The 5am Club is not as exclusive of a club as I had originally thought, and is actually quite simple (although not necessarily easy) to join.
Here are a few tricks I have accumulated over the last year and a half, that have helped me create new habits, and morning rituals that help me stay on track with my goals.
- 4:40 – Wake
- 5:00 – Start workout
- 5:30 – Breakfast shake
- 6:00 – Go to barn (do chores/feed horses, start prepping horse to be ridden)
- 7:00 – Ride
- 8:00 – Shower/Get ready for day/Start work
Break-up with Snooze💔: I know no one likes a break-up, but this one will be a real game changer, trust me! Hitting the snooze button not only stops you from getting up at the time you want, it can also make you feel more tired when you do finally drag yourself from the bed. To train yourself to get up early, you need to be consistant about the time when you go to bed and the time you get up, so that your sleep cycles adjust, if you ‘doze’ too long in the morning you mess with the cycles and could inadvertently start another REM cycle, only to cut it short when you REALLY have to get up.
Be consistant⏰: Going to bed, and waking (you have to actually get OUT of bed!) within 30 minutes of your goal time the majority of the time will allow your body to adjust it’s sleep cycles accordingly, so that you will actually get enough REM sleep in that time frame.
Don’t cheat!💪: It is fine to sleep in on Sunday morning, or stay up a little late on Friday night, but don’t get carried away, I have found changing your bed time or wake time more than once or twice a week, can mess up the rest of the week totally, and it takes a long time to get back on track. I go to bed at roughly the same time everyday (9pm), but sleep in on Sundays, this generally means 7am, by which time I can’t even force myself to sleep anymore!
Give yourself space to breath😎: Don’t do all your prep for your day in the morning, we are more sluggish in the mornings, doesn’t matter how much of a morning person you are, it is true! And if you feel rushed, and stressed that you are running out of time, you will not want to continue. Prep at least half of what you need for the morning/day the night before, on average now it only takes me around 15 minutes to do this.
- Prep coffee/Shake
- Set out workout and day cloths
- Setup computer in workout space (for streaming workout program)
- Prep lunch if leaving the house early
Start a long distance relationship…: …with your alarm clock🕰! This is the most helpful tip I have found, I heard about it for a long time, thinking it wouldn’t make a big difference, but once I tried it I could not believe how much it helps! Place your alarm clock at least far enough away from your bed that you have to sit up, and put your feet on the ground to turn it off.
Start slow🐌: Work your way up to your goal wakeup time, over the course of a few weeks. adding 5 – 10 minutes a week is a good progression and ensures you wont over due it and crash in the middle of your day.
Get moving!🏇: This is another one I did not believe until I tried it, working out first thing in the morning is THE best way to get your energy up, and start your day off right! The first 10 minutes of the workout are hard, you feel sluggish, and uncoordinated, but after that it gets better quick, and by the end of my 30 minute workout I feel great! I start my workout within 15 minutes of waking, before eating and before my coffee! Your muscles store glycogen (energy) from the last meal you digested, generally speaking most people have enough stored from the day before to get them through a beginner to intermediate workout, without “bonking” (Otherwise known as “Hitting the wall“).
By burning glycogen you can train your body to be efficient at burning fat stores! It is also worth noting that depending on what you eat, and how long before the workout you eat it, your body will likely just hold it in your stomach until you are done exercising. The body does this because exercise raises the levels of the same hormones that the “Fight or Flight” mechanism does, so from your bodies perspective you may as well be running from a pack of wolves, so no time or energy to spare on silly things like digestion!
Commit!: There have been studies that show that is takes 21 days to make a habit stick, but what they don’t tell you is that, that is on the very low side of the scale, the bare minimum that it takes anyone to make a habit. The reality is, it could take anywhere from 2 – 3 months to really establish it as a habit that is such a part of your routine that it feels totally natural and takes little-to-no effort.
A good rule-of-thumb is to stick to something for at least 40 consecutive days, if it still feels totally foreign to you after that time period, then some adjustments may need to be made. Otherwise you are well on your way to establishing a habit that will bring you closer to your goals!
Remember to be committed “If you really want something you’ll find a way, if you don’t you’ll find an excuse.” It’s a simple as that!