I recently saw a meme on Instagram about how instead of saying “Good Morning,” we should say “Grand Rising” which I really love because it sounds way more inspiring. It makes me feel like mornings are sacred and our rising matters. Rising is a call for celebration. It is a reminder that we’ve awakened to see the sun again - and what a privilege that is! It is a gift to wake up. And we must RISE just as the sun does. We must wake up fully to ourselves and the possibilities that lie ahead. That means we’re not waking up just to sleep on ourselves. Our rising gives the world notice that we are here and we’re not going anywhere. And our greatness isn’t going anywhere either. It’s coming with us tuh-day, okrr?! We’re not leaving it at home… We’re not stuffing it down in our pockets so that others won’t feel uncomfortable in our presence… We’re not pretending that we’re anything less than what we are. And we’re not asking for permission. We are giving notice.
That’s what Grand Rising means.
So, rise, sweet soul.
Wake up — rise up as a lioness/lion and walk in your unique expression of what that means.
To be honest, I wasn’t always this ecstatic about mornings. I used to HATE mornings. Every morning I would wake up and think: “Oh god, not this again!!! WHY ME.”
I used to wake up in the worst moods ever because I just didn’t see the point of living, lol. I know that sounds kind of dramatic but seriously — that’s how much I couldn’t stand waking up. And it would take me a while to come to my senses too. Usually after lunchtime I’d start to think, ‘alright, cool this isn’t so bad, I guess.’ But then I’d experience the same morning dread the next day and it would last almost half of the day. All I wanted to do was sleep! I was so tired. Literally, it would be a physically painful experience trying to open my eyes in the morning… It was like they were glued shut! Granted, I didn’t have the best habits either. My diet wasn’t really on point — I was smoking and drinking quite often during this phase in my life. I wasn’t working out regularly. I was also going to sleep super late because I would get a surge of energy around 6pm (after work - lol) and it would last until midnight or later. So it was just a series of unfortunate choices day in and day out.
If you’ve been watching my Instagram stories on my personal account you’d know that I have recently managed to become one of those crazy morning people that wake up at 4AM. So, how did this happen? And more importantly, why did this happen (lol)? So many people have asked me why I started the #4AMWakeUpChallenge because it just sounds so ludicrous. They’re like “why 4am?” and “why not 5:30 or 6am”? It all started because I finally got to a breaking point. I have been wanting to kick my terrible morning person habits for such a long time. I just got to the point where I realized I’m either going to do it or I’m going to be okay with the same old story I kept telling myself. It was easy to say that I’m just not a morning person and there’s nothing I can do about it. I told myself that story for years! But I wanted to really challenge myself to see if I can transform into a morning person. I also wanted to experiment with how it made me feel or see if it would actually make me feel any different. Oh and the reason I chose 4AM is because I was watching a Kobe Bryant interview and he was talking about how he wakes up at 4AM, so I said, I wanna be like Kobe Bryant. #BALLISLIFE :D
PLUS, I needed a number SO ridiculous that it was going to be motivating. :)
So now I have been doing the #4AMWakeUpChallenge for approximately 8 weeks and I have lived to tell the tale. I am here to tell you that the #4AMWakeUpChallenge has taught me sooo much about discipline, work ethics, and self-care. I am also here to tell you that the #4AMWakeUpChallenge has done wonders for my physical, mental and spiritual health. I am so happy with all of the benefits I’ve experienced that I’ve put together a list of things that have helped me instill this new habit. You know, just in case y’all are thinking about joining me! ;)
Know your why.
You have to have a strong WHY. It’s gotta be something so important to you that it will get you out of bed on a cold winter night even when all you want to do is snuggle up under your blanket. The stakes have to be super HIGH to get you over this first hump. My why is a combination of things. My biggest why is that I want to have an hour to myself every morning without worrying about getting ready to go somewhere or do something. I’ve found that having this hour to myself grounds me and prepares me to take on the day like the boss ass bitch that I am. When I used to wake up late and hurry to get out of the house, I would feel so frazzled and anxious about everything. Waking up at 4AM puts me more in control of my day and I love the fact that I don’t have to rush. That’s another big why — I feel like I get a head start on my day… Do you know how good it feels to leave your house knowing you already journaled, meditated, worked out AND ate breakfast? Ahhh, it is such a relief! And it already feels like I won the day. This brings me to my next point: ROUTINES.
Set your morning & evening routines.
I never thought I’d be one to talk about routines like this. I’m the type of person that likes to go with the flow and not feel restricted by having to do things repeatedly at certain times every day. That used to sound like torture to me… But actually, routines have been SUCH a blessing in this #4AMWakeUpChallenge journey! The thing about waking up so early is that I need to follow a set schedule so that I’m not tempted to fall back asleep. I created a morning routine that I knew would stimulate me and fill me up. Right now, my morning routine consists of free-writing, listening to affirmations, meditating, making breakfast and going to the gym. This gets me up and inspired right away! My evening routines are also very intentional. I start around 8:30/9pm with meditation, affirmations and a quick journal entry about my day. I then try to get into bed by 9:30/10pm. It is incredible how important my morning and evening routines have been for my success in this challenge. I noticed that when I would try to skip even just my evening routine, I would be tempted to completely give up on the challenge and go to sleep late. It really makes a difference when you set your routines and actually stick to them consistently.
Get your body moving.
I would not be able to wake up at 4AM and STAY awake if I wasn’t getting my body moving within an hour of waking up. And there’s really nothing like going to the gym and finishing your workout before 6:30am. It energizes me and makes me feel super accomplished! Plus, working out so early makes me motivated to stick to eating healthy and drinking water throughout the day. So I would HIGHLY suggest adding a workout to your morning routine to get your day started.
Listen to affirmations.
I would not have been able to come this far without practicing affirmations. You can do this in a number of ways. I decided to download an app called ThinkUp that allows you to write and record your own affirmations. They also have a number of pre-recorded affirmations categorized by different themes. I LOVE this app! It’s free to download but I would recommend investing in their premium membership so you can record unlimited affirmations and gain access to their affirmations library as well. IT IS SO WORTH IT! It was a bit strange recording my own voice at first but it really made a difference to hear my own voice recite the affirmations I wrote. It feels more personal and I feel like I’m holding myself more accountable. Like… BITCH, you said this, remember!? Lol, whichever way you decide to do it… JUST DO IT! Listening to affirmations is such a great way to reset and refocus. You can also just go on YouTube and find a bunch of affirmation videos that are amazing. I decided to write my own affirmations because I wanted to gear them more towards themes of discipline and my personal goals. If you want to borrow some of my affirmations, hit me up - I got you! ;)
Find an accountability partner.
Let’s be honest, even with all the affirmations in the world… Sometimes it’s just not enough. Sometimes you need someone in your corner who’s going to remind and push you when those affirmations are just not getting through. Having an accountability partner/group is SO important. There have been days where I just did not hear my alarm go off but my accountability partner called and saved the day. And I did the same in return. It’s amazing to feel like you’ve got a lil backup plan on those days when you try to talk yourself out of it or other circumstances try to get in the way of your goal. It also feels great knowing you are not alone on the Earth at 4AM…Because trust me, it feels real dark and deserted at this hour. Oh and I almost forgot - tell the world about it! If you don’t have an accountability partner/group or you already do and you just want to up the stakes… Share your journey on social media! I started Insta-vlogging about it on my stories and it has helped me in the accountability department so much! I started getting out of bed in the morning on some days just because I didn’t want to let my people down, lol. Even if I thought that maybe no one cared, it didn’t matter because I made a promise to my fans, lolll. I knew I had to push through!
Do it even if you don’t feel like it.
Ok, I know this is more like an affirmation but it can play such a big role in the success of this challenge, I just had to include it. I’m not going to lie - this challenge is not easy. And the hardest part is in the beginning. I think it took me a good month to start feeling like waking up at 4am is not so bad after all. You’re going to feel tired at first. You’re going to want to quit. You’re going to feel like you’re not seeing any benefits. But trust me, the benefits come with time. The more you stick to it, the more you’ll experience benefits. And the more consistent you are, the easier it’s going to get. But don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day or two either. I’ve had days I’ve missed. I even missed a whole week. You have to tune in to what’s best and healthiest for you at all times. If you do decide you want to incorporate this habit in your life, just make sure that when you do miss a day or two that the excuse is a good one. Be kind to yourself, always. But be assertive and firm also in order to access the discipline to reach your goals. Don’t give up just because it’s hard. :)
These past 8 weeks of the #4AMWakeUpChallenge have been challenging to say the least. But I am so glad I started this and I am looking forward to making this a life-long habit. I feel so much better physically and mentally that I really can’t imagine going back to my old ways. Waking up at 4AM inspires and motivates me to continue to push toward my goals and become the best version of myself. It has taught me to be more forgiving and patient with myself as I learn new things. It has taught me a lot about perseverance, resilience and growth. It has taught me that consistency is key. It has taught me about focus and preparation. It has taught me that sometimes radical action is what you really need to truly WAKE UP. It has taught me that failures are the steps toward success.
And here’s a really good quote I heard recently from one of my faves:
“My mornings are about reminding myself who it is I really belong to.” - Tracy G.
Woo! Now, that’s deep. I love that.
The #4AMWakeUpChallenge has been teaching me what it truly means to put myself first.
With that being said, I would like to invite you to join me on the #4AMWakeUpChallenge! I am here for you if you have any questions or need support in starting this new habit. We can be accountability buddies! Comment below or send me a message if you’re interested in getting started.
Trust me, you won’t regret it! It’s actually fun waking up at 4AM!
I never thought I would say that, by the way.
But seriously — if I could do it, so can you. :)