I can't really remember when I started, but it has to be well over a month or two ago that I've picked up the habit of waking up extra early during weekdays.
The initial motivation for this was (and still is) to invest these few precious hours to the development of my side projects; And really all the stuff that I don't get to work on during the rest of the day because I'm either at my 9 to 5 job or working on developing other areas of my life.
I picked the early morning specifically because, before I started this habit, I was trying to do this work in the evenings and was sporadic at best.
I found that in the evenings my energy levels are depleted from a full day of (regular 9-to5) work and sometimes maybe even exercise, so the result was that IF I even mustered the energy to get out my laptop and crank a few hours, the quality of my work and creativity was essentially whatever was left over from the rest of the day.
So by choosing to work on my side projects and creative endeavors in the very early hours of the morning, I'm symbolically prioritizing my creative work and also giving it the hours where I'm more energized, freshly rested and ready to focus.
In addition to this, I knew that if I just tried to do this work at home I would be very tempted to go back to sleep or get distracted by family, so I chose to instead go to my local coffee shop (which conveniently happens to open at that same time that I wake up!).
I've written before about how much I love coffee, so in a way choosing to work in a coffee shop is a way for me to get even more motivated to do it; I get a sort of reward from following through with my habit.
So being consistent at waking up that early had not been a problem ever since I started doing this. But, earlier this week I felt very pressured from the work I get from my job that I fell into the temptation of doing regular work during my early morning routine time.
This helped ease the stress from work, but I started to notice that by the third day, I was already feeling un-motivated to get up from bed and get going.
I caught myself and after reflecting on this, I came to the conclusion that I was feeling this way about my the routine I had come to love so much because (by choosing to work on my job tasks) I was acting outside of alignment with the very reason why I even started the habit in the first place.
As soon as I realized this, I shifted and decided that even if it was for just a fraction of the time I use for my morning routine, I am going to fulfill the promise to myself to make progress on the work that matters most to me.
I realize that I have to become better at managing the challenges I face at my job and sort them out within the allotted 9-to-5, and to be vigilant when that work starts to creep into my sacred hours of the morning; because it could lead me to fall into the trap of misusing the time I have allocated to develop myself creatively.