Yesterday I shared that after listening to Robin Sharma of the 5 AM Club, I tried waking up during the “magic hour” as he calls it… and how difficult it was.
Everything in my brain told me I was crazy for setting my alarm that early.
WHO ARE YOU.
(Read that newsletter here – it was well loved and very relatable as I heard. You can sign-up for future newsletters at the bottom of this blog post.)
But… once I finally got up at 5:45 it was great. Really.
I loved it and the morning really did feel magic.
So now… I had developed trust in waking up early. I knew it would be good.
I didn’t just think it would be good, but I’d experienced it for myself.
So that should make waking up earlier the next day easier, right?
This morning, the first thoughts I had when my alarm went off at 5 AM were:
What a terrible idea.
Why would you or anyone want to be up this early?
I made a few changes that ultimately helped me to get up anyway. And those are what I want to share with you today.
1. I turned off the “snooze” option on my iPhone.
I didn’t even know you could do this. HUGE roadblock removed. Of course I will want to hit snooze (aka, keep sleeping) when my brain is shouting that waking up earlier was a terrible idea.
Here’s an article to show you how to turn off “snooze” on your iPhone.
2. I spent 10 minutes the night before setting myself up for success.
I set a timer for 10 minutes last night to “set myself up for success” and “close up shop.” (These are two tips I talk about in my eBook, Finding Balance, which lives inside The Growth Vault.)
I only used 7 of the 10 minutes that were on the timer (and friends, this was me TRYING to use up time). I couldn’t believe how much I got done in that short time, and that the timer still hadn’t gone off.
Here’s what I did in those 7 minutes:
- Got out my outfit for the next day (both morning workout clothes and outfit to change into later)
- Got my coffee ready for the morning (I’d just have to tap “on”)
- Tidied up my office so it’d feel fresh
- Set out my morning quiet time items – journal, Bible, devotional, pen, highlighter, candle
- Reset the house – refolded blankets, put Abby’s toys back in her basket, filled her dog bowls with food and water
- Set out my vitamins for the next day
- Put away clean dishes from dinner
Seriously. All of this. 7 minutes.
If you would have given me a list with these to-do’s I may have avoided it. It sounds like a lot.
Instead, simply setting a timer for 10 minutes and saying “new nighttime routine – each night set your timer for 10 minutes and do what you can within those 10 minutes to get ready for the next day” felt EASY.
I love it already! This is a routine that will stick.
3. I set my alarm away from my bed so that I had to stand up.
When the alarm went off I had to get out of bed to get my alarm. At first, this irritated me. But, it got me upright.
When I grabbed my phone, I noticed that there was no snooze – just a “stop” button. This reminded me NOT to climb back into bed (even though at this point I thought waking up was a terrible idea.)
I went pee.
By the time I was done I was mostly convinced to NOT climb back into bed. I sat down on the couch. Cuddled Abby for a minute. Drank water. Then went downstairs and hit “on” on the coffee pot and started my quiet time.
In my journal this morning I wrote “I always want to be this person who wakes at 5 AM.”
There really is magic in this hour. This hour where I’m the only one awake in my house. Marco and Abby are upstairs sleeping. I’m downstairs sitting next to a candle with coffee, writing.
I’ve journaled. Read my Bible and devotional. I’m feeling uplifted, encouraged, grateful, happy.
I’m feeling so much like “myself.”
Like, this is the stuff that makes life magical. I’m thinking to myself “Don’t miss these hours anymore.”
My plan moving forward is to have this magical 5 AM hour 3-4 days per week (maybe 5 if that feels right).
I’ll likely choose to NOT set an alarm on the weekends to balance it all out. My brain works well knowing that she gets planned breaks from structure.
I imagine setting my alarm early most days Monday through Friday and not Saturday or Sunday… that is, unless we’re traveling or I have a day off, then I may choose to skip some weekdays.
Ultimate takeaway – waking up this early is great.
Necessary things to keep this habit going…
- Do 10 minutes of setting myself up and closing up shop each night.
- Keep “snooze” option turned OFF on iPhone (break that habit completely).
- Expect that I will always be convinced this was the worst idea ever for the first 5-10 minutes of the morning. Wake up anyway.
- Set alarm AWAY from bed. You absolutely HAVE TO stand up in order to wake up. Otherwise, it will ALWAYS sound like the better idea to stay in bed (of course, you’re half alive, warm, and comfortable). My friend says “get upright.” Yes, exactly that.
- Make sure to get into bed by 8/9 so that you’re still getting plenty of sleep (but if you go to bed late, still wake up to keep the habit going and to not let going to bed late turn into a roadblock).
Side note: I find that when I’m working with clients on this, going to bed late is a roadblock. It seems to work best when they start backwards and instead of focusing on changing their bedtime, changing their AM wake time first. This way, they’re naturally more tired and want to go to sleep earlier.
I hope sharing my internal struggle and what’s working helps you if you want to start waking up early too. I used to do this years ago, and the habit fell off over time. Happy it’s back!
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