Jan 31, 2012

The best intentions

So...tomorrow's February. How did that happen?

I have a lot of energy coming into this year, and I want to stay motivated in all different ways, so I'm participating in 12 Changes for 2012. My challenge for January was to create more time for reading.

I rocked it.

According to goodreads, I read eight books in the month of January. EIGHT! I can't remember the last time I read eight books in three months, much less one! I set a goal for myself to read 40 books this year and I'm almost a quarter of the way finished. In one month!

So what did this look like for me? I tried to fit in time for reading when I could, but it also meant sometimes choosing reading over other activities, like watching shows on hulu. I made conscious decisions, and remembered how the more I read the more I want to read, so after awhile it once again became second nature.

I want to build upon each of these months, which brings me to my intention for February: Going to bed at a decent hour.

I'm here to tell you - this is not going to be easy. I have become somewhat of a morning person, but a lot of the times you'd never know that because I got a second wind at 10:30 the night before and stayed up past midnight. Getting more sleep is going improve my mood, help with my health, and I think make me an all-around more cheerful person.

Because I know I struggle with this, I'm setting some limitations for myself. I'm going to give myself a little wiggle room on the weekends (with the thought of at least trying to get eight hours of sleep), but on nights when I have to go to work the next day, my goal is to be in bed by 10 o'clock and lights out by 10:30 PM.

Again, I'll be building on my January intention because when I get in bed at 10 I'll read for half an hour before going to sleep - that way I'm not on the computer, or on my phone right before bed.

This also means I have to be careful with my time in the evenings. If I don't get home until 6 PM I only have four hours until I have to be in bed. That sounds like a lot, but between dinner, doing stuff around the apartment, spending time with Ben, blogging, etc that time can fly by. I think I'll also see an improvement in not wasting so much time on the internet. I'll admit, I feel a little like a 12-year old with a bedtime, but I know in the long run this is going to help a lot!

Does getting a good night's sleep make a difference for you? Have you ever given yourself a bedtime? Are you creating intentions for yourself each month, or do you prefer to set them for a longer period of time?

(Photo: Taken by me while at Magnolia Bakery in Chicago!)


Lucy The Valiant said...

Ugh, I have a bedtime for myself, but I RARELY make it. There's just always so much to do!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I NEED sleep. If I don't get 7.5 to 8 hours, I am not fun to be around (see Sunday in Chicago when I was a bit of a zombie). I give myself a bedtime of 9 pm. I try to shut my lights off no later than 9:30. It's tough because I get home and usually study for 2 hours, and when you add in time to eat and run, it doesn't allow me much time in the evenings... But i get up at 5:15-5:30 every week day, so if I don't abide by that bedtime, it's not pretty.

Well done on your January goal! I can't believe you read 8 books - that's awesome! I read 4 and am happy with that. :)

Megan said...

Your bedtime sounds like a dream to me! I'm with Lisa...I can barely stay awake past 9:00 pm most nights! I have the same routine though except that I like to read for an hour before bed if I can swing it. The only nights I don't read are if one of my shows is on :)I think you will definitely notice a difference when you start getting consistent sleep!

Zelde said...

I seem to be living on the opposite schedule. My bedtime is 1 an and I don't even make that every night. I do however rarely get up before 8 am so it's fine.

AshleyD said...

I have a bedtime too! I need a lot of sleep, so I try to be in bed by 9 or 9:30 so I turn the lights out by 9:30 (ideally) or 10:00. Lately it's been more like 10:30 and last night I was up until 11:00! It makes my 6am wake up call such a struggle.

Funnelcloud Rachel said...

Becky - every post I read of yours this month makes me think we're somehow related - we have very similar January goals! (Either that or we have very similar bad habits - I'm also doing some major decluttering and closet cleaning over here!)

I just wrote a post yesterday about my goals for the year (you're doing 12 changes, I'm doing 30 day challenges) that should be up tomorrow and I can't believe how similar our thinking is. I had a reading goal for January, too (to read every day) and one of my next goals is going to be going to bed early. (Though early for me would be in bed by 11, lights out by 12!) I too, was thinking how establishing the habit of reading more this month will help with getting to bed at a more reasonable time next month!

Good luck with your goals...I like the way you think! ;)

Crissy Rae said...

Excellent job with the book reading! I love reading as well and sometimes you really do have to make the decision to put other things aside to enjoy those good books. Glad it worked out for you.
I think getting a good night sleep makes my day so much better. The tough thing is actually doing it. I have good intentions and then find myself going to bed after midnight. I wish you luck in your February goal.

Sarah said...

I am all about keeping a tight schedule. I go to sleep at about 9:30 p.m. every night, and I'm up at 5:30 a.m. every morning during the week. On the weekends, I might stay up a little later and get up a little later, but not by much. I find that it takes about 30 days to make something a habit. Good luck and good rest to you!

Allison Blass said...

I don't think I put this as one of my 12 Changes, but I really need to have a bedtime. I stay up super late, and then I either sleep in in the morning or I'm just sleepy and groggy all day long. Not fun!

Amber said...

Way to go on the reading! That is awesome!

I am like Lisa, need need need my sleep! I'm always shocked when you whatsapp me and it's practically MY bedtime and you're 3 hours ahead :P Haha! I rarely stay up later than 10:30 - 11 on weeknights and even that's a stretch for me. I went to bed at 8 pm twice in the last week I was so tired. Lol

Anonymous said...

I can tell when I haven't gotten enough sleep. I feel super tired and sluggish the next day.

You can do it!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I'm with Lisa and the many other who are with her- not a happy person without sleep, almost to the point where I get anxiety if anything gets in the way of my sleep. I hope you have success with this in February!

I wanna know what all the books you read this month are, so I just requested you as a friend on goodreads :) Hopefully you'll accept me haha

Amber @ A little pink in the cornfields said...

Since changing careers I have really had to take charge of this problem as well. I am totally a night owl and catch that second wind you're talking about, I totally get it. I've made myself get in bed and I cannot look at my phone or computer for at least an hour. It seems to work! Except for right now because I just noticed it is 10pm and I am supposed to be in bed.... I'm so behind on blogs! Bllerrrrgh!

Anonymous said...

8 books?! That is AMAZING. I've reaaallyyyy been slacking on my reading lately and I don't like it one bit. Can't wait to see how your Feb challenge goes! :)

I've been using these first couple months in my 12 changes to get back into a healthy eating lifestyle and so far it's working really well for me. Hopefully that continues! I'm excited to focus on my fitness in February. I NEED it!

Mandy said...

Great job on the reading, miss! Reading went by the wayside for me the past few months but I think after a few trips to the book store, thats changed. I am a night owl by nature and the past few nights have been reading until 2 or 3 in the morning. I have been catching up on sleep during the weekends.

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