Wellness: Wake Up Early For July Challenge

Image credit: Unsplash.com

This post will be updated daily through July 2020.

Hello hello!

We are now officially in the latter half of the year (what!) – happy July, everyone :) My Sleep By 11pm For June Challenge is now over and I’m taking my learnings from it to set myself a new challenge for July.

I didn’t manage to change my bedtime to 11pm in the end, but I did manage to sleep earlier and wake earlier than I had been doing at the start of the month and, importantly, I learned a lot from the struggles I experienced.

For July, the goal is to be able to wake up before 7:30am without the use of an alarm by the end of the month. I’m not a morning person, and I don’t have a need to be a mega-early riser (especially since my hubby is a night owl), so if I can wake up between 7 and 7:30am, I’ll be a very happy bunny.

This time I’ll be focusing less on the time I fall asleep and more on what time I wake up, because I don’t think it matters what time I fall asleep as long as I can hit my wake-target. If I’m hitting my wake-target, I reckon I’ll be so tired I’ll end up sleeping earlier anyway.

Challenge Details & Goals

Throughout July, I will be setting alarms to help myself wake up in the morning. With each passing week, I’ll be setting my alarm earlier by 30mins. The idea is to slowly re-wire my body’s sleep schedule for an overall healthier lifestyle moving forward.

The alarms I’ll be setting will be:

  • 7/2 – 7/8: 8:30am
  • 7/9 – 7/15: 8am
  • 7/16 – 7/22: 7:30am
  • 7/23 – 7/29: 7am
  • 7/30 – 7/31: No alarm

I will be tracking my sleep time (night before), my wake time (day of), hours slept and total restful sleep hrs using the same sleep tracker app as last time: SleepWatch. I will continue to note my exhaustion and headache levels to see how my sleep affects my body. I will not be tracking my weight for this challenge, but if I happen to weigh myself I’ll add it in a note somewhere.

Please check back in to see how I get on and keep me accountable. I’ll be updating this daily and will do my best.

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Bullet Journal: Initial Thoughts, July Setup & August Draft

Click here for my overall setup & June half-month spread.

It’s getting to the end of the month (what!) and I figured I’d set up my July spread in my bullet journal. I am only planning to use it for monthly trackers because I have other notebooks for other things, so figure this one journal can last me a long time.

There’s a bit of a story behind the setup of this one, but I feel that as I’m getting more accustomed to my journal, I’m also learning and better understanding how I want to use it. If you just want to see the spread, here it is! My original draft and the final spread:

July’s colours were green, so I just did some basic doodles in green and left it at that. I used a light and dark green Paper Mate pen (I have this set), and a green highlighter.

I don’t plan to change the habits I’m tracking for the moment so they’re the same as last month, but I’ve written them on alternating lines on either side of the tracker so each row has a bit more breathing space. I’ll be indicating each habit done with an ‘x’, as per the x’s by my “habit tracker” title.

For July I highlighted the weekends of the month by outlining them with my dark green pen, which I felt would be helpful for myself. I went back and did the same for June with my purple pen too. The washi tape conceals a semi-private task.

Now onto the story and my August draft…

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Productivity: My Bullet Journal Set Up

Yes, pretty late to the game but I have now hopped on board the bullet journal train. Actually I started watching BuJo videos for entertainment a few months ago because I really enjoyed seeing the creativity of YouTubers but also love seeing how people organise their lives.

But what I really found could have been helpful for me was the habit trackers and mood trackers spread. I really liked the idea of tracking my habits (and also having on paper the dates I watered my plants rather than arbitrarily remembering, “Oh, I think I watered it a couple of weeks ago.”)

I started trialling just the habit and mood trackers in mid-April on a very basic spread, and again in May… and June… before, finally, I purchased my own journal.

(I also prepped a July habit / mood tracker while I was prepping my June one, but obviously now no longer need it.)

I have separate notebooks for my devotionals/misc/blog/YouTube stuff, which I’m keeping separate because I want all of my related materials to be in one place. However, I also have a random monthly to-do list that didn’t fit in with the other notebooks as well as a period tracker which I had been tracking in yet another notebook for 7 years now, so I decided to buy a bullet journal to keep all my misc monthly stuff in one place.

What I discovered the few months I tried it:

  1. I really did not need the mood tracker – my mood is typically very stable except the day or two leading up to my period where I’d get a bit more emotional.
  2. I did not find it helpful to track watering my plants because I have so many at this point and they’re all on different watering schedules.
  3. Using so many different colours, whilst looking pretty, is a bit of a pain in the rear to fill in everything.
  4. I stuck the tracker paper my wall or on my desk so it was even more of a hassle to fill in at the end of the day because I’d have to be in the study colouring with 5 different highlighters.

Once I committed to buying a journal, I did a bit more research and realised that I could just make my habit tracker even more basic hahaha. So just one or two colours was more than enough, and I can just stick my colours of the month in the pen loop and take the journal with me to fill in before bed. I also really liked a few general tracking spreads that were inspired by other YouTubers so I incorporated some of those too.

With all that in mind, my bullet journal has been split into 2 sections: the overall trackers, and the monthly spreads. The notebook I purchased is this one from Amazon (only $9.54!) which, given the simplicity of my needs, I felt would have been perfect.

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Wellness: Sleep By 11pm For June Challenge

Image credit: Unsplash

This post was updated daily and completed on 7/1/2020.
Jump to final thoughts & results.

Hello, now that I have your attention with the adorable kitten image, thanks for joining me on this challenge. Mwahahaha.

As you may be aware, the last challenge I gave myself was to cut out excess sugar from my diet. That one, I had no idea how long I’d track it for and also no idea what I was doing, and I didn’t even realise it was a challenge to myself until the last day. Needless to say, it was a spectacular fail!

This time though, I’m actually setting myself a challenge. Why? Because it’s hard. And I want to do it. And I want to be kept accountable.

I’ve been sleeping late recently and it’s just wrecking my health. I nursed the worst headache I’ve had for a while today after sleeping at 3am last night. I then took a 3hr nap in the afternoon and my head still hurts. It wasn’t even like I was doing anything important. I was just watching anime. Clearly I lack self-control and it’s a problem.

Challenge Details & Goals

Through 30th June, my challenge will be this:

> Turn off all electronics by 10:30pm to prepare for bed
> Be in bed by 11pm
> Wake up by 9am by the end of the first week, 8am by the end of the second week and 7am by the end of the final week.
> Note sleep time (night before) and wake time (day of) etc. using a sleep tracker app to track data. I am using SleepWatch.

I aim see how sleeping earlier affects my fatigue/lethargy, headaches and will also do a weigh-in every 7 days. Also, Jacky will eventually have to go back into the office for his job (maybe as early as next month?) so I want to be able to wake up early to make us breakfast and pack a lunchbox for him like this woman does for her husband — I’ve been inspired!

This means changing my wake up time from 10am to 7am in the next few weeks. I’ll be setting alarms to begin with, but ideally by the end of the 3 weeks I’ll be waking up naturally around 7ish. I need a good 8-9hrs sleep/night so that means going to sleep around 11pm. They say it takes 21 days to build up a new habit, and I have exactly 21 days of this challenge.

Please do check back in to see how I get on and keep me accountable. I’ll be updating this daily and will do my best.

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