When committing to wake up damn early for twenty-one days, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect or even if I would make it through the first week. I signed up because Chasing Sunrise is something I have wanted to participate in for most of this year and, with this session being in November, I didn’t want to risk missing out and having to wait until 2018.
When the e-mail came announcing Damn Early Days would start again on November 6, I immediately thought, “Yes, this is what I need!!!” I looked through my calendar, made sure it was a routine that could work for where I am right now, and signed up. As the date approached, I was excited about the timing. Daylight Savings time was the day before this started so I figured it wouldn’t feel too different from the days I was already used to. That wasn’t precisely the case but I will say the timing helped immensely. I woke up that first day with a pep in my step and my heart full and happy from getting to write so much, on a work day, on a MONDAY, no less.
Over the first five days, I finished writing two blog posts, wrote for an hour every morning, and didn’t hit snooze once.
This routine made me feel intentional, purposeful, and self-fulfilled.
I accomplished so much in regards to my personal goals and I even had time to walk Lily before leaving for work. Meal prep helped immensely so I wasn’t spending precious minutes in the morning doing something that should have been finished the night before.
Chasing Sunrise forces you to get on a good sleep routine. Without setting a bedtime ritual and going to bed on time, there is no early morning. Ritual, in the evening and the morning, are key to successfully waking up and being productive. Chasing Sunrise is about retraining your brain to do the things you want to do within a set time frames through a drastic change in schedule. For me, Chasing Sunrise is about creating new, good habits that bring me joy.
After five damn early mornings, I noticed a significant difference in my level of happiness, my energy levels, and my productivity. As a naturally shy person, I also found myself making more effort in personal and professional relationships, something that I feel is a direct result of having more time in the evenings.
There are definitely areas I need to focus and improve upon – especially in regards to setting a specific routine in the morning. Most mornings, I woke up, brushed my teeth, checked in to Chasing Sunrise and read my morning content/had a dance party to the daily song in my kitchen while making coffee, sat down to write for an hour, walked Lily, got ready for work, then I was at the office by 7:15/7:30am. There was some deviating. Some mornings where I was just distracted and didn’t settle in to my computer. I tried to use my distraction as a mechanism to fuel my productivity. I edited the pictures selected for my blog posts on my phone (I have the lightroom app on there) or read a book or had a conversation with Charlie while sipping morning coffee. I tried to focus on activities that bring me joy and made me feel like I was accomplishing something, but not chaining myself to the computer first thing when I spend at least 8 hours each work day in front of the screen.
Chasing Sunrise is for everyone who feels overwhelmed in their life and like they don’t have the time to make progress towards personal goals. It’s about refocusing on what really matters to you and seeking the satisfaction from fulfilling that want first thing in the morning, a feeling that carries through the rest of the day. I invite you to join the next Damn Early Days session starting in January 2018. Hope to “see” you there!