21 Damn Early Days – Week 3 Thoughts


It’s been 15 days of getting up at 4:30AM and I’m starting to see why they say it takes 21 days to build a habit. More and more, the thought of getting up at 4:30AM is becoming “normal”. It’s weird to think that just 3 weeks ago, that thought was foreign. But it feels good.

That said, I’m still struggling with the habit of getting to bed on time. I just can't seem to put myself to bed. My ideal bed time would be between 9:00PM and 9:30PM, giving me 7 to 7.5 hours of sleep. However, usually by the time I’m wound down and falling asleep, it’s closer to 10:30. This gives me around 6 and while it isn't devastating, I can definitely feel the effects somedays. I don't know if going to bed earlier is something that will ever come easy, but if I want to keep it up, it just has to be done. That said, the nice part is when you get up at 4:30AM, you can nap guilt-free come 1PM.

As 4:30AM slowly becomes a habit, I’m noticing the things I’m starting to learn are much more subtle.


1. Habits form easier in the morning. And yes, this is actually based on science. It’s been blatantly obvious to me that making tough decisions and sticking to a routine is so much easier first thing in the morning. Even reading the two paragraphs above, it’s easy to see. What waking up at 4:30AM has given me is the time and a platform to experiment with my life. It gives me a place to try out things that at the end of the day would seem impossible.


2. A little planning goes a long way. Simply put, one of the biggest reasons I’ve been able to stay on track is the simple fact that G and I sat down and put 30 minutes of planning into it. We laid out the why we were doing this, the rules, what an ideal sleep schedule would like like and the types of things that could de-rail this.

That 30 minutes set the tone for the whole experiment and gave it sense of purpose. When things get tough, it is easy to reflect back on that and remember why I’m doing this. That simple act of planning has made a huge difference. It wasn’t elaborate and it definitely wasn’t structured, but it was worth its weight in gold.

Quick and simple, on to the last week.


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Julian DeSchutterComment