30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 4

4/24/2011 SU 5:27 AM Pacific Time
30 Days of 5 AM – Day 4

After a beautiful Saturday with friends in the Huntington Beach sun, taking myself to see the inspiring Limitless, and writing until 1 AM, waking at 5 AM this Sunday morning should not have been easy. Honestly, I didn’t return to consciousness despite a blaring alarm until 5:27 AM but getting up required little thought or will power. Now I find myself debating whether I should give myself more sleep to allow my toe (and now finger) more recovery time. While my body could certainly use more sleep, a good compromise instead is to not beat myself up again today. I’ll save continued acrobatics for next weekend.

Lesson Learned: Each night before bed, reflect on planned morning tasks.
The most important lesson I learned this morning that I’m going to be sure to leverage for the next 25 days is that I need a reason for waking up at 5 AM. This morning, the only support the just-go-back-to-sleep voice had was that I had nothing to do; it’s Easter Sunday and I have no plans. From here on out, each night before I go to sleep I’ll reflect on what I want to accomplish first thing in the morning. This way I can tunnel vision on my planned task when I wake up delirious each next day.

Update
4/24/2011 SU 11:46 AM Pacific Time

Without pre-planned morning goals or an out-of-bedroom or out-of-home destination, I managed to write a couple blog posts, eat breakfast and wrap my toe and finger with ice and proceeded to pass out for 4 and a half more hours. My toe and finger don’t care; time wasted and falling asleep early tonight will surely be more difficult. I’m driving the lesson home for you and myself: each night before bed, reflect on planned morning tasks; and I want to add another.

Lesson Learned: Include out-of-bedroom or out-of-home tasks in your morning plans.
As long as you’re not accustomed to falling asleep at the wheel or taking naps on park benches, this lesson learned is a good one. Minimizing effort while we establish our new good habits is definitely helpful. Don’t try to wake up at 5 AM to drink Sleepy Time Tea and meditate to sounds of white noise and running water with the sheets pulled up to your chin and your mother reading you a bed time story. Get out of bed and get out of your house; it should be as simple as that.

30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM
First: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 1
Previous: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 3
Next: 30 Days of Waking up at 5 AM – Day 5 – ?

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30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 3

4/23/2011 SA 5:07 AM Pacific Time
30 Days of 5 AM – Day 3

Last night, I was supposed to go downtown with a friend but I laid down to take a nap at 6:45 PM and never woke to my 8:15 PM alarm. As a result, I never set my 5:00 AM alarm. It’s Saturday morning and I’m laying awake in bed with my eyes closed at 5:07 AM without the aid of an alarm.

Day 1 and Day 2 were desperate struggles to stay awake requiring jumping out of bed, removing myself from the bedroom, drinking water and subjecting myself to bright light. This morning, I safely lay in bed with my eyes closed, reflecting on today and the night I missed yesterday, with little anxiety or risk of falling back asleep.

Two Main Schools of Thought
There’s two main schools of thought when it comes to when a person should sleep.

  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Go to bed and wake up whenever your body tells you to.

I’m taking a third approach that combines the two. I’m going to bed whenever my body tells me to and waking up at the same time every day (5 AM).

Progress
To be honest, I haven’t felt happy or optimistic this morning or either of the other 5 AM mornings. I remember in the past, my occasional 6 AM, 5 AM and 4 AM escapades always came with excitement. This is very likely due to extenuating circumstances and has little to do with 5 AM. On a quieter level, I am glad to finally be making honest strides towards a life-long goal: waking up at 5 AM every day; and I’m quietly excited to eventually take the next step which has been my real motivation all along.

30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM
First: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 1
Previous: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 2
Next: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 4

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30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 2

4/22/2011 FR 5:00 AM Pacific Time
30 Days of 5 AM – Day 2

I awake with the painful explosion of one of LA’s many fuzzy Spanish radio stations and am instantly overwhelmed by an epiphany about why waking up early has always been so nearly impossible for me…

Please forgive me: I’m not currently able to share the rest of this post. You can find it in my book coming out next summer. Or the one after that. In the meantime, please enjoy some of these other posts:

30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM
First: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 1
Next: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 3

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What is the best position to sleep in?

So which is the best position to sleep in? On your side, knees bent, pillow between the knees and your head resting on a single pillow. Or if you prefer, on your back with a pillow under your knees, sheets loose, and again, a single pillow for the head. (LifeHack: Pain and Posture: The Basics)

Yesterday, I made a commitment to myself to wake up every day at 5 am for thirty days. Admittedly, I’ve made this to commitment to myself before and failed (nearly a dozen times last year). What was different this morning? (Read More)

30 Days of Waking Up at 5AM – Day 1

It’s now 5:30 in the morning. I’ve eaten breakfast (2 fried eggs, oven roasted chicken, old strawberries, raw broccoli and Muscle Milk 100% Whey with almond milk). And now I’m writing this blog post while marveling at the unfamiliar variety of pains in my back, legs and feet. I can’t believe how horribly early it is.

Commitment to 5 AM
Yesterday, I made a commitment to myself to wake up every day at 5 am for thirty days. Admittedly, I’ve made this to commitment to myself before and failed (nearly a dozen times last year). What was different this morning?

How I Woke Up at 5 AM

  1. Don’t make waking up at 5 AM your primary goal; make it your only goal.
  2. Think about it, read about it and plan for it all day long.
  3. Have a committed plan for the morning.
  4. Turn up your alarm and move it across the room.
  5. When the alarm goes off:
    1. Jump out of bed.
    2. Do not hit snooze.
    3. Put on something warm.
    4. Drink water.
    5. Leave the room.
    6. Find light.

Top Three Contributors

  1. I made waking up at 5 AM my only goal this month.
  2. All day long, I visualized waking up at 5 AM and thought about why I want a 5 AM habit.
  3. After jumping out of bed, I put on something warm, drank water and left the room.

In Retrospect
Waking up at 5 AM this morning was not easy but it was easier than I thought. I spent most of breakfast arguing with the voice in my head that was telling me how good it would feel to get back in bed until 6:30, or 8:00, or…

I will maintain this effort every day for the next 30 days and will keep you posted on my progress and will report any lessons learned along the way.

Good morning!

30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM
Next: 30 Days of Waking Up at 5 AM – Day 2

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I receive commissions from purchases made at affiliates! =)

Boost Your Serotonin

From Marks Daily Apple, these 10 Quick Tips to Boost Your Serotonin:

10. Avoid the fast track to happiness.
9. CARBS – Don’t avoid carbs entirely.
8. PROTEIN – Eat protein.
7. FAT – Eat fat.
6. OMEGA 3 – Take a fish oil supplement!
5. EXERCISE – Exercise to feel good.
4. DRUGS – Avoid the stimulant cycle. – caffeine, sugar, alcohol.
3. SLEEP – Sleep right. – Get up early. Midday nap (if needed). Sleep 7-8 hours per night.
2. DRUGS (supplements) – Don’t take drugs for mood unless you’re clinically depressed!
1. Boost other hormones! – Oxytocin, remember your loved ones.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/serotonin-boosters/

Tim Ferriss’s “Muse” – Case Studies of Successful Cash-Flow Businesses

I am inspired by this post from The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Engineering a “Muse” – Volume 3: Case Studies of Successful Cash-Flow Businesses
Written by Tim Ferriss

One common challenge for readers of The 4-Hour Workweek is the creation of a “muse”: a low-maintenance business that generates significant income. Such a muse is leveraged to finance your ideal lifestyle, which we calculate precisely based on Target Monthly Income (TMI).

I’ve received hundreds of successful case studies via e-mail, and more than 1,000 new businesses were created during a recent Shopify competition, but I’ve presented only a handful of them.

In this installment, I’ll showcase three diverse muses, including lessons learned, what worked, and what didn’t. Income ranges from $2,500 – $25,000 per month…

Read More

The Invitation – Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

http://www.inspirationpeak.com/poetry/theinvitation.html