21 Day Challenge

21 Day Challenge: Phone Down

So I realized I haven’t done an update on this challenge I started. The reason? I failed. Miserably. I think I spent almost 8 hours on my phone one day…yikes. So you know what I did? I deleted the Moment app from my phone. 

I stopped tracking my phone usage and stopped the challenge. I moved all social media apps to the hidden part of my phone and took a moment to just think about how seeing the amount of time I spent on my phone made me feel. Hint: not good.

So the challenge may be over, but my phone will be down. I’m still learning to be present, but I think awareness is the first step.

21 Day Challenge: Phone Down

I’m almost embarrassed to share this, but it must be done. I’ve been using the Moment app to track my phone usage for awhile, but I’ve been ignoring it recently because well…

  
Oops.

The Moment app is such a simple but effective concept: it tracks your iPhone usage. I downloaded it earlier this year and noticed I was spending a ridiculous amount of time on my phone. Then I tucked that thought in the back of my mind and consciously forgot about it. Until today. Then I saw above. And thought… new challenge!

So begins Day 1 of my 21 Day Challenge: Phone Down. Less than an hour on my iPhone per day for 21 days. Can it be done?

Well, Day 1 is obviously a fail. See you tomorrow for Day 2.

Becoming a morning person: Day 21

So apparently today marks Day 21 of my first 21 Day Challenge! And I didn’t even realize it! I swear, I’ll get better at this.

Can I now call myself a full-fledged early bird? Hard to say. I do know that I am finding it a lot easier to wake up early, and I definitely enjoy the benefits of the extra hour before work each day, but I will wholeheartedly admit that I didn’t keep up with my new wake up time for the entire 21 days. I’m still young so the weekends were rough, and I am an awful sleeper, so yes, some days I favored the “one more minute” of sleep for the sake of my health (okay, fine,  it was actually closer to 30 more minutes…). And did I mention that I gave up coffee for Lent? Today was my first morning cup o’ joe during this whole challenge. The struggle was so very real.

That being said, I do think my life is better because of this challenge. After the first few days, I realized how hard it was going to be and knew it wasn’t just my waking habits I needed to change: I needed an entire lifestyle change. There are still so many more improvements I can make in my life, but this was definitely a good starting point. Just in these past 21 days, I have found myself doing all of the following more consistently:

  • Drinking more water
  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Reading
  • Being more productive at work and home
  • Thinking positively
  • Sticking to a routine
  • Having more energy

With all of these benefits, I’m hopeful this will become a new lifelong habit, and have officially broken up with my snooze button. It’s bittersweet, but I know it’ll be better for me in the long run. Early bird gets the worm, right?

More challenges to come!

Becoming a morning person: Day 8

It’s been awhile, but here’s a quick update on where I’ve been on this: not doing so well.

 The first few days of this challenge were great — I woke up bright-eyed and energized, ready to take on the day. Then it hit me. My insomnia caught up to me and I begged for just one more hour of sleep on Friday. Then the weekend was here and a mini road trip to Detroit made it impossible to get back on track.

So currently, I’m back where I started with a ‘wake up, get ready, and rush out the door’ kinda morning. Oops. Luckily, tomorrow is a new day.

Becoming a morning person: Day 3

Hello new day. Time is now 7:53 am. I’m winding up my morning before the work day starts and this is my view right now: TED Talk (currently – The Power of Introverts | Susan Cain — really good and relevant to last night’s post), tea, and chia pudding with blueberries while natural sunlight is pouring in through my blinds. I wasn’t planning on posting about this challenge every day, but I’m really excited about everything I’ve accomplished this morning. Worked out, got ready, and even had time to make my March Madness bracket since i forgot to last night. It’s a beautiful way to start the day. Have a good one!!

Becoming a morning person: Day 2

Hello again! The time is now 6:45 am, and yes, I am up (obviously) and feeling…tired. This will get easier right? So, I forgot to mention that I’m also tracking my sleep through this process. I wear the Jawbone UP 24 every day and use it to keep track of my steps, water intake, and sleep patterns. I wish I could tell you why I chose this fitness tracker, but the truth is, this is what was offered by my company so I just went with it. I’ve had it for almost a year now and like it for the most part. There are a few things that bother me like how you need to use the app to see your results instead of it being right on the band and sometimes it doesn’t sync correctly, but it does the job.

Anyways, here are my sleep results for the past two days:

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Day 1 Sleep

 

Day 2 Sleep

Confession: I fell asleep on the couch last night and forgot to set my Jawbone on sleep mode so Day 2 isn’t exactly accurate (you’re able to plug in the times you think you fell asleep and woke up to account for any days missed).

I love a good graph and this one’s easy to read: orange is awake time, dark blue is sound sleep, and light blue is light sleep. Pretty straightforward. I’m not exactly sure what the “ideal” sleep is, but I can tell you that even though I technically got more sleep on Day 2, I’m feeling a lot more tired than I did yesterday. So I’m just going to assume that sound sleep > light sleep. Also, I remember waking up from my neighbors’ footsteps last night (the floors upstairs are soooo creaky!!), and it doesn’t look like it caught that on my band. I’m sure it definitely has something to do with this groggy morning though.

I’ll keep sharing these every once in awhile because I think it’s interesting to see. Plus, it’s a good way for me to be more aware of how my sleep affects my mood. Definitely anticipating a bit of a struggle today.

Becoming a morning person: Day 1

Good morning! Current time is 7:19 am and I’ve been up for over an hour now. Oddly, I’m feeling good, despite jumping right into this instead of easing into it 15 minutes each day or something, as suggested. I guess we’ll see how tomorrow goes. Anyways, here’s my morning so far:

5:52 am: My alarm goes off and I fight the urge to throw it across the room. Instead, I avoid the snooze button, turn it off, and lay on my back with my eyes closed while focusing on my breathing. I calm down and fight pass my sleepiness, manage to do a few full body stretches, and pull out my journal for my morning entry. Then I finally get out of bed and change into workout clothes. (5:52 might seem like a strange wake up time, but is was inspired by this article. He makes some good points about starting at on off time.)

6:06 am: I did it! I’m up! The hard part is over. I walk over to my living room and start my morning workout (currently the Blogilates beginner’s calendar). It’s a struggle, but I get through it.

6:35 am: Workout is done. I’m sweaty and tired so I take a few minutes to rest and mindlessly catch up on social media.

6:40 am: Into a nice hot shower I go. It feels amazing not having to rush. I finish up my getting ready routine, which is and always will be, very simple.

7:10 am: I start making breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries. I actually sit down and eat, pull out my laptop and start writing this blog post.

I will admit, I had more of an incentive to wake up early today due to an 8:00 am meeting, but hey, gotta start somewhere. Day 1 is in the books.

 

21 Day Challenge – Becoming a morning person: The Beginning

used to be a morning person. It seems like a dream now, but I swear it was not that long ago that I’d wake up at 5:30 am without ever touching the snooze button. I’ll admit, it was mostly out of necessity (my morning commute could vary from 30 min to 2 hours depending on the day), but those times are long gone. Now I’m lucky if I can get myself to sit up before 7:30.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m on a mission to make my mornings more productive. I’ve read plenty of articles about the benefits of being an early bird, but I think it’s time to see for myself. So tomorrow will mark the beginning of my first 21 Day Challenge: Becoming a Morning Person.

21 is not an arbitrary number. It’s the number of days it takes to form a habit (I’ve heard this from a few different sources, but I’ll credit Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project for making it stick.). There’s probably about a trillion things that I would like to make a habit that I just never had the willpower to do. I’m hoping to change this with these 21 Day Challenges until I finally find myself consistently practicing good habits.

So tomorrow marks Day 1 of my first ever 21 Day Challenge. My alarm is set for 5:52 am (insert uneasy face emoji here). Wish me luck!