I have been really curious lately about how I operate. For example, what causes me to finally take action on something I have been procrastinating on, or resisting? Why do I just wake up one morning and decide that I am going to do something different?
In asking myself these questions, I am starting to have a tiny bit of insight into how I function best. I know, for sure, that I am a morning person. I am most inspired and energetic from about an hour after I wake up until around 1pm. Then I crash for a few hours and pick back up around dinner time.
However, the hours that I am at my best are when my kids are awake and active. This is great because it means I have the energy to do things with them, but it’s also not so great because certain things are easier to do when I am by myself.
When they nap and go to bed, I pretty much want to do the same. But time after time I would push myself to make good use of their time sleeping. Often this approach would backfire and I would find myself using the TV, Facebook, and food to avoid what I wanted to get done.
So I recently set a bedtime for myself. By 8pm I am in my bedroom getting ready for bed. Once in bed I read, and then fall asleep around 9pm. I did this because I want to wake up early and take advantage of my morning energy.
The first week I did this I was so in love with the idea of going to bed after the kids did. It was so relaxing and I was sleeping really well and getting up a bit earlier.
Than this past week I have strayed a bit from my bedtime. I stayed up until 10 or 11 and it was alarmingly clear to me – nothing good happens after 9pm. I would get caught in front of the TV, and sometimes I would have a snack or two. I wouldn’t really enjoy this time because I kept telling myself I needed to go to bed…
Because I was staying up later, I was sleeping in later and waking up feeling like I was already behind with my day. And all day I would feel like I couldn’t catch up.
The time I was spending watching TV or eating didn’t give me the same satisfaction that reading in bed did. But it’s a habit I created and old habits sometimes die hard, right?
I learned that in order to have a productive and happy day, I have to start the night before by respecting the bed time I set for myself.
Trying to push against my natural ability to be a morning person does not work for me. It may feel good in the moment, but the repercussions aren’t worth it.
Are you a morning or night person? How can you embrace this part of your personality to get the most out of it? What can you stop doing that isn’t working with this trait?
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