 5:00-6:00 a.m. I need to earn money and these are the hours of the job. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. I love my students, but because of the time zone differences, it is a struggle. But this job is a financial blessing to our family and it allows me to work from home and still farm and homeschool my children.
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First Thing First
In order for me to start my day out right, I need to spend time in devotion to God. I have been reading excerpts from the book, The Inner Chamber by Andrew Murray. This book emphasizes the need for quiet time with the Lord first thing in the morning. It has really encouraged me to develop a discipline to become an early riser and giving my first hour in prayer and devotion to God.
I have tried to schedule a devotional time later in the day, but inevitably I get interrupted or something comes up and it doesn’t happen. For me, devotions must be first thing in the morning.
To develop this discipline, I set a timer. I spend the first 15 minutes in prayer, the next 15-30 minutes in Bible reading and reflection. I also try to spend 15 minutes writing an encouraging card or letter to someone, but I usually run out of time. I set aside extra time for that on Saturdays when I do not work for VIPKid.
Then I spend about 15-30 minutes writing. I am participating in a 500 Word a day writing challenge to further develop this writing habit. I am usually writing content for this blog. I basically just free write based on a topic I have outlined earlier. I do not worry about writing perfectly. I just get the thoughts written to edit and tweak later in the day.
I then spend 15 minutes getting ready, eating breakfast, making my husband’s lunch before I teach from 6:00-8:00 a.m. Teaching Chinese students has not only been a financial blessing to me, but it has also improved my English and writing skills. It has also helped me in teaching my own children and honestly it is fun. I have met some amazing students who I have grown to love.
After teaching, I let my chickens out, start a load of laundry, empty the dishwasher, make sure I have the ingredients for supper. Finally, I will get the children going doing chores. We feed and water calves and all the poultry. Finally, we begin homeschool usually around 9:00-9:30.
This is a perfect scenario for my mornings, but it doesn’t always happen like this. Sometimes, I struggle to rise between 4:00-4:30 a.m. and if I get up late, the whole day is a game of catch up.
Developing the discipline to become an early riser takes time and sometimes I have to give myself grace. I have learned that I tend to have an all or nothing personality and if I miss a day here or there I am very hard on myself and end up quitting. I have learned that I must give myself grace and pick up where I left off.
Here are seven tips to become an Early riser.
1. Set your alarm for five minutes earlier.
Make a gentle transition to earlier mornings. Get up 5 minutes earlier for a few days, then after a few more days set it for five minutes earlier still.
For example, let’s say you normally get up at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow set your alarm for 5:55 a.m. then 3 days later set it for 5:50 a.m. continue doing this until you are waking up at the desired time.
I personally set my alarm for five minutes earlier for a week before adjusting the alarm again.
2. Pray about it.
Perhaps that is the reason you want to get up earlier is to have morning prayer and Bible reading time. Ask the Lord to help you.
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; Psalm 63:1
3. Keep a journal or writing devotional.
I highly recommend It’s Personal. You can read more about how I use this devotional here. If used properly, it will change your devotional time with the Lord.
Having to write down the date every morning has helped me be accountable because I see the days I missed. I also read through the book of Proverbs every month and if I miss a day, I miss a Proverb and I don’t like to miss a Proverb.
4. Enjoy a cup of your favorite warm beverage.
I love coffee. Maybe a little too much, but my coffee maker wakes up my family so I drink a matcha concoction. You can find the recipe here.
5. Make a commitment or find an accountability partner.
Send an email or text to a friend with the same goal. It is amazing what being accountable to someone accomplishes.
6. Prepare as much as you can the night before.
Set out your clothes, prepare make-ahead breakfasts such as Overly Easy Overnight Oats.
7. Go to bed earlier!
Logically, going to bed earlier makes waking up earlier. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but sleep is important for both your health and mental clarity.
Forming a Habit
The goal is to make getting up earlier a habit. It becomes second nature. Establishing a routine will help form the habit. Another tip is developing a simple reward system. Perhaps buy your favorite kind of coffee or a special creamer to add to the coffee. This will give you something to look forward to early in the morning.
For me, I only make my special matcha drink if I get up at my planned time. Maybe if working out is your goal, purchase a new workout outfit. If doing your devotions is the goal, perhaps buy a pretty journal or a nice pen.
Becoming an early riser takes discipline and planning. However, getting up earlier can also help you reach your goals, whether, spiritual, physical, or financial. Incorporating the tips listed above can help you wake up earlier and reach your goals.
How about you? What time do you get up? Do you desire to wake up earlier? What goals would you like to accomplish by getting up earlier?