Become a morning person and learn how to wake up at 5 am (without feeling exhausted), so you have time for the things you want to experience and achieve.
I’ve been going through some transitions lately and one thing that has changed a bit is my morning routine. Three months ago I decided to kinda do what everyone else told me to do and try waking up at 5 am for a week.
Become an (extremely) early riser. See what happens.
And boy, it truly is life-changing. It has transformed my productivity, my health, my stress levels, my work, my happiness – everything. In a positive way.
Waking Up At 5 AM Changed My Life
In 3 months time, waking up at 5 am has allowed me to:
- keep a consistent exercise schedule of 4x/week
- work on this blog and grow its traffic by 350%
- get in 10,000 daily steps on a regular basis
- work on passion-projects I never find time for
- savor my cappuccino while it’s still warm
- shower and get dressed every. single. day. (even when I’m working from home)
- become calmer and more positive
More than anything it has given me a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and increased my self-confidence. It has allowed me to dream and plan again, while running after a 2-year old. Getting up at 5 has shown me: life isn’t over and I still can achieve the things I always wanted to.
Waking Up At 5 AM: Expectations Vs. Reality
I saw a lot of videos and blog posts that made waking up at 5 seem like a romantic scene of a movie. Sun is up, birds are tweeting, coffee is ready and those girls are stretching and seem very happy and awake.
The first days I woke up at 5 am, it was pitch black and cold. I felt very tempted to press that snooze button and I actually think I did. I stayed in bed for 4-5 minutes debating whether I should wake up or not.
Then I just woke up, did some yoga, washed my face, made a coffee and suddenly felt good. Awake and alert. It was 5:20 and I had already done 2 things I usually don’t have time for when I wake up at 7.
This made me want to get more things done. That first morning I accomplished so much, things I had been planning for months were now becoming a reality.
And guess what? By day five I stopped feeling tired – it all balanced itself out.
Oh, and it seems 5 am has become quite popular. I expected empty streets and nobody outside when I walked. Not so. While it’s definitely quieter, there are more people out than you’d expect.
Waking Up At 5 AM Can Make You Unbelievably Productive
It might be because you’re starting fresh and you’re more alert. My theory is that waking up at 5 also gave me a deadline.
I have these 2-3 hours to work on my top priority or priorities for the day or the week.
This deadline really forced me to finish what I started. Or else? Well, who knows when that blog post will get finished…With that deadline, I can stay focused on one task and eliminate all distractions.
Now if you also want to start waking up at 5 am, so you have more time for the important things you never end up doing, here are my top tips:
How To Actually Wake Up At 5 AM
1. Have a strong WHY!
Why do you want to wake up at 5 am? Don’t do it because everyone else is saying they’re doing it.
Set very specific goals about not just what you want to do during those morning hours, but the results you want to achieve in a week, 1 month or a year.
I found when I have a goal that is absolutely important to me, I’d wake up at 3 am if I had to.
Make sure your goal is tied to a strong why, because that why is what’s gonna pull you out of your warm and comfortable bed on a cold winter day in the middle of the night.
2. Make a plan the night before.
Now that you know the results you want, define the mini-steps and actions you need to take. Set goals for your perfect, dream morning routine.
What would you want to have accomplished during those early hours? I always ask myself: What do I never get to do when I wake up later?
Some of my favorite things to do in the morning are 20 minutes of exercise, watch the sunrise (if possible), drink coffee, walk, let my mind wander and work on this blog.
3. Go to bed as soon as you feel tired.
Of course, if you want to wake up at 5 you’d need to go to bed at 9-9:30 pm to get enough sleep. But the reality is, you won’t be able to go to bed this early at the beginning.
Solution: Go to bed as soon as you feel tired!
Do not spend hours watching TV, your phone or another screen – these things are designed to keep you awake and engaged.
Put everything on airplane mode around an hour before you want to go to sleep. Write your plan for the next day, declutter a little bit, shower and skincare and then read the most boring book in bed. You’ll be sleeping before you know it.
Remember that you need at least 6 hours of sleep to be a well-functioning human being the next day. This means the latest you need to go to bed, if you want to wake up at 5 am is 11 pm.
4. DO NOT HIT SNOOZE.
Or do it and then wake up anyway. The point is, you snooze – you lose. You lose time and you lose energy because those micro “snooze” naps only make you more tired. Get over it and get up – it will be better before you know it.
5. Do something you’re looking forward to.
Coffee or cappuccino can be that tiny reward that will get you to become a morning person. Don’t fight it. Have a little treat and enjoy this me time. You deserve it.
6. Wash your face, let some air in, play fun upbeat music and exercise.
These things will make sure to actually keep you awake on those very first days.
7. Do not take a nap during the day.
So okay, I said you won’t feel tired. But at some point (around 2 pm) you might feel very tempted to just go to bed and take a nap. This actually might be ok if you’re a parent of an infant or toddler since you need to take every opportunity to get some sleep. But if you aren’t just push through, so you aren’t too alert at 9 pm and adjust to this new rhythm.
I think that was it. Seriously the biggest tip here is the why. If you have a big enough why – you’ll figure out how to get out of bed this early. I hope my tips can help you become an early riser, so you make the time for the important things in life.
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