Up at 4:30 A.M. | Salt Air Entrepreneur

I know people who would shudder at this blog title, HA! But they are also the night owls who outdo me in staying up late. What do you MEAN you were up until 11pm!?!? LOL! I can’t even. I used to be a night owl and after Cammy started elementary school – we had to change our routine and it ended up completely changing our lives! When we finally made the change of becoming early morning people there was no denying what incredibly positive results we were experiencing by following this discipline. If you are continually forgetting things in the morning, running behind, panicking, scrambling – it may be time to try a different way of starting your daysI say that with love, because it was US. We are now organized and on time and stress free (mostly, LOL) in the mornings and it’s not because of anything except the facts that we use a Lifeflow list and we get up earlier. If you want things to change, you have to change your habits, which will in turn develop into a routine. Routines become like second nature and then it becomes a lifestyle! 

We got kind of tired of arguing and stressing in the mornings. Can’t find something, forget to do something, not enough time to do something…it’s a waste of what a morning can really be. Mornings set the tone for the rest of your day, so if you start out feeling behind and defeated, that is a heck of a way to begin a day…and it’s hard to come back from that sometimes. When we started our days that way, I already couldn’t wait for the next day by 10am and that’s sad! I want to live every day as thankfully and positively as I can…especially when it’s because of things that are directly in my control going well because of wise decisions made.

Some people will attest that they are TRULY not morning people. I get it, but if you have a job that starts in the morning, or kids that have to get ready in the morning for school…you’re going to have to cultivate a different lifestyle to fit this season of life. If you say you’re not something, you’ll keep staying that way. Excuses are worthless and they’re not adulting so try to BREAK that habit, friends! Start talking DIFFERENTLY about your life and what it is and talk about it in a way that matches how you want it to be. You don’t have to lie! You don’t have to say okay fine, I’m a morning person! But you do need to be positive and say well I’m not a morning person but I am determined to try, or to at least be a morning person for now! 🙂

A couple of years ago I read What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (<click to order on Amazon) and it was such a game changer for us! I love this book…I love hearing stories of people who spend a well balanced amount of time with their families while still getting their work done. I don’t shame the word balance like some people tend to do, balance is a healthy ideal to work toward! Don’t picture “balance” as two buckets weighing evenly on a scale…but rather as feeling like the right amount of attention is being given to each thing in your life. Balance, in this case, doesn’t mean equal, it means things aren’t dramatically lacking in certain areas of your life. Family time “weighs” the most in my life and always will, but I am well balanced with work and making sure I get things done and I’m showing up for them – MAINLY BECAUSE….you guessed it, I’m getting up at 4:30am! Haha! You may NOT need to do this, but it’s what I have to do (and enjoy doing!) to make things work 🙂

So what does a day look like? Let’s pick a Tuesday…because Mondays are ballet days (for three little girls!) and it tends to stress people out just LOOKING at that day’s events and how crazy it is, haha!

  • 4:30am – Wake up, something good & motivating goes right into my office diffuser 
  • 4:40am – Office time begins, journal first & work second
  • 6:15am – Get dressed, makeup on, breakfast, wake Cam up if she’s not already up – but she’s usually up by 5:45am, not kidding, lol.
  • 7am – Wake up the little ones for breakfast
  • 7:15am – Mike takes Cammy to school
  • 7:30am – Get little ones dressed to go to YMCA with me and then drop Ellie at school
  • 7:45am – Out the door
  • 8am – YMCA for 20 minutes (1-2 miles on elliptical and two weight machines)
  • 8:30am – Head down road to Ellie school
  • 9am – Back home with Autumn, set her up with yogurt & another snack & her favorite show in living room…get out of gym clothes & dressed
  • 9:15am – Start office time, usually getting up 10-20 times for Autumn but I keep coming back and picking up where I left off, no matter how hard. I know a lot of moms want a way out of this, but it’s just something that I stopped fighting and learned to accept. Once I did, things got easier, I managed my own expectations of getting interrupted better. I even mounted a SMALL tv in my office so Autumn can sit and watch in there if she really wants attention, she can be close to be and watch what she wants 🙂 This has helped a LOT. And yes, sometimes…I have to email with her in my lap. It’s better to keep trying to get the emails done and hold her than to give up and feel resentful of not getting things done! Also, a bin filled with blocks and Play-doh are majorly fun tasks for her, she can stay busy for so long with them! 🙂 
  • 11:50am – Leave to get Ellie
  • 12:20pm – Pick up Ellie
  • 12:45pm – Home for lunch
  • 1:45pm – Head to pick up Cammy
  • 2pm – Sit in parking lot with planner updating what’s been done and adding things in, updating schedule with online calendar, etc.
  • 2:30pm – Pick up Cammy
  • 2:45pm – Home with all girls & get snack for them
  • 3pm – Head back to office to get done at least 1-2 tasks more before the day ends
  • 5pm – Mike gets off work and heads home
  • 5:30pm – Reheat one of our three meal prepped dinners we made over the weekend
  • 6:15pm – Done with dinner and clean up
  • 6:30pm – Bath time, definitely throwing Lavender, Stress Away and/or Cedarwood in diffusers in bedrooms. We also change ALL of the lights in the rooms around this time, changing the lighting and “switching” environments makes a big difference! If lights are on in every room still, all three of our girls won’t fall asleep for the most part. While they’re in the bath, turning the lighting down makes a big difference! 
  • 6:45pm – Girls brush teeth, I read a story all wrong and make them laugh from their princess book and then they go to bed, the two little ones fall asleep in our bed and we carry them to theirs. Cammy has been heading straight to her bed for a couple years like a big girl, as long as I tuck her in 🙂 
  • 7pm – I’m usually sitting in bed already. Catching up on show, reading, doing Sudoku, just winding down and not working anymore because I do NOT work well at night when I’m up so early during the day. Even when I don’t get up early, I don’t work well at night. Night is my wind down time! Also, Ellie is probably still awake at this point. She is a TOTAL night owl, LOL…she can stay up to 10 but we get the house so dark and quiet that we can thankfully get her to bed sooner that way. 
  • 8pm-9pm – Going to bed 🙂

This schedule isn’t perfect every day but it’s the general way it goes many days of the week. I used to be so scared to have a routine because it felt like it would constrictive and we would lose our freedom. BUT…IN MANY WAYS, it surprised us the way that BUDGETING and Dave Ramsey did! You think you’re MISSING OUT on something and you’re not. You’re gaining freedom! You are consistently setting yourself up for success when you show up day in and out to cultivate a positive habit.

People who start Dave Ramsey think, “but…we won’t be able to buy what we want, we won’t get to spend money anytime, anywhere, we will miss out”…meanwhile their freedom continues to diminish into debt “behind the scenes” which eventually moves to the front of your life when you get in over your head and all of a sudden you’re regretting not beginning sooner. If you are having tough mornings as a family, or as a business owner trying to keep up…why not try this? And if a night owl routine fits you better – GREAT! Just make sure you are showing up for whatever you choose and remember – you DON’T have to get up at 4:30am. If you normally get up at 7am, try 6:30, then 6am…see what a difference this makes and you may end up seeing some wonderful results! 


The planner (and color coding dots & flags) pictured below are from my number one business and life tool, the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley. I’m an affiliate for this company because I believe in them and love this product SO much! Click here to look around and see what they have to offer! They’ll be launching their academic planners in a couple of months if you like that format for a planner, otherwise come grab a Jan-Dec yearly one in September! 🙂   



Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect! Instagram Facebook

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