is one of the keys to a long and healthy life.
In the past, I’ve had significant success in experimenting with waking up super early each morning. Once, for several months, I was able to go to bed each night at 8:15 p.m. and awaken the next morning at 4:15 a.m. — during that particular experiment, I was able to accomplish more than perhaps any other period in my life!
Not everyone is a “morning person,” of course, but the point of experimenting with your nightly bedtime is not to force you into being an early riser; instead, the point is to discover what your own body’s natural rhythms are and then to use that as a basis for creating an optimal schedule.
When your schedule is optimized, it makes it far easier to build even more enlightened habits. Not only that, it also makes it easier to keep at those habits consistently and to make them “stick.”
How Setting Boundaries Helps You to Optimize Your Schedule
During that experiment of waking each morning at 4:15am, I soon discovered that if I was going to make it to bed before 8:30 p.m. then I had to say “no” more often:
- ✔ “no” to working late at the office
- ✔ “no” to restaurant dinner engagements
Toward the end, I was becoming an expert at setting healthy boundaries!
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“…by rising early, I had time
to enjoy the morning calmly and
set my intentions for the day ahead”
A Schedule Adjustment Can Bring Increased Clarity
Though the initial adjustment to my new schedule did cause a few moments of strain, once the initial shock was gone I began to develop a heightened sense of self-awareness and clarity.Rising each morning at 4:15 a.m. provided me with more calm moments of reflection — moments that had been less possible back when I rushed to get ready for work from the moment I set foot out of bed. By rising early, I had time to enjoy the morning calmly and set my intentions for the day ahead.
I could arrive at my desk earlier and get some outrageously effective work done before the rest of the world got hectic and the emails and calls started flooding in!
How to Deal with the Late-Night Eating Temptations!
Later that day, when I arrived home after work around 5:30 p.m. I was forced to begin my evening wind-down rather than continuing to pursue this-or-that project, as I was previously accustomed.
As the experiment progressed I perceived the need to shift my evening meal relative to my new schedule. Ceasing to eat at least two hours before you go to sleep is an important step to aid your body’s natural metabolic cycle, and ensure a restful night’s sleep. I’m telling you, eating before bed is both an art and a science, but if you can get the timing right, it makes a huge difference!
The key takeaway here is to understand that, yes, there are solutions for finding time to exercise each day and for getting enough sleep each night, and I encourage you to experiment with your own schedule and see where it leads you.