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4am check-in

4am checkin

Last week, I started my super ambitious, kinda crazy goal of waking up at 4am. After I posted about this, I got a lot of questions from friends who were curious to know some details of how I’m making this work. I’m almost two weeks in, so I thought I’d check-in and elaborate a bit on how it’s going.

How is it going??

So far, to my surprise, I’m loving it! I actually feel less tired and more productive. In the evenings, I don’t even think about TV/Shows anymore, which used to be my go-to. I have about an hour after Pookie goes to sleep to do something and I used to just waste it. Now, I feel like I can jump back in to something I was working on that morning and finish it up.

I do notice that if I don’t actually schedule in what I’m going to do with my little blocks of time, I will dilly-dally which makes the time less productive. The focus and motivation comes easier for me if I take a moment to stop and get clear about what I’m going to do.


Call me 70, but I now wrap things up for the evening at 8:30. I try to be in bed by 8:45/9:00pm (Pookie who goes to bed at 7pm). The first few days were challenging, since I wasn’t quite ready for bed at this time, but now I can fall asleep pretty easily.

I still don’t feel really tired by 8:30pm, but to my surprise, I lay down and I’m out. Guess my body is ready to call it a day!

About seven days in, I started waking up at 4:00am with, or right before my alarm, and I feel ready to get up. I guess this is how long it takes for me to train myself into a new wake-up time. Good to know!

Why 4am and not something more reasonable like 5am?

I know, it’s early. There are certain things I’d like to get in before Pookie wakes up, so that sets when I’d have to wakeup. Here’s how it breaks down:

4:00 – Alarm goes off. Get up, put on workout clothes, make my morning tea, get pumped for workout (usually grumbling).

4:30 – Start workout. I have a rotating schedule of 15-20 minute DVD workouts and a yoga routine.

5:00 – Piano practice. This is something that is a high priority for me, so I have to fit it in when I’m fresh and able to focus, otherwise, I won’t do it later in the day.

5:20 – Work on whatever my schedule “to-be” is that day (I call them “to-be’s” instead of “to-do’s”).

6:00 – Hop in the shower and get ready.

6:30 – Pookie is up and raring to go.

6:30-8:30 – Pookie time, breakfast, finish getting ready, dishes, pickup house.

Adapt as needed

I’m two weeks in to trying to get up at 4am, not actually getting up at 4am. On the weekend, I gave myself a break and slept until Pookie got up. There were one or two days where I was out in the evening and didn’t get home until 9/9:30pm. I knew 4am was not going to happen that next morning. Then there was Monday night of this week, when for some random reason, Pookie got up after every 20 minute sleeping cycle from 7:00pm – 2:00am. It was rough. 4am did not happen.

I’m striving for sustainability over strictness, I guess. 4am is my goal, but it may not happen every day, and that’s ok. I hope to have another day to try again!


{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jadira Flamm April 16, 2015, 10:48 am

    Hi Amy,

    I love your new website and have been reading your blogs. It’s so nice to hear from you and to know you are doing well.

    I haven’t done it in a while and I’m glad you posted this but a friend of mine showed me ‘Inspired to Action’. It’s a lady that has a website with blogs and she created a Maximize Your Mornings Blog. It is essentially what you have been doing and it’s the best thing ever. When I implement it, I am less tired and more productive. You’ve inspired me to get back on the wagon.

    Good luck with your mornings!


    • Amy Rakowczyk April 19, 2015, 7:41 pm

      Jadira! So good to hear from you! I’ll have to check out that blog. It’s so good to have the support of others when trying to stay inspired and working toward our goals. Let me know how your mornings go!!

  • Sara K. April 16, 2015, 1:32 pm

    Good for you! I used to do something similar (though my wake up was 5:30am!) and I was much more productive – got in a work out, made breakfast, packed lunches (if I forgot to do it the night before), took a shower and got ready for work all before I woke Sydney up at 6:45am.

    I’m not sure what happened, but I’ve dropped the habit. Trying to restart it now 🙂

    • Amy Rakowczyk April 19, 2015, 7:38 pm

      Awesome, Sara! We can do it!! 🙂

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