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Listen to Your “6 AM Self” to Conquer Goals

When do you feel your very best? Do you consider yourself a morning person? Or does your energy get fired up in the evening hours, and when everyone else is winding down you’re just getting started? Regardless of the time of day you favor, it’s possible to learn to use those preferred hours to your advantage so that you can achieve your goals and create for yourself the life you want.

Here’s how I do it…

Each morning, I get out of bed and start my day while it is still very dark outside. Very quietly, I sneak downstairs, feed the dogs and then do as much as possible before our baby boys, Jack and James, need me. And on the days that Jeff is in town, he jumps out of bed about the same time I do and shares the morning responsibilities. But of course, some days, we’re not able to get anything done until the babies go down for their morning nap.

Jeff Dunham taking photo of sunrise

Bonus to getting up early: we’re able to catch some really stunning sunrises!

Crazy thing is, lately I’ve found myself slowly but surely wanting to get up earlier and earlier. Why would I do such a torturous thing to myself when our baby boys thoroughly wear me out on a daily basis? Well, it’s quite simple: I’m a morning person to the core (and so is Jeff, by the way). In the earliest hours of the day, I feel the most energetic, the most mentally sharp and the most inspired—especially around 6:00 a.m., I’ve noticed.

If I could, I would both work and workout at that time! Ideas flow through my mind like wildfire, and I make notes and lists both on paper and in my phone just to make sure nothing is forgotten. I set my goals during these earlier hours, and I feel like everything and anything is possible! I love mornings and have for as long as I can remember.

Alas, that energy only lasts so long, and as the late afternoon hours approach, the a.m. super woman that I so love, starts to escape me, and I yearn for a nap… or something carby to eat… or a cup of anything caffeinated… or all of the above. This is the time that my willpower and discipline are tested the most, and I long to feel as awesome about life as I did during those morning hours.

So, I’ve found a way to mentally recharge and stay on track with my goals no matter what time of day it is: I focus on what I call my “6 a.m. Self,” as I like to think that is the person I truly am. It may sound kind of silly, but it really works! When I’m feeling particularly low, I remember that early morning version of myself and the goals that light the fire within, whether fitness, family or career related, and then suddenly it is all made fresh in my mind again. I think about how badly I want those things. Suddenly, the urge to overeat, skip my afternoon walk with the boys, or slack off on finishing a blog post are all no longer options, and I push on.

The Dunham family out on a walk

Out for a nice afternoon walk with my three JD’s!

Of course, you can do this no matter what time of day you feel the most empowered. Perhaps you’re an 11 a.m. person! Expect that there will be times your enthusiasm will dwindle and you won’t feel like doing the things that’ll ultimately improve life as you know it. Give yourself mental reminders during these times by focusing on your “6 a.m. Self”. Doing this reminds you of the reasons making the better choices are worth it.

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Candice hohenwald

This is good. I’m always the most productive early in the morning. On most days my husband gets up at 4:00 am to go to work so I get him breakfast and after he leaves I’m able to work on housework or blog stuff before I have to go to work. Thanks for sharing!


Lynita Hamilton

I too am a morning person. I am a teacher and wake up each day thinking of the endless possibilities that lie ahead. I’ve been blessed with 22 great kids and love making memories with them. My first class of students will actually graduate high school this year. God has blessed me with a passion for others and I can’t wait to share it each day!



Loved this post! I needed it. It’s been a rough week with feeling overwhelmed with household responsibilities and working full time.



I always like to make a list of all my daily intentions when I’m at my best. If I don’t, I will forget what my motivated-self had intended for the day. Writing it down gives my low-energy-self something easy to follow.


Audrey Dunham

Such a great thing to do!



I have been doing this since I read this post. It works! I am amazed because it is so simple and yet makes a real difference. Thank you!


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