Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative

On Being

40 Days of Mornings

I’m halfway through my 40 day commitment to waking up early. A little background on the 40 day commitment: as part of my creative coaching sessions, I had to create a “Dream Day” and from that day, I had to choose one thing that I could implement now in my life and commit to for 40 days. For me, this was waking up early. Aiming high, I know. 

For the past 20 days (including weekends) I’ve woken up earlier than I normally had been waking up. Some days a full two hours before and some days only ten minutes before, but earlier is earlier and I’m learning to accept that any progress is good enough. When I started my sessions with Kathleen, one of the biggest issues I had coming into it was the overwhelming sense that I never had enough time to do things I needed and wanted to do. This feeling was having a negative effect on all aspects of my life from my personal relationships, to the way I create and design, even to how I felt about my job. It’s no way to live! Especially since I love the people in my life, I love to create and design and I have a pretty awesome day job.

The idea of the 40 day commitment isn’t just about creating discipline. It’s also about taking real steps toward my goals – living more consciously, being present with my family, feeling fulfilled by my day job – these all are things that require me to change what I do on a daily basis so I can carve out the time that I felt I needed.

How does waking up early actually help me and not just make me a miserable and cranky person to be around? This time is spent doing the things that usually get pushed to the side during the rest of the day. And these are usually the things that make me feel focused and calm. So you can imagine, if on a normal basis, the things that make me feel focused and calm are the things that I never get around to doing. Chaos ensues! And it’s mostly internal chaos, which externalizes itself in a way that looks a lot like me with a black cloud over my head and some serious old lady jowls. Getting to do these things, things like planning my day, journaling around my mantra for the week and blogging, responding to personal emails, making progress on personal projects, drinking coffee undisturbed on the couch and reading, or researching, even working out some days – it all helps me to be more focused on the work I do during the day and be present when I’m with my family and not off in la la land thinking about how I wish I had more time to do [fill in the blank].

I’m not a morning person, which you would think I would just stay up later in order to be productive. But something that I’ve learned about myself after reading this book, is that even though I can easily stay up late without getting physically tired, by the end of the day I am extremely tired mentally and emotionally. Writing is practically impossible for me. I can manage a workout at night, but most of that time is spent doing non-mentally demanding tasks like crocheting, social media, cooking or cleaning.

If you had to commit to one thing for 40 days, what would it be?


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  1. Pingback: 40 Days of Being Active - Crystal Madrilejos

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