The Morning Challenge

I have never been a “morning person”.  Waking up has always been a challenge for me, and going to bed on time even more difficult.  Also, my mom says that ever since I was a baby, I never needed much sleep (and when I was a toddler, I stubbornly refused naps).  I’m one of those people that can frequently get away with little sleep and no side-effects.  I just don’t seem to “need” the average amount of sleep, and seem to fear that I will miss something while I am asleep, haha!  Of course, that doesn’t mean I should go entirely without!  We all need a decent amount of sleep (varying on our individual sleep needs- some people need only 7 hours, some need 8 or 9), and we all ought to rise in the morning not dreading the day but ready and rejuvenized.  This is why I am issuing the morning challenge. 🙂

It may vary what time you have to get up- some people have early shifts, some have to rise early enough to be prepared for a school day, and others have different shifts or priorities that cause their schedule to vary.  Regardless of your own schedule requirements, the morning challenge is this: rise earlier than you normally would.  Every day.  You might rise a half-hour early, or maybe an hour or two early.  Figure out what works best for you, and stick with it.  If you are like me, you probably underestimate how much time you should give yourself to become fully awake, so keep that in consideration. 

 

I tend to desire to be exacting about being on time, but am not always organized or mindful in regards to time.  To compensate for this, I set my clocks ahead somewhat to make sure that I won’t be late in the mornings.  Maybe, like me, you’re not big on breakfast, or arise like a zombie arising from the dead.  This is not the best way to start off a day.  Rather than rushing around every morning, wouldn’t it be nice to start the day off with prayer, reflection, devotionals, and waking up gradually?  What about stopping to smell the flowers blooming outside, to hear the birds singing with the rising of the sun, and what about having enough time in the morning to pause at work to hang up your coat before clocking in?

If you agree to join the morning challenge, you must prayerfully attempt to rise at least a half-hour earlier than you typically would.  This will take more than just setting your alarm clock a little earlier (or clocks,  if it takes more than one to wake you up).  It will also take going to bed early enough that you can rise early, and preparing things ahead of time for your day if necessary.  It will require mindfulness: you can’t participate in a challenge like this without considering the consequences.  If you have an exam the next day during part of the challenge, don’t stay up until 2am trying to study!  Get up several hours early the next morning and study then!  Be purposeful in the challenge and discover the results of making the most of the mornings.

You could spend the extra time in the morning having a healthy breakfast, exercising, reading the Bible, catching up on the news, writing a letter, doing a devotional, praying, making a sketch, writing, singing, practicing an instrument, or making use of the time in other ways that are profitable and positive.  The challenge can help you to learn to wake up gradually, and welcome the rising sun with reflections on God’s word in your heart, and a smile on your face.

Try this for one month, then write what happens as a result.  🙂  If you like, you can comment on this post to say that you will be participating in the challenge, and your thoughts on the challenge as you progress.

Tips:

– Shut everything off an hour previous to going to bed.  I read this tip somewhere, and it works great!  Turn off the computer, the TV, distractions, and so on, and start preparing for tommorow an hour ahead of bedtime.  During that hour, you can take a shower, prepare an outfit, read a book to help you fall asleep, or set your alarm clock.

– Don’t rely on caffeine to help you get through your day.  Coffee can be great when you are truly in need of it, but considering its power lightly is a mistake.  Don’t make the mistake of becoming addicted!

– Look up and read verses in the Bible about rising early to give you encouragement to continue to participate in the challenge.

– If you have trouble with insomnia, use your lack of sleep for an abundance of prayer. Fall asleep communicating with Christ rather than counting sheep, and you may begin to find sleep coming more easily to you, with effort.

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