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I love mornings. I really do. I never thought I would ever say that, though. Just last year, I was the girl who was falling asleep around 1 or 2am, trying to squeeze in everything I didn’t accomplish that day at the last minute. Folding clothes. Editing photos. Answering emails. Anything, really, that was still trying to steal my attention from what was important : rest.

Then I would usually sleep in until about 9am, and I would be exhausted. My goal was always to wake up before Will left for work at 8:45, but that didn’t happen nearly as much as I wanted. At 2:00 each day, I would be ready for a nap, but I would miserably have to push through and continue to work, never operating at 100%.

There are a few different instances that led me to become a morning person. First, it started with The Challenge. I decided to embrace it fully last March, and it  lit a fire in me. I didn’t want to settle for a life that ruled me; I wanted to rule my life! I especially loved the part that challenged me to Prepare for Greatness. What a game changer.

Then wedding season hit. Hello setback. I was overwhelmed, a workaholic, and I just couldn’t do enough in any given day. There was always something or someone waiting on me, for something. That turned into more late nights, trying to wake up early.  I was still exhausted and disappointed in myself.

I remember being so frustrated with myself!  Will and I had a long conversation driving home from an out of town wedding at the end of the summer.  I really wanted something to change. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was willing to change. And with any change in life, that is the most important step.

I realized:
– I had to go to bed early each evening.
– I had to create more structured work hours for myself.
– I had to get 8 hours of sleep.
– I had to create a morning routine I looked forward to.
– I had to start saying “no.”

We began implementing an early-to-bed, early-to-rise lifestyle. At that point, we set the goal for being in bed no later than midnight, and waking up no later than 8am. Slowly but surely, I began to rule my life in a small way.

In October, I read the book Boundaries. What an empowering book. I think this is the final step that changed everything for me. I had proved to myself I could do this by setting a simple bedtime and alarm clock each day, but I realized that setting a lot of different Boundaries in my life actually sets myself up for freedom. They set me up for a life that is fully lived!

Just like following a Budget. Just like obeying God’s Word. Just like setting Office hours…

Boundaries provide freedom.

Once I realized this truth… I have experienced such freedom in my life!  I have officially become a morning person. Now, we go to bed at 10:30pm every night, and we get out of bed at 6:30am every morning.

Will sent me this article last week, and I had to smile. Go read it – it will inspire you. I am so thankful that I am spending the first hour of my day wisely, and I look forward to it each evening.

I’m officially a morning person!

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[…] wrote this post write after I became a morning person back in 2012 My Spiritual Organization posts: Part 1 and Part […]

Thank you for sharing, Nancy! What an encouragement and inspiration to read!

You encouraged us at B&L to start getting up earlier and I took that to heart. I have been doing my best to get up before my kids for the past month (luckily my kids usually wake up around 7 or 7:30). That first hour of the day is so peaceful. I set up my tea maker the night before and all I have to do is flip a switch and it starts brewing. That little detail really helps me get going. Plus, I go to bed thinking about the enjoyment of sitting on the couch cuddled up with my Bible, journal and a cup of tea. Now, I just need to work in my Pilates routine… I”m getting there. Thank you for sharing, Nancy!.

What Nancy graciously did not point out is that I fought hard on this, not interested in joining in at first.

I eventually saw the light and have adopted my favorite line from Coach Taylor on Season 1 of “Friday Night Lights”:

“I am doing this because my wife – as usual – is right…”

Now I love it.

LOVE this post…makes me want to set my alarm super early tomorrow!!

It’s so great to read this today! I went through EXACTLY the same thing early last year. I felt really disappointed in myself, going to bed at three and waking up every day at 11. I have never been a morning person – when I was in school I was always so miserable and exhausted. But I managed to turn things around, wake up at 7 every day, go to the gym, eat healthier, and get all my work done by 6pm and shut off all the computers in the house. Then I got pregnant and for a while I was just too miserable to keep at it, and that really threw me for a loop. Just yesterday I finally was feeling better enough to get back on track! So thanks for this!

Nancy this is something I’ve been struggling with for years and LOVE that you shared this today on the blog! I needed it and hoping to change it around for myself THIS march and be able to post a similar post in a year saying I’M A MORNING PERSON 😉 Thank you for your inspiring posts!!!!

Everything you’ve said hit me like a ton of bricks when Gavin was born. It didn’t take long for me to realize I need to say “no” too! Now that we have two kids I find that going to bed at 9:30 and getting up at 6am is AWESOME! It’s unreal how much sleep can affect your work, your attitude and your spiritual life! Great post.

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