The 5 am hustle.
Those early morning hours before the kids get up. Or before you have to leave for work.
The golden hours of productivity.
Well for some.
For those who can get their tushies out of bed.
But for most of us. The thought of getting out of our warm comfy beds doesn’t seem that appealing. Downright awful actually.
We have that dreaded conversation in our heads. That one where our ego is telling us to stay in our safe cozy bed. Telling us we’re too tired to get up. That we need more sleep. That if we get up now we are going to be grumpy all day and fall asleep at our desk at work. And ultimately get fired.
Leaving us thinking ”Well that escalated fast.” And we come to the conclusion that we’re not morning people. Funny how our ego is so fast to give us such valid reasons why we should not step out of our comfort zone.
Is anyone truly a morning person? I think those who get up early have trained themselves to get up early. Whether it was at an early age or later in their adult life. They got up early over and over again until it was their new normal.
For whatever reason you are reading this, you want to get up earlier. Maybe even 5am early! You want to set an alarm for 5am and get up energized. You want to call yourself a morning person.
What are your 5am Goals?
Do you want to start working out?
Or work on your side hustle.
Maybe you want to have coffee in peace and finish the cup before it get cold. #momlife.
I get it. This was me.
In my late twenties, I was taking some accounting courses and working crazy hours. So the only time I had to study was before work. I would set my alarm for 5am and would pre-programed my coffee pot to have a fresh pot ready for me when I stumbled out of bed. Never liking the process.
It wasn’t until a few weeks into my new routine did I find out how much I unconsciously didn’t like waking up at 5am. My roommate’s latest fling approached me while I refilled my 3rd cup of coffee. He said ”I think it’s hilarious that you slam your alarm clock so hard to turn it off in the morning. I am waiting for you to throw it against the wall.
The sad part was he was not wrong. Every morning I did want to chuck it against the wall. I never wanted to get up. But my ”why” was so important that I dragged myself out of bed every morning. I wasn’t happy about it. If I didn’t get up and study then, I would fail my classes. And these classes were not cheap and I wasn’t making a ton of money.
But what about all you Night owls
You know, those people who are most productive at night.
You might be thinking ”Why not study at night instead? Why not work out after work? Or work on your side hustle later. It’s true. Some people do work better at night. And that’s amazing! If being productive at night works for you great. Me on the other hand not so much. And I bet if you’re reading this article, not so much for you too.
I have always known that I work better in the morning. After 7pm I am done. Mental and physically I am done. At the time I was working 12 hour shifts at a mind-numbing job. And usually didn’t get home till 9:30pm. By the time I winded down enough to be in a headspace to study, I was so tired the words on the page made no sense. I couldn’t drink coffee to stay up or I wouldn’t be able to get to sleep in a couple of hours. All my little tricks to stay focused didn’t work at night.
Mornings set the tone for the day
When I work out in the morning I am left with so much energy. My sleepiness is gone and I am ready to take on the world. Even though during the workout I am cursing and try to convince my self to stop. In the end I feel so much better. But this is also why it’s hard for me to work out at night. I once took a boxing class at 7 pm and was up until midnight.
Quick Tips to help you get out of bed early
- Get up and take a shower. It doesn’t even have to be a cold shower.
- Walk up to natural light. Try a natural light alarm clock or app.
- Get pre-programmable coffee pot. Program the coffee pot to start brewing for a few minutes before you want to get up. Nothings better than the small of have a freshly brewed coffee.
- Set an alarm for 5am. While still in bed do a breathing meditation.
- Try Mel Robbins 5-second rule. This rule in good but I still was able to talk myself out of getting up.
- Remind yourself of your why. Why do you want to get up early? When you are debating with yourself in the morning if you should hit the snooze one more time. Remind yourself of your why.
- Set multiple alarms. Some people find it helpful to set alarms in different rooms, forcing them to get. But I am pretty sure this only works for single people. The whole house would be up if I tried this.
- Get out of bed and your bedroom as fast as you can. Some find it helpful to get up and out of bed as fast as they can. The theory is that you won’t go back to bed. Also, try getting up and making your bed. Once again great tip for those single people.
- Have a glass of water by your nightstand. Get up, sit up and drink a glass of water.
- Set yourself up for success. I keep my work out clothing beside my bed. I also read a tip where the person suggested to wear your workout clothing to bed. Then you don’t have to change into cold clothing.
How to survive the adjustment period.
The first few couple of weeks are the hardest. You’re going to be tired and cranky. You need to accept this fact. So what can you do about it?
Don’t let the momentum stop. Meaning, on weekends get up early too. If you don’t stay consistent, you will be starting fresh every Monday morning. You want to get to a point where you naturally wake up early. No alarms set, just early.
If you’re having a bad night. Tossing and turning. Reset your alarm clock for a bit later. It’s still earlier than you usually get up but try to allow yourself to naturally wake up. It might be an extra 15 minutes you need to finish a sleep cycle.For example I had one of my kids sleep next to me. She tossed and turned all night. Plus I drank coffee later than I usually would. I kept on waking up all night. I reset my clock from 5 am to 6am and tried my best to go back to sleep.
To my surprise I naturally woke up at 5:15 am. I popped out of bed and got on with my day. Slightly tired but not as much as if I forced myself up at 5am.
No snooze allowed
Hitting the snooze button is like saying I am going to have one more potato chip. Before you know it you have eaten the whole bag and you’re late for work. As soon as you wake up, get up! Get moving!
Let’s talk about the power of a cat nap
If you’re dragging your feet all morning, a catnap might help. A catnap is a small amount of time that you close your eyes and relax. You might not fall asleep. That’s ok. The point is NOT to get into a deep sleep. Set an alarm if you think you are going to fall asleep for longer than 10-15min.
You might feel sick.
You might get nausea, have headaches and feel like you’re even getting a cold. This is expected when you try to change your sleep cycle. Your body figuring out that you want to change things up, so the important thing is to keep to the same schedule.
Get enough sleep for you.
This might be 7 or 8, even 9 hours. There is no right amount. Listen to your body. If you want to get at 5am you might need to go to bed at 9 pm. Or earlier until your body get the message.
Just keep moving.
When that 3pm wall hits, and it will. Just keep moving. Try not to think about how tired you really are. Just keep moving. Open a window and get some fresh air. Even better go for a walk outside.
Eat Healthy Food
Set yourself up for success. Before you attempt to start waking up early, meal plan. When you’re dead tired, you’re more likely to stop at a fast-food drive-thru for dinner. Think of yourself as a new mom and stock the freezer with pre-made meals. You will thank yourself later
Also, if you’re like me you’re going to crave sugar when you’re tired. Be mindful of this and try to avoid reaching for pop or energy drinks.
Nighttime Routine for waking up early
- Limit caffeine.
- Don’t eat too late at night.
- Be aware of your liquid consumption before bed.
- Limit electronics at night and dim the lights.
- Write out your tasks for the morning. Think of 2 or 3 things you want to get done in the morning. Don’t just say I am going to work out. Say I am going to do these 2-3 exercises and 20 minutes cardio. Be specific.