Ahhh 5 am… A weird time of the day where my body just wants to clutch to my sheets and never let go. Yet somehow I have managed to go from my panicked 8:45am wake up calls to voluntarily waking up at 5 am everyday. Let me tell you, this one little habit has transformed my life and I still cannot believe I am part of the 5 am club.
But let me back up a bit and give you some context. In all my time floating around the Earth, I have never been a morning person. Even when I used to go to school my mom had to drag me out of bed. I take so long to actually wake up that it’s the main reason I developed the bad habit of sleepily drinking coffee in front of the tv for the first 20-30 min I’m “awake”. On my early days as an entrepreneur and when I first started my business it got so bad that I didn’t really wake up until 11am. Yikes!
So how did I, a former late riser, managed to start to wake up at 5am?
I Decided to Change My Life
When I turned 29 last year I decided that enough was enough. I had spent my entire 20s playing the victim when it came to being “successful” or growing a business or not being healthy. I was the excuses QUEEN. I could talk myself out or into anything and so I stayed the same. Not really motivated, just going through the motions and not taking action to pursue my dreams. Then one day, out of nowhere I grew tired. I was tired of being overweight, tired of my business going nowhere and tired of not living passionately. Life was happening around me and I felt like Adam Sandler in that movie Click, on autopilot. So I took 1 step to change my life that day… I contacted a personal trainer. So my first step in joining the 5 am club was deciding to change the overall unhealthy path I was on. Because you want something to change in order to adopt new habits, and you have to commit.
I Found Ways to Motivate Me Out of Bed
Money is a big motivator… When you are paying someone a lot of money to meet you somewhere (in my case at a gym) you really can’t sleep through your alarm. I mean if you don’t show up it’s like throwing money out the window right? So my biggest motivator was that I had agreed to go work out at 5:40 am with a trainer. I made a commitment and I couldn’t very well stand her up now could I? The gym is 20 min away from my house so the drive in the middle of the night (because it feels like that when it’s dark out) was HARD. Luckily I have an amazing husband who voluntarily woke up with me to make me coffee while I changed. I would blast some Broadway tunes in my car and chug my coffee on my way to the gym. But you know what, once you are done at the gym, the day seems brighter… happier… like you are ready to take on the day.
Slowly It Became a Habit
Not every day was amazing. I mean choosing to consciously wake up at 5 am is very hard when you’re going against years of already developed habits (good or bad). So I’m not going to tell you that it was smooth sailing from there on out. Every single morning and till this day, I have to battle with my mind. Because I was so used to excuses or talking myself out of things, every morning at 5 as my alarm goes off and my body sinks into bed more, my mind comes up with excuses as to why I shouldn’t get up. But now I know. I know how good it feels after 20 min of being awake, how alive and awake and grateful. How much I get done when I come home and back from the gym. I know that waking up in that moment… is worth it. And so slowly, but surely it becomes a habit. You just have to arm yourself with the tools you need to battle those first 5min after your alarm goes off.
So here I am, about to have my 1 year anniversary of waking up at 5 am! I can honestly say that it gets so much easier like everything else in life, with practice. I have a morning routine that I love and that sets up my day for success. You see, I no longer stress about anything. Time isn’t an issue and I feel like I can perfectly balance my life and my business. I have time to do everything I want. So I want to share with you more or less the routine I am able to have because of my 5 am wake up call:
my morning routine:
5:00am — Alarm goes off, hubby brings me coffee and I’m out the door by 5:17.
5:40am — I’m at the gym, gymming it out!
7:00 — I’m back home and ready to have a family walk! Keal and I take our pup Pancake for a 20 min walk. We love this time to connect with each other and talk about what we want to do that day.
7:20 — We meditate together for 15min (We do Deepak + Oprah’s meditations).
7:30 — I prep lunch while Keal showers, feed Pancake and make some breakfast.
8:00 — I shower and get ready for the day!
8:30 — Keal leaves for work and I sit down to read one chapter of whatever book I’m reading while drinking coffee.
9:00 — I walk down to my home office, turn on a candle, play music and fill out my journals, check out my to-do list and text my parents good morning before beginning my work day!
Why You Should Wake Up at 5 am
The first thing I should say is that you have a sense of success. Just doing this one thing you already accomplished something. You have sort of an advantage to the rest of the world. You don’t have to take away from your day to enjoy some of the little things like maybe reading a book like me. You can focus your attention to your business. Whatever you do in the morning is up to you! When you wake up early you aren’t rushing out the door. Instead you have this calmness and relaxed focus that follows you throughout the day. Now imagine starting your work day feeling happy and calm instead of rushed? It’s a game changer. I think the biggest change I see in myself is that I am happier and less stressed. If that doesn’t convince you to give it a try other members of the 5am club include high-level executives like Howard Schultz the CEO of Starbucks, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Oprah herself to name a few. Rising early gives you freedom my friend!
Tips to Rise Early
First you have to decide WHY. Why do you want to adopt this habit? Knowing what benefit it will bring you and how it’s going to change your life is the key to keep the habit going. Because when your mind starts come up with excuses and bargaining to keep you in bed, you better be armed to change your mindset. Next you need to have a plan. What are you going to do with all the extra time. Is there something you need to get done? Maybe you want to work on your side-hustle before your family wakes up? Maybe you just want some quiet time to read. Whatever it is, have a plan! Go to sleep early and take it easy. Remember take baby steps, it takes a while to build a habit so be kind to yourself and just try every day until you join the 5am club.
Whatever you decide to do with the extra time, just make the morning yours! You’ll see how slowly it will start a domino effect of magic throughout your day and life. Are you joining the 5am club?