Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Whichever one, we can agree that mornings can be hard and sleeping doesn’t always come easy the night before. But both (mornings and sleep) are extremely important.
When springtime comes around, so does Daylight Savings. This means our clocks jump an hour ahead (spring forward) and we feel like we lose an hour. This throws many people off in their routines and energy levels, and it often takes a while to get back into the groove of things.
Life isn’t always a well-oiled machine. There are seasons that make life seem like it is, but then there are seasons and periods where it’s anything but smooth. Unexpected situations, time changes (like daylight savings), and even our relationships can throw us out of our normal routines. But that’s life, and we need to learn how to tune into every season to set ourselves up for success.
Daylight Savings Time is one of those things that throws many people off. Especially since the time moves ahead and makes it feel like we lose time. But whether you’re an early bird, a night owl, a permanently exhausted pigeon, or an energetic hummingbird (bear with me), I’m here to challenge the mindset of improving our lives according to the clock, but also to share the best ways to adjust to Spring Forward.
The truth about time
We don’t lose time unless we waste it. The clock is there to help us keep track of time, not determine the way we live our lives. We determine how we live our lives. Even despite various life circumstances and unfortunate (or fortunate) situations, we determine our lifestyle with the way we react and respond to our situations and surroundings. This includes Daylight Savings time.
While there are many articles, videos, and information guides with tips on how to adjust to Spring Forward properly, I want to challenge us to assess our current lifestyle right now. I will share practical steps to adjust to daylight savings towards the end of this post, but let’s challenge the status quo first and change our perspectives.
What time do you normally go to bed?
What do you do consistently every night and every morning?
How often do you exercise? How often do you go on walks?
Are you mindful of what and when you eat and drink?
How much time do you spend on your phone or watching TV?
How often do you challenge yourself to learn something new?
Our answers to these questions will help us determine if there’s anything we would like to change. Frankly, there is always something we can change to live a healthier lifestyle. But I want to ask, what is it about our current lifestyle that we don’t like and would like to adjust? Why are we worried about adjusting to Spring Forward when what we currently do consistently will be the result, even after the time change?
Everyone knows they should change something, but not everyone takes the next steps to make those changes happen. We develop habitual patterns throughout our life and then end up Googling the same thing around the same time every year (ahem, “how to adjust to spring forward”).
If we flipped the script and asked ourselves what we’d like to change and take action to make those changes, we’d be left without excuses to pout. Instead of sighing and groaning about the upcoming time change, we can learn what it is about our life that we’re wanting to adjust, so that we can live a happier, more fulfilling life, and not feel like we’re losing time.
Before we move on, consider reflecting on the questions above one more time.
Steps to adjust to Spring Forward
By adjusting to Spring Forward, the number one step is to have consistency in our morning, day, and evening routines. This doesn’t mean we need to live a groundhog day lifestyle, where everything is cookie-cut and planned to the minute. But a predictable and reliable routine where your body gets optimal health, rest, and energy.
Our routines will change throughout our lives depending on our seasons. We will go through times where we have to readjust our entire daily process because that’s what our body, soul, and spirits need (and also our relationships). We should not force ourselves into rigid systems when our body craves more of something else (and I mean healthy things, like rest, exercise, fresh air, socializing, etc.).
We’re already consistent in so many things, but we don’t always notice that. We need to recognize what we’re already consistent with and if there’s something we should change, we should make adjustments now. The more we put off our ideal habits, the longer it will take for us to get consistent with them.
The first step to adjust to Spring Forward is having consistency in our schedule. If we go to bed at a certain time, it will not matter that the time changed, we just have to follow the clock and go to bed consistently. The same goes for waking up and our other daily activities.
The second step to adjusting to Spring Forward is commitment. Once we understand what we’re consistent with and assess what we want to change, we must commit to the process of change. Our commitment will override our motivation and willpower. Commitment means to stay dedicated to a task or activity despite how we feel. I’ve mentioned this in other posts: motivation doesn’t last. Willpower doesn’t always work. But our commitment does.
We’re already committed to all kinds of things, yet we don’t always recognize that we can apply that same commitment-energy towards other areas. For example, when we have a hard time waking up in the mornings, apart from the habitual pattern and practice of not doing it often, we aren’t committed to the time we “want” to wake up at. We say we commit to it, but deep inside, there’s some unbelief and hesitation.
When we commit to the lifestyle we truly want to live out, we will make it happen. It’s not an easy or comfortable process, though. It also doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and commitment. Commitment is the second step to help us adjust to Spring Forward. What are you committing to?
The third and final step to adjusting to Spring Forward is reflection. Often, we will pigeon-hole ourselves in a specific way of doing things, but considering our consistency and commitment to the life we want to lead, we must practice reflection.
As I mentioned earlier, we will go through various seasons where certain routines work and, at times, having no routines will work. There will be mornings when it’s easy to get up, and also nights we barely get any sleep. Whatever our season is, however well-oiled our life-machine is, it’s important to get into a habit of reflection so that we can tune into what works for us in that season.
The more we practice reflection, the more in tune we will be with our bodies, souls, and spirits, and relationships. As Christians, we have the benefit of being in a relationship with God who helps us in every season and area of life. The Holy Spirit is our helper, and that means He’s present when we reflect on our life and want to improve. He leads us and guides us, giving us pointers and advice along the way.
Reflection helps us learn and mature from season to season. It helps us see the good things in life and ways we can continue to grow. We constantly need adjustments in life, including around time changes like Spring Forward, and practicing reflection can help us do this in a healthy way.
Instead of rushing to find a quick-fix or a shortcut to help us adjust to Spring Forward, we can flip the script and ask ourselves what it is we’d like to change about our lives. After all, adjusting means adapting or becoming used to a new situation or environment. Let’s fly up to bird’s-eye view and look at our lives. What are we so afraid of about time changes? How much will Spring Forward affect our lives with our current lifestyle intact? What is it about our life that we want to adjust, or feel we should adjust, so that we can live a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life, and not feel like we’re losing time?
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