In my last post, Bouncing Back from Failure: An Experiment, I set a challenge for myself. I decided to go to bed no later than 9 PM every night for seven days. It wasn’t a difficult challenge but it doesn’t have to be. Success feels good and I’m better today than a week ago.

Results after 1 week

First of all, I came into this experiment feeling pretty sleep deprived. For the first time in awhile, I’ve been remembering my dreams. Last night I remembered three. I’ve been waking up feeling rested and ready to get going.

Even so, I only listened to my 5 AM alarm two days this week. I wake up, think “what am I going to do now?” and convince myself to go back to sleep if nothing obvious comes to mind. I need to work on reminding myself about my motivations early in the morning.

I was more consistent in my reading, prayer, and affirmations this week. Even though I wasn’t getting up earlier, I never felt rushed for time in the morning to get this done. Maybe it has always been a mental thing?

The challenge continues

So, where do I go from here? Going to bed at 9 PM still isn’t a habit, but I’m seeing a lot of benefit. I need to continue.

I’m going to continue my challenge a week at a time until it feels more natural (probably around 66 days). There will need to be special conditions as I travel for work and plan for other events. I will blog about them each week. I expect you all to call me out if I’m being too lax on something!

For example, this Friday I’m sleeping downtown in a cardboard box. I’m trying to raise $1,000 for a local homeless shelter and see what it’s like on the street for a cold winter’s night. This is my first year participating, but my understanding is that there’s isn’t a lot of sleeping involved. I’m going to do what my group does that night and that’s okay.

Going forward I’m also going to start tracking success (defined in the original post). My hypothesis is that this challenge will help me meet these goals more easily, but measuring is the only way to know for sure. As an added benefit, reading the list each day will help remind me why I’m doing this – making success all the more likely.

So here we go again. Will you help? If you think about it, ask me how I’m doing!

Categories: productivity

David Needham

David Needham is the Team Lead of the Technical Curriculum Development team at Datadog. When he's not blogging about productivity and faith at or speaking at conferences, you can find him streaming on Twitch or playing fun board games with his wife and kids in Champaign, IL.

1 Comment

Bouncing Back from Failure: An Experiment - David Needham's Blog · January 30, 2018 at 6:37 am

[…] Week 1 Check-in: So Far, So Good! […]

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