Guest Post: 21-Day Challenge

I am hijacking Becky’s blog (with permission, so I guess, not technically hijacking) to announce our new joint venture of epic proportions: a 21 day challenge to go to bed early. 10 p.m. to be explicit. Doesn’t seem very epic, you say?

It is epic because I am an addict. I have been since before Becky and I met. I think it started in 1994. I remember going to bed in high school and laying awake for hours in the dark because I could not get my mind to stop racing. It miraculously stopped during the two years I spent serving a church mission in British Columbia, but later in college it again became far too easy for us to stay up late finishing assignments last minute that we postponed to do other things.

“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fast forward 11 years and it’s still just as easy to stay up late… but so much harder to get up when we do. There have been nights that I stay up hacking away until my eyes are bleary and I type like a drunk, knowing I should sleep. I still need to recover from multiple consecutive 1+ a.m. nights this past week alone. So now we’re doing something about it. Our 21-day challenge is to be in bed by 10 p.m. every night with lights out no later than 10:30.

Intellectually we understand the scientific benefits of the “early-to-bed” principle. For over a month now we’ve talked about doing this together, knowing that neither of us will do it without the other. Becky agreed to let me hijack her blog to make the announcement and that we would start the following evening. How ironic that I write this at 3 a.m. with both of us awake and doing projects that seem impossible when the needs of family and work are foremost.

So it is that we will start together tonight, on the evening of Feb 1. Our hope is to see such great benefits that the habit we establish over the next three weeks won’t fade with the sunset on the Feb 22. Addiction is never easy to overcome. But I finally feel this habit’s time has come and gone.

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  1. Ruth Hansen says:

    Let me know when you want to talk about polyphasic sleep. lol. Good luck guys!

  2. I’m with you. I love sleep and 10 is a great way to get a good start on the next day. I recently moved up the kids bed time. It makes it so much easier to settle down to my own bedtime by 10ish. I hope it works for you.

  3. Thanks Ruth! You know polyphasic might have been a smoother transition from where we were at… 😉


  1. […] This adventure is not exactly what I was expecting.  I was looking forward to feeling invigorated and more time in the morning.  Perhaps that will come with time.  I sure hope so!  🙂  I thought I might miss that time in the evening when I get things done.  Instead I find myself incredibly tired and wondering if I should try to sneak a nap in come mid-afternoon – there is no way I can make it until 10 p.m..  And that is not me.  It seems odd.  Jim Bob says it’s a form of detox.  Running on little sleep for far too long.  My body is now saying “Oh, sleep.  I like that, I need more.”  Or something along those lines.  Not sure, but I do know that I’m sleepy.  We have sick little ones in the house.  They have been taking turns since last Saturday so that might also play into it.  Anyway, it has only been two nights (soon to be three) so I can definitely give it more time, but thought I’d record where I’m at now.  For perspective.  For when I’m rocking the early bedtime/early morning, I will remember that it did not come easy. […]

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