Change the Right Things

About a month ago I had this crazy idea to start getting up at 4am. The idea was that since making progress in my business was the thing I most wanted to achieve, I would literally put getting work done on my business first.

So as an experiment, I dragged myself out of bed at 4am every morning for a week. I’d put on my robe and glasses, step over the bewildered dog, and stumble into the computer room. Then I’d get something done.

Let me tell you, getting up early sucked at first. I’d never have persisted if I hadn’t posted about it here first and told my husband about the idea. (So thank you.)

But the possibly crazier thing is that a month later, I’m still doing it. (Now I don’t always get up at 4am, but it’s always earlier than when I used to get up. And it’s always usually right when my alarm goes off, which is another big change.) The benefits far outweigh a little bleary-eyedness.

The moral of the story?

When things aren’t working, try something else. Give doing something a little extreme a shot. Too often we get stuck in a rut, and don’t see additional options that might work because we’re used to thinking of things in a conventional way.

Brainstorm, and then actually give 3 or 4 of the ideas you come up with a solid try, even if they’re a little out there. You might surprise yourself and discover benefits to trying whatever it is that you hadn’t even imagined.

We all have a inner strength to call upon that will get us to our goals. Keep changing things up that aren’t working until you change the right things.


  • Getting up early is great because if you put your mind to it, you can get so much done in the first 2 hours it’s unreal – whether it is working out or working on your computer for 2 hours.

  • I’ve definitely noticed a big difference in my mood now that I get up at 7 or 7:30 a.m. rather than 10ish. First, I get more direct sunlight through our sliding glass door. Good for mood.

    Also, I just feel more productive. It’s upsetting to be finally getting some real productivity done and have it be 2 or 3 (or later!) and most of the day is gone!

    • I wish it had that effect on mood for me too. I’m still fairly grumpy until lunchtime or so, but I do very much enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.

  • I started getting up early a few months ago. Like you said, it is VERY hard at first! It is so quiet in the house at that time, I really started enjoying the peace. I can get in a good hour of work before everyone gets up. It gives me more time to spend with the family.

  • “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius

  • I would be happy just to get up a half an hour earlier. That would give me time to polish things up on my blog…

    Kudos to you for being able to get up so early! I’m more of a night person myself. Hopefully, someday I’ll be able to change my sleep pattern and start getting up earlier too!

  • I remember when you first posted about this. :-)

    I haven’t started waking up earlier since then, but we have been heading to bed by 9 or 9:30 instead of 10:30 or 11. My husband gets more sleep and I have an hour in bed with my laptop to finish up or accomplish something I couldn’t get done during the day. The quiet house with no chore obligations really does make it easier to concentrate.