I have been waiting eight episodes for this, I hope you’re ready! Welcome to Episode 8: How I Get 2 Hours a Day To Myself as a Busy Mom. Toss your Airpods in, grab your water, jump on the treadmill and let’s talk about my favorite thing: how to make an early wake-up happen.
In episode 6, we chatted about the importance of creating systems to move you towards your goals. I wanted to take a moment to share with you my favorite system, and the system that practically guarantees I’m going to live the ideal day that we discussed in the last episode.
My favorite system? Waking up at 5am. OK, hold on, hold on – don’t hit the delete button yet. Let me preface by saying that I HATE waking up at 5am. I loathe it. Setting that alarm guts me every time. But, the early wake-up system is the system that gives me the most benefits, so hear me out! I even included 5 hacks for making it happen and wrapped up the episode with my morning routine, so you can see what an early wake-up might look like for you.
I first started trying to do an early wake-up in 2018. At the time, I was working full-time and had just invested in an expensive photography course that I really wanted to do. Problem? There was no time. None. With two kiddos that were 2 and under, I was pumping, working full-time, house, dog, all the things. But I desperately wanted to do this course. So I decided, for the length of the course, I would wake make an early wake-up happen, at 4am.
Yes, 4am. My daughter was up at 6am, so I had 2 hours every morning to myself. In my season of life right now, things aren’t as extreme, so I pushed to 5am, but it’s the same idea. I was so excited to do the course, I would bounce out of bed at 4am to get cranking while my husband rolled over and told me I was crazy.
Why the heck do you wake up so early when you work for yourself now though? I get asked this question a lot! I wake up at 5am for a few reasons.
First, Darren Hardy, in his book The Compound Effect, taught me that I can control the bookends of my day – the morning and the evening. As parents, I’m sure you feel this in your soul. The only time you can truly get for yourself is before your kids wake up and after they’re in bed. It is so dang easy to binge Netflix and hit snooze. I get that! But is it worth the price of cranky kids, a cranky mom and a grumpy day at work? Stay with me….
The second reason I wake up early is because when I woke up with my kids, I was already playing defense. Nothing like waking up and having to make breakfast within 23 seconds and breaking up a fist fight about a scooter. When I wake up early, I serve myself first and we’re all the happier because of it.
The third reason I wake up early is because it gives me time to get in my Top 5. My Top 5, inspired by Rachel Hollis, are 5 things that I do every day to be the best, most optimized version of myself. I’ll get more into this in a future episode, but my top 5 are waking up at 5am, drinking 90oz water, eating a salad, doing my gratitude and moving my body for 30 minutes. I track this daily in my MAP Book. The days I wake up at 5am, I always hit that 5 goal. The days I sleep in? Not even close.
Finally, I wake up early because it’s a system that helps me hit my goals. One of my goals is to be in the best shape of my life. I can’t be in the best shape of my life if I don’t work out. So I wake up at 5am to do my workout before I’m all the way awake. That way I don’t dread it all day, then blow it off when I have no willpower left at night.
The #1 thing I hear when I share my morning routine with anyone is: “There is no way I can do that.” Friend, it’s all about the mindset. My husband said this to me for years. And now? He wakes up BEFORE I do every day.
Here are a few ideas for making the early wake up happen:
Making your wake up happen depends on going to bed the night before. Set a bedtime alarm and stick to it. When it goes off, wrap up what you’re doing and go to bed!
When you first start trying this, plan to wake up to do an activity you’re excited about, or wouldn’t get to do otherwise. For me, it was my photography class. I was super motivated. Maybe you don’t ever get to read, or journal, or paint, or do yoga. Promise yourself time to do those things when you get up with the alarm.
Mel Robbins and her 5 Second Rule are my next hack for making the early wake up happen. She had an awesome Ted Talk that inspired me to get out of bed in the morning, I’ll link it in the show notes. But basically, when faced with something you don’t want to do but know you should, you count down from 5 and then blast into it. I do this with my alarm. I have it set so that snooze can’t be activated, and I get up when the alarm goes off across the room.
Hal Elrod’s book, The Miracle Morning, is my next hack for making the early morning part of your ideal day. He introduced me to the idea of SAVERS and now I follow this every morning. Basically, S is silence, A is affirmations, V is for visualization of your dream life, E is for exercise, R is for read and S is for scribe or write. This gave me a structure to my morning and made me feel like I had a routine right away.
Finally, track it! I would put a post-it note on my kitchen door whenever I woke up at 5am. If I missed a morning, I had to take them down. People would ask me all the time what they were and it held me accountable. My kiddos would cheer for me, then groan when we had to take them down. Thinking about those sticky notes got me out of bed more mornings than I’d like to admit!
I want to take a second to add a disclaimer here as we wrap up: acknowledge your season of life, mama. If you have a newborn that’s up every two hours, you are not doing this right now. Save this episode for a year from now when you might be able to safely put it into practice. Kick yourself in the pants if you’re making excuses, but if you are in a season of life where rest is best, you do you, mama.
OK, now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, here’s what my morning routine looks like in a nutshell:
5am – alarm goes off, meditate for 2 minutes
Write and say my 3 daily affirmations
I take a minute to either look at my vision board or journal about my dream life vision
Do a 30-minute at home workout
If it’s a rest day, I do yoga
Time to read my non-fiction book, which is usually personal growth or business-related
Plan my whole day in my MAPBook
Coffee date with my husband
Wake up the kiddos
I’ve been doing this schedule on and off for about 5 months fairly consistently. I am working on going to bed earlier (definitely a struggle with older kids who don’t fall asleep early) and fighting the urge for the end-of-day alone time. But I’m currently loving this schedule and swear by those early wake ups!
It’s about that time: LET’S MAKE A PLAN!
Take a second today to think about whether an early wake-up would transform your day. If you think it might, make a plan. I’d love to hear about it if you want to shoot me a DM over at @sharonlegercoaching.
Finally, if you are new around here and haven’t already, hop on over to my Instagram page – @sharonlegercoaching. On my IG stories this week, I am going to be sharing all the BTS of my morning routine. Be sure to follow along!
Thank you so much for being here, mama! Get back to doing your thing, rocking your world and remember – keep growing! Little eyes are watching.
If so, be sure to share it with a friend – this helps busy moms like you to find me!
And finally, you can also check out these related episodes that I think you’ll be obsessed with: