This is a halftime recap after 14 days of The 30-Day Challenge: Waking Up At 6 AM. I’ll detail how the first two weeks went, my takeaways, and my adjustments going forward.
I felt incredible after waking up at 6am the first three days. The newfound energy from the challenge served as a big reason why. Also, I saw the fruits of waking earlier as I was a productive-machine in the morning.
In my new 6am schedule, I regularly accomplished reading, writing new blog content, going through my emails, and contacting other bloggers to guest post—all before 6:45am. Then I had time to do my normal routine (shower, get dressed, and make breakfast). Plus, I felt great the whole morning and rest of the day. This is a big difference compared to pre-Challenge mornings, where I rushed to only shower, get dressed, and make breakfast.
The earlier wakeup also improved my productivity at night. The work I did in the morning gave me momentum to finish a blog post, and more time to workout later in the day.
Statistically, I started strong and woke up perfectly on time the first five days. Then a former housemate in college had his wedding on the first weekend of The Challenge. Because of late nights, I failed to get up at 6am both Saturday and Sunday. And to be honest, I felt I could afford to sleep in because of how much I accomplished during the week.
In week two, nothing as notable happened. I missed the 6am alarm one time on Friday (it was my first paid day off of work for 4th of July). This time I also fell into the trap of feeling content because I was ahead of schedule. I’ll come back to this in the takeaways section. Overall, I improved in week two by hitting my 6am target in six out of the seven days.
For the official halftime-result, I woke up exactly at 6am in 11 out of 14 mornings (79%).
6 AM Challenge Takeaways
The first takeaway, and probably the most important, is waking up at 6am works exactly as I planned. It’s quiet, I’m refreshed, and it’s a breeze going through my tasks. Plus, the productivity in the morning carries over to more productivity later in the day. That’s a big win.
Also, when I missed my three targets on the weekend, my body still woke up hours earlier than it used to, which is a success. For example, I slept in until 8am one day. I unfortunately missed my target by two hours, but 8am is much better than 11am.
But the problem is, since I felt accomplished about my effort during the week, my mental edge wears off on the weekends. All three times when I overslept occurred during the weekend. Plus, I went to bed late every night I missed the 6am target.
So, to maximize the benefits of rising early, I need to correct this weekend struggle.
Adjustments Going Forward
I identified my weekend-weakness, and now I want to learn from those three morning mistakes to improve. My adjustment plan is to mentally reinforce the following truths.
First, I will tell myself that when I go to bed sets the tone for my morning. My friend’s wedding is an exception, but on other nights I will remember the pain of waking up at 6am if I go to bed at 2am. Another move is for me to take a nap during the day if I know I’m going to stay out late.
Second, I need to counter my feeling of contentment that I’ve already accomplished a significant amount during the week. To do this, I will remind myself that I need to be prepared for unexpected busy seasons or unmotivated times. Meaning I can always write more blog posts to build up backup resources when I need them.
Third, when I hear the alarm, I’ll tell myself hard work always pays off—and if it was easy, then everyone would do it. Although these are completely clichés, I believe these mental reminders will help me succeed in The Challenge when I need personal encouragement.
Readers, what do you do for motivation? How are you doing in The 6 AM Challenge, or your own challenge?