The Sparkle Steps: Daily Routines & Why I Wake Up at 5am

Chapter, Fashionably Light

Mar 08 2013

Gold Tape

The Sparkle Steps is a monthly series on how to take small steps to make big changes, one tiny sequin at a time. Check out the whole series here!

The Sparkle Steps: Morning and Evening Routines & Why I Wake Up at 5am

Since November, I have been tackling one new habit per month, and it has worked oh so splendidly (Here’s step one, step two, and step three). But once I reached step four, handling habits became a tad overwhelming. The steps themselves were simple, but keeping track of so many became chaotic. Aaaah there’s something simple and productive I’m supposed to be doing isn’t there?! is not quite the serenity I had in mind.

But I have a solution! This month, I focus on embedding these already-made habits into daily life. I love morning and evening rituals (and tick lists), and this month I shall stick to them! It’s for my own good.

The plan:


5am – wake up and journal from bed

do yoga ~ incorporating the february exercise habit

brush teeth

make my bed

get dressed

eat breakfast

watch morning tv (like Garance Doré, Vlogbrothers, missxrojas, and New York Times videos)

6:30am (when the sun rises) – go outside ~ fulfilling the november step to get fresh air

read mindful blogs (like zenhabits and the minimalists)

finalise my blog post for the day

7am – do work in the college library

9am – relocate to another library


plan tomorrow ~ fulfilling the january step to plan tomorrow the night before

9pm – turn off computer ~ fulfilling the december step to reduce screen time

tidy room

prepare slow cooker porridge

brush teeth


journal in bed



So yeah… I get up at 5am.

I’ve wanted to for a while, so a couple of weeks ago I just did. And it was awesome. I’ve read advice on adjusting your waking habits in 15 minute intervals, getting up at 7am, then 6:45, and so on, but this never worked for me, so I jumped straight to the goal, and treated it like you’re supposed to treat time zone adjustments and jet lag. Now there’s something I know how to handle. It worked!

Why 5am? I love being up when the world is quiet, and being outside when the sky is beautiful and the streets are empty. I work best in the morning and get a productivity boost from being in the library alone.

It means going to bed earlier, but doesn’t actually mean missing out on much. I’m not one for late night parties, and while I do enjoy a nice evening at the theatre or cinema, it’s an exception made once a week at most. What going to bed early really means is less time scrolling through Facebook procrastinating on sleep. I’m happy to sacrifice that.

Sticking to it.

I promise to get up with my alarm, no hitting snooze. Simple as that. But, if I do wake up late, I promise to stick to the routine anyway, at whatever hour. I have the urge to rush my morning when I get up later, but why? Easing into the day is important, so since I do have the time (oh the independence of an Oxford degree…) I promise to go through my practiced steps even if it’s later in the day.

So. Time to share your morning and evening routines! What’s your favourite way to start the day?

See you on Monday!

xandra ★

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