Early Rising – Week 4

I’m not sure if it was the “what the hell” effect that kicked in because this was my last week for the trial or what but I slept in 3 days of the 7 days out of this week.  But not to worry, I didn’t let that get to me, I added an extra day to this trial and woke up at 5:57AM!  I sat down last night and started to read the book “Habit Stacking: 96 Small Life Changes that Take 5 Minutes or Less” by S.J. Scott, and he said to never ever miss 2 days in a row of your habit because that will REALLY screw with your willpower.  I can attest to that!!!!!!!!  It is very dangerous to miss 2 days in a row because then the WHAT THE HELL EFFECT will really get to you, “Oh what the hell, I missed 2 days, it’s okay if I missed one more.” *A week passes by and you haven’t started up that habit you were trying to develop* *A month passes by and you still have not got back onto it* And well, you get that point.  The fact that I’ve been held accountable by making myself blog everyday about this is what kept me going.  To be very honest with all of you had I not been held accountable through blogging, I think I would’ve already quit by week 2.  So, I’M VERY GLAD that I tried my best to keep up with it.  I didn’t end up regularly waking up before 6AM this week like I wanted, but that’s okay.  Maybe it’s suppose to take me more than 4 weeks to wean myself down to regularly waking up at 5:30AM or maybe it’s because I wasn’t as disciplined as I could’ve been.  Either way I’m glad I did this 30 day trial, I’ve learned a LOT about myself and general habit building that I shall implement into the next habits and goals I’m trying to build.

You don’t always get everything perfectly the first time around and I’m beginning to accept that.  I used to be afraid to try new things out and take risks because I was just so damned afraid that I wasn’t going to be good at it right away.  But that was totally unrealistic, it’s normal and completely OKAY to not get things down correctly right away.  There’s a thing called practice, and that’s what you do to get better and improve.  I’ve always self-identified as a fast learner so I would put myself down and quit if I didn’t get how to do something right away.  BUT I’M A CHANGED SOULLLLL!  If this was me a couple months ago, I would have felt really down on myself and consider this 30 day trial as a failure because I didn’t get myself to wake up regularly at 5:30AM everyday, but I’ve recently been redefining what failure meant to me.  I would like to give major credit to Sean Wes’ podcast “Failure Does Not Exist” along with Scott Adams’ book, “How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big” for helping me change my perspective on what failure meant.  I HIGHLY recommend giving those a listen or read.  Failure isn’t bad, quitting is bad. Failing just means that you have just found a way of how NOT to do something.  As long as you learn from it, it is OKAY!!!!!!  Don’t be down on yourself.  KEEP ON PERSISTING AND DON’T GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!

Continue reading Early Rising – Week 4

Southern California: Santa Cruz Island of the Channel Islands National Park

pano view
Mike and I went hiking on the Santa Cruz island of the Channel Islands with 11 other friends for his 27th birthday on Saturday (July 12, 2014)!  We woke up at 5:12AM (thank goodness I’ve been practicing waking up early) so that we can get ready and drive up to Ventura (approx. 2 hours from Orange County) to catch the Island Packers boat that left at 9:00AM for Santa Cruz.

I highly recommend arriving early because the boat will NOT wait for you, so be there at LEAST half an hour early, we got there 45 minutes early.  I was really excited about this trip and brought my DSLR camera along but since I rushed to get out of the door, I LEFT MY CAMERA BATTERY BACK IN THE CHARGER, so PRO-TIP make sure your camera has it’s batteries and memory card in before you leave the house.  It always sucks to find out way too late that you forget essentials for your camera.  So I was basically lugging 2lbs of dead weight all day in my backpack (not fun).  So if anyone is wondering all these photos were taking with my iPhone 4’s camera.  Not too shabby, I especially liked the panorama photos.

1) WATER, WATER, WATER there are no concession stands or anything on the island so whatever you bring with you from home or buy on the boat is all you have, so I HIGHLY recommend bringing enough water.  I brought along a 2 Liter Hydration pack with me and that lasted me all day.
2) Again, they do not sell any food at all on the island so you’re going to have to bring you enough to last you until 5:00PM (if you plan on just hiking for a day and not camping)

  • Sandwiches
  • Granola
  • Beef Jerky
  • Fruit (apples, nectarines, bananas, etc)
  • Trail Mix

3) SUNBLOCK, I made the mistake of not wearing any sunblock and I got REALLY sunburnt (haven’t gotten sunburnt since I was 16)
4) A pair of really good sturdy comfortable shoes with thick soles to hike in (I wore my boots that had thin soles and it was not very fun hiking in them, I was not prepared, but I WILL BE next time)
5) Bathing suit (if you plan on playing and swimming in the water)
6) Camera (to capture all your memories and the beauty you seeeeeeee whilst exploring)
7) Walkie-Talkies (If you’re going with a large group of people, these are really nice to have since there is no cellphone signal on the island. It is especially useful if you guys decide to go separate ways or one section is walking faster than the others and you guys can communicate via walkie talkie instead of shouting as loud as you could to try to communicate with the others.)

The boat ride over to the island was surprisingly VERY FUN.  I believe the boat ride was about an hour, give or take, I wasn’t really watching the time because I was having so much fun!  I initially thought it would be a dinky and slow ride over to the island but the boat ride was actually quite speedy!  I felt like a kid again, hair flying all over the place, with my hands out, feeling the ocean water splash playfully against my skin as the boat hits the waves at high speeds.  We also got to see a pack of sea lions sunbathing on a buoy, a sunfish laying on it’s side at the ocean’s surface and dolphins swimming around on the ride over to the island!  Seeing dolphins swimming in the wild has always been such a magical event for me.  They are such beautiful and majestic creatures!

bay view
Pictured above is a boat anchored near the island as we approached closer to the shores.  Something very important to take note of, this is a LEAVE NO TRACE BEHIND type of national park (as it should be) there are NO TRASH CANS on the island so whatever trash you have, you must keep with you throughout the whole time until you get back onto the boat or home.  LITTER makes anything and everything ugly, so please be considerate and keep your trash with you at all times.  I highly recommend bringing with you an extra plastic bag so that you can store all your trash in. :)

dt bay

Our plan for this trip was to hike over to see the abandoned Oil Well and then after that hike over to Smuggler’s Cove.  Both places were very much worth the hike (especially Smuggler’s Cove).  The hike from the harbor (Scorpion Anchorage) over to Smuggler’s Cove was about 3.5 miles.  The first half of the hike was mostly uphill and the second half was downhill.  On our way to Smuggler’s Cove we made a little detour that was about .25 miles to see the abandoned Oil Well and eat our lunches.

oil well
oil rig

 (Obligatory picture with the sexy birthday boy Mike)

Whilst hiking I decided to take my shirt off because I was getting WAY TOO SWEATY, I was so happy I made the decision to wear a bikini under all my clothes.  That made life much easier.


(So close yet, so farrrrrrrrr.  The views that we got when we were at high elevations were absolutely beautiful.)


(I believe this flower is called Datura, there were heaps and heaps of them on the island)

boys on hill

(Some of our friends hiked over to this bed of rocks and decided to rest for a bit, I thought it would be a great chance for a picture)

So we’re hiking and hiking and hiking and it totally feels like forever getting over to Smuggler’s Cove.  This was actually my first long hike out in the wilderness so I’m obviously not used to hiking long distances to places.

smugglers cove

( HURRAH, finally a sign that says we are close to Smuggler’s Cove, I believe it was about another 30 minutes of mostly hiking downhill from this sign post)

Let me tell you it was COMPLETELY WORTH THE HIKE OVER TO SMUGGLER’S COVE.  We reached a beach that was totally deserted, basically had the beach alllll to ourselves.  For me, one of the best things in life is being on a beach where there’s little to no people on it.  There’s just something so intimate about being out on a beach with no one else besides you, your friends and the ocean.   I quickly took off my clothes and got into the water in my bathing suit!  Oh I forgot to mention, there is a bathroom here too, so that was very nice and convenient!  LOOK AT THE VIEW I GOT TO EXPERIENCE!!

Alright, PRO-TIP:  The shores of this beach were reallllly rocky so it kind of hurt to walk over the rocks.  I basically just kinda sat down on a rock and crab walked my over towards the ocean.  I was really sad at first at how rocky the shore was because I thought it was going to be rocky all way through but our courageous friend Joel decided to walk farther and farther into the ocean and about 20 feet or so from the shore he discovered SAND!! SOFT, SOFT SAND!!!!  He yelled and jumped for joy when he discovered that and so did the rest of us.  I got so damn excited I was crab crawling as fast as I could over and man was the sand sooooo soft.  For the next half hour or so, we spent it playing around in the water and catching waves with our bodies.  It was TOTALLY, TOTALLY WORTH IT.  It felt soooo very refreshing to be in the water after such a long hike under the sun!!!  I wish we could stay longer at Smuggler’s Cove but we needed to hike back over to Scorpion Anchorage to catch our boat that left at 5:00PM.

swimming in beach

Another tip, remember to re-apply SUNBLOCK if you decide to go into the water.  Most of us all got badly sunburnt because we forgot to re-apply.  I on the other hand didn’t even apply sunblock (because I usually don’t burn in the sun and I hate the feeling of sunblock) this whole time we’ve been hiking so I was heavily sun burnt by the end of the day!  Lesson learned.  NEVER AGAIN WILL I HIKE WITHOUT A HAT AND SUNBLOCK.

hike back

Alright so for the first half of the 3.5 mile hike back to the harbor, it was seriously one of the most brutal hikes.  The uphills were very steep and it just felt very difficult especially with the sun so high in the sky.  BUT WE MUST TRUDGE ON AND NOT GIVE UP!!!!! This was where many of our friends realized how important water was.  Most of them didn’t bring enough water so I gladly shared my water with them too!  I HIGHLLLLY recommend buying a hydration backpack, they are very VERY handy, a complete lifesaver! I was sipping on water throughout the whole hike so I never felt dehydrated.  It’s got to be one of the most uncomfortable and dangerous feelings to be out under the sun walking long distances whilst feeling dehydrated.  I am now obsessed with it and want to bring it with me whenever I need to walk long distances.

Mike was really worried we wouldn’t make it in time for the boat so he sent two of our strongest and fastest hiking friends Joel and Timothy to go ahead of us in case we needed to alert the boat that we had a large group that was still hiking over to the boat.  I on the other hand believed that we could make it, I think it’s better to stay positive and to keep group morale high because most of our friends at this point were feeling very very tired.  But it was definitely a good move to send out two of our strongest to move ahead of us, just in case!

Yep!! And so we made it back and had about 3o minutes to spare (I knew we would make it in time). :)  I was really disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing some wild foxes!  Mike told me there were a lot of fox on the island and since the fox is my spirit animal, I was really excited to see wild ones for the very first time.  The whole time on the hike we didn’t spot any, but in the end we decided to go over to the campgrounds where we found this cute but sad little fox.  It was limping and looked kind of delirious but it was still a wild fox nonetheless.  It didn’t seem to be afraid of humans at all, I guess they’re used to it but I got to stand pretty close to it!  Poor thing, I wish I could help it but we are not allowed to feed any of the wild animals because human food can really harm them and also, the park rangers want to keep the animals wild!)  But anywho, spotting the fox was a great way to end this trip!

All in all, I’m really glad I got to explore this island and went on this crazy hike!  Although it was a difficult hike (especially since most of us aren’t experienced hikers) it was totally worth it.  All of it.  The sore legs and sunburn and everything.  It was totally worth everything we experienced that day.  I’m really excited to see and explore more places this beautiful world has to offer us!!! Thank you Mike for choosing to go hiking here for your birthday!  This was an amazing experience and I hope we get to do more things like this often!


Early Rising – Week 3

So I didn’t get my baseline wake up time to waking up at 6:00AM this week. I am going to try that out next week once again and aim to break the threshold into the 5AM mark by my 30th day.  I am very excited for that.  I will make a more conscious effort to sleep earlier also.  If you want to take a gander as to how I felt each day click on the “continue reading” link!

Day 15

WOOT. I’m slowly getting back on track. I woke up at 6:20AM today. My alarm woke me up at 5:59AM and I was about to get up but I slept a bit late last night and I didn’t want to feel groggy and grumpy in the afternoon since I’ll be at Anime Expo again today.   Slowly but surely getting back on track to early rising.  I’m in such a good mood right now, I found this song remix by Sunglasses Kid to Futurecop! – Lost Love. This tune is going to go on repeat for awhile, it’s the perfect song to drive down PCH to on a sunny day in a convertible.  I’m not sure but I think I took 200mg – 5-HTP last night, I felt like I had good sleep.

Bedtime: 11:52PM
Wake up time: 6:20AM

1. 7:00AM – 8oz of Green Tea
2. 11:00AM – Sea salt cream Jasmine Tea
3. 11:30PM – 200mg 5-HTP

Things I’d like to improve:
1. Finish up blogpost first thing in the morning without getting distracted
2. Go to bed by 10:30PM

Things I feel good about:
1. The song Lost Love (Sunglasses Remix) by Futurecop!
2. Waking up at 6:20AM in the morning
3. Going to AX again today, I’m going to take a bunch more video selfies with amazing cosplayers

Continue reading Early Rising – Week 3

Early Rising – Week 2

Conclusion: 6:30AM now feels like my baseline standard for normal wake up time. I am HAPPY I got that down. Within this week I have only broken past the 6AM threshold once and that was during Day 8.  I discovered that Green Tea Extract helped our bodies better absorb 5-HTP and also helps us use fat as our energy source when we are exercising if we take GTE consistently.  Studies also showed that it helped increase our exercise endurance, I wrote about it in more detail on my Day 10 entry.  Near the ending of this week I stopped taking too much supplements and have not really paid much attention to my sleep graphs.  I’ve instead just been using the Sleep Cycle app to help rouse me awake during the supposed “optimal” times, I also really like how it gently wakes me up with the slowly rising volume of the alarm instead of a straight up 100% loud alarm.  Week 3 I’m setting it as my goal to make 6:00AM my baseline standard for wake up time.  Week 4 will be when I make it my goal to make 5:30AM be my baseline for normal wake up time.

Continue reading Early Rising – Week 2