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Why I get up at 4.44am – night owl to early bird

by | Apr 22, 2020 | Books/Podcasts, Habit Formation, Journalling, Life Systems, Self Care | 0 comments

Part one of of a two part blog series of explaining my morning routine

If you have followed me on social media for a while, you will know I get up at 4.44am most days. Yes, that is not a typo, 4.44am! A lot of people ask “How is that possible?” So here is why I choose to get up at 4.44am.

In January 2017, I participated in Leanne Baker’s Project 14 course and where she spoke about morning and evening routines and how they set up our days. I remember scoffing when she suggested getting up an hour before your family. Back then, I had a 5yo and 3yo who were my alarm clocks and they could wake anytime between 5-7am. I thought “There is no way I’m going to get up before my kids” as sleep is a precious commodity in my life.

It’s funny when you hear something you start to notice it everywhere. Rachel Hollis also talks about her “Five to Thrive” which also includes getting up one hour earlier than you normally do to make time for you.

The more I read about the importance of habit, high performance and personal growth, the more getting up earlier and having a morning routine was mentioned. I wanted to make more time in my day for me so I decided to get up earlier. I was drawn to making time for me in the mornings because it allows me to give myself to best of me when I are well rested and recharged, rather than what is left of me at the end of the day when I’ve spent the day looking after everyone else and all I wanted to do was rest and watch TV.

It was a slow process but over the last three and a half years I have woken up 15 minutes earlier every few months to go from getting up at 7am to now rising at 4.44am.

The Power of Habit

To consistently get up at 4.44am requires making it a habit. A favourite book of mine is Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit – Why We Do What We Do and How to Change. I highly recommend borrowing it from the library or if you are a book buyer you can grab it here* with free shipping.

Charles describes how our habits and rituals impact our daily lives. The habit cycle involves a “cue/trigger” which causes an “response/action” and you get a “reward”.

My morning routine is now a habit. The night before I laid out my walking clothes in the bathroom.
My “cue” is my vibrating fitbit alarm. It goes off at 4.44am. My “response” is that I get dressed and go for a walk. My “reward” is listening to audiobooks and podcasts while I walk. When I finish my walk I give myself an extra reward, a hot coffee in peace. This is my new normal. I don’t consciously think about it, the habit has formed in my brain, my body clock knows the drill and I just do it.

The 5am Club

Another book that helped me craft my morning routine was The 5am Club: Owning Your Morning, Elevate Your Life by Robin Sharma. I recommend borrowing it from your library or if you are a book buyer you can get it here* with free shipping.

To be exercising at 5am I need to set my alarm for 4.44am. Yes that’s a peculiar time but who said alarms have to be set to the quarter hour? I quite like the look of 4.44am as my alarm time and people have told me in angel numbers it means “You have nothing to fear in regards to life, work and divine life purpose”.

Robin talks about the “20/20/20 hour” from 5-6am. My hour consists of:

  • 20 minutes MOVE – exercise
  • 20 minutes REFLECT – writing what I’m grateful for and my goals in my journal and planning out my day in my diary
  • 20 minutes GROW – reading a business book, listening to a podcast or watching a YouTube video.

How I Feel

I notice a big difference to how my day runs when I get up at 4.44am versus when I sleep in. Having alone time between 4.44am-7.07am (when my kids wake up) is precious time just for me. I now have over two hours of time for myself each and every day that is focused on me moving, reflecting and growing. Prior to developing a morning routine I wouldn’t use my “me time” in the evening truly for my growth and development, I used the time to watch mindless TV shows. Knowing that I will feel good by getting up early is another reward for making rising early a habit.

Set Yourself Up for Success

A good morning routine requires a well planned night routine. Our family does not watch TV on weeknights. We now have fewer distractions and the kids are in bed by 7pm. My husband and I then have time to tidy the house and enjoy some time together. We go to bed sometime between 8.30-10pm.

The no TV rule was interrupted during the COVID-19 isolation restrictions. Now that my kids are back to school we have reinstated the no TV rule and our evening routine is running smoothly again.

To see the how of my 4.44am routine read my next blog How I get up at 4.44am – the actual process (Part 2 of my morning routine)

If you are a visual person, visit my 4.44am wake up Instagram highlight to see how I transitioned to getting up earlier and earlier and 4.44am farm to city highlight for a pictorial breakdown of the process.

* Heads up: This post contains affiliate links! If you buy something through one of these links, you won’t pay any more, but I’ll get a small commision. You can rest assured that I only recommend products that I truly love and use.

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