30 Day Trial: Early Rising


I’ve been playing with the idea of early rising for the past week and after stumbling upon Sean Wes’ episode “075: Why Early Birds Beat Night Owls Who Don’t Wake Up Early” yesterday, I was completely convinced to try it out.  I don’t identify myself as a night owl but I do feel like I work better when everyone is asleep.  It was just wayyyy easier to stay awake into the late of the night and working instead of making the effort of waking up early in the morning.  So I decided to give this a try for 30 days and log my results!  I got the concept of 30 day trials/challenges from my good friend Steve Pavlina! You should definitely check out his post on 30 Days to Success.

I’ve done 30 day challenges before and I know your morale heavily decreases if you miss a day and then after that the “what the hell effect” (as David DiSalvo calls it in his book “What Makes Your Brain Happy and How To Do the Opposite“)  kicks in and you start skipping more and more days because what the hell, you felt like you already “failed” by missing a day or two, so it won’t hurt if you miss a couple more days.  To combat this decrease in morale because I know I’m only human and will probably missing a couple days of early rising I’m going to give myself 4 freebie passes.  These will most likely be used on days I decide to go out for a night with friends because well, I have social life too.  I haven’t tried this method out yet but I’m hoping with these freebie passes it will help make me feel less guilty about missing a day and then just losing discipline after that.  We’re all human y’know? I don’t expect myself to be 100% perfect the first time I go about doing things so I’m just preparing myself for when I make mistakes.

During this 30 day trial I’m going to wake up and then write first thing in the morning. Sean Wes calls this routine the Early Wake and Daily Write.  He says that once you wake up it’s like you’re a fully charged battery.  You don’t want to spend all of that wonderful initial energy you get after you wake up checking emails, social media, reddit or whatever else that we do when we’re just trying to pass time by. Let me quote from his notes section of the episode:

  • Your mind is doing a lot of work for you while you’re sleeping. It’s processing things for you. Yes, you’ll be groggy for the first 15 minutes, that’s normal. But right when you wake up is the best time to do the most important work of your day.

  • External things you are exposed to during the day will cloud your thinking. It weighs on your mind. In the morning you don’t have that extra baggage.

I’ve been wanting to start writing up blog posts again so I’ll be taking the time to either write a blog post or journal every morning when I wake up. Here goes!

Day 1
Sean Wes mentioned about using the app “Sleep Cycle” as an alarm to wake him up at the most optimal time of his sleep cycle so I decided to try the same!  Let me tell you that was the most pleasant alarm I had ever woken up to.  I woke up to soft guitar playing that gently and gradually increased in volume. It initially kind of confused me because I didn’t know where this pleasant music suddenly came from. I set the alarm style to regular snooze where whenever I picked the phone up it would let me snooze, but the snooze time would decrease after each snooze.

To be really honest I almost didn’t want to wake up and was about to tell myself “oh I’m so tired today, I think I slept too late this time, I’ll just go back to sleep and try the early rising tomorrow”. Oh ho ho, I suddenly realized what I was getting myself into… I’ve seen myself do this WAY TOO MANY TIMES. When you tell yourself that you’ll just do it tomorrow and the next day comes and you put it off ’til the next day once again and so on and so forth (usually ends up not ever doing it or doing it right before it’s due if it had a deadline”? It’s this vicious cycle of procrastination that I feel a lot of us are guilty of getting into.  This sign basically sums it up:



My more disciplined self convinced me, “IT’S NOW OR NEVER DAN TAM”, I drank the water from my cup and decided to get the fuck up (excuse my french) and wash my face and brush my teeth. TIP: Drinking that cup of water by my bed really helped in rousing my senses and waking me up. So day 1 was a success, I woke up at 6:51, I’m going to make it a goal of mine to get to the point of waking up at 5:30!

Things I would like to improve:
1. Not checking instagram and snapchat right when I woke up (thank goodness I only spent a couple minutes on them each, a rare occurrence). I’ve been using instagram and other social medias to wake my brain up every morning because the images stimulated my senses and helped me wake up, but I realize now that I don’t want to be using my best energies browsing through random pictures.  Also, although I was ~awake~, I would usually stay in bed for another hour or 2 because social media just does that to you. There is rarely such a thing as “oh I’ll just check this for 5 minutes” when it comes to social media. IT’S A TRAP, DON’T DO IT!!!!!

Things I feel good about today:
1. It feels really great to look at the clock and seeing that it’s 7:55am and I’m wide awake about to finish up my first blog post in over half a year.

I’m feeling really great so far and I hope to continue on waking up early everyday for the next 30 days. Alright, now I’m going to figure out what I’d like to do for the rest of my morning because I haven’t planned that far out. I’m thinking of making myself some breakfast, then do some yoga and workout.  I would very much like to get to the point where I’m waking up early enough to do some sunrise yoga at the beach.  I think that would be a beautiful experience!

Oh and here’s what my Sleep Cycle sleep graph looked like for last night’s sleep. It doesn’t look like I slept too well. But that’s quite alright, now that I know my sleep cycles aren’t as deep as it could be, I’ll figure out how to improve on my sleep! :)

photo (1)

One thought on “30 Day Trial: Early Rising”

  1. Wow DT, what a great project! This is the first post on this project I,ve read, so I don’t know how it’s going to go in the future posts – future for me, now past for you! :-) – but once again I love your exploration of being alive, and your inspired ideas.good luck with this and all your other projects!

Leave a Reply to Glenn Zucman Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>