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The 5 A.M. Project

I’m not a morning person, but after reading countless times that the most successful people are, I realized what group I wanted to be part of: the early risers, the birds that get the worm, those that are early to bed and early to rise, making themselves healthy, wealthy, and wise. I wanted that- more time in my days, more productivity, more healthy, wealth, and wisdom. And so, I started to research the 5 AM Club.

Members of the 5 AM Club

Basically, waking up at 5 AM (which less than 20% of the population does) allows you to beat more than three-quarters of the population in productivity. People who wake up early get more done in the first hour of their day than many people get done all day.

I did not want to waste anymore late nights reading frivolous gossip or “news” articles, or frittering away valuable hours on the internet. I did not want to wake up feeling exhausted and actually needing a cup (or three) of coffee to just function on a basic level.

So I researched what an early morning would look like, and what being able to get up at 5am each day would require, and have distilled it down to these three things:

1. In order to get up earlier, I must be in bed by 10 pm. Earlier is better, but 10 p.m. at the very latest. No blue light electronics around, no recent coffee injection of caffeine in the system, and no adrenaline pumping through the blood because of a late-night workout. Ready for sleep at 10pm without anything to distract or delay.

2. An alarm clock, placed far enough from the bed that I have to get out of bed to turn it off. I can’t just slap the snooze bar and roll over for a few more Zzz’s.

3. A sleep mask that will keep me in the dark (visually) until I’m ready to wake up. Once the alarm buzzes, off comes the eye mask and sunlight pours in, helping me to adjust to morning when I’m ready.

My goals with a 5 a.m. start to each day:

– To get more done! I start too many days tired and just trying to get through, and I want to start each day energized and raring to go. More importantly, I want to arrive at 7am (my usual wake up time- and still too early for me) with so much done that the rest of the day is just gravy. No more procrastination, in

– To erase those late nights distracted by truly unimportant things that make me feel guilty, because I’m not getting enough sleep, and that is really bad for my health. Sleep is crucial for clear thinking, logical decision making, safer driving with increased focus, a better mood (no snapping at my kids because I’m tired and grouchy), and overall long term health and weight management. The longer my waking (and eating) hours, the worse it is for my overall health.

– To enjoy better evenings with my family, filled with a calm routine of a healthy family dinner, time together relaxing, and preparation for a good night sleep with positive evening rituals that lead to our bedtimes… a cup of chamomile tea, working on a puzzle together, maybe some reading.

I will update on how things transpire as a result of waking up before most people and starting the day running over a long period of term. For now, I’ve been getting so much done before the rest of my family wakes up that I actually find I have time to relax later in the day with coffee and to leisurely write up and check things off my To Do list (for some reason, I actually really enjoy doing this).

How about you, are you part of the 5 AM Club? Here is the “miracle” book that made me want to change into an early riser!