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I have had a lot of people ask me questions about health and daily routines or habits. When I share that I wake up early in the mornings to start my day, they are surprised.

When I was journaling the other day, this reflection gave me an idea on what to Blog about around American Thanksgiving.  Everyone talks about gratitude and what to be grateful for.

I realized that I can share my experience of changing my morning routine, since I am grateful that I started waking earlier and taking time for myself.

I remember writing about my 5 am experience, when I first started changing my habit to waking up earlier in the mornings.  I have included that story below for your entertainment!

What I would like to say is that it is not easy to change a habit, but it is worth it if you want to gain new insight, knowledge and experience.  There is always opportunity in any struggle. And believe me, it was a struggle at the beginning!


As I write this I am currently on day 32 of the 66 day challenge with 5 am club.
In the 5 am club book, the author, Robin Sharma, wrote, “All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” Holy S*#t that is so right! Hello Ego, move on over for some much needed humility.

For some reason that escapes me right now, I decided I would do the 5am club challenge.

I first learned about the 5 am club concept at a conference, but being a decade younger than I am now I decided to sleep in instead. A friend of mine found out from a friend of theirs, that a group of people were getting up to meet for 5 am (before the conference even started!). We were invited if we wanted to learn about it.

When I say slept in, I woke up sometime between six and six-thirty in the morning since I felt that the conference started early enough already. I love food, so I had to be up in time to eat. (If you read my other blogs, you will see a common theme of love for food.) My logic, or better yet my excuse was, “why get up earlier if I am already up early enough?” I also thought if I get up at five in the morning and I do not eat something first, I might actually kill someone. To me these people were nuts. We were in Vegas for the conference and I was not going to bed early to rise early when I could party instead. Hello Vegas – food options and wine bars. As I mentioned, this is a decade earlier, oh the things we learn as we experience more years of life! FYI, I still love food and wine.

Needless to say, my current bed time is no later than 9 pm as I have quite literally joined the 5 am club! My mother and grand-mother always say, “never say never”. My god, I dare say they are right! (If my Mom reads this blog post, you are welcome and I love you!)

At first, I was super pumped as i’ve read about the first week being the most difficult and it was not like that for me at all. I must be an outlier. I was up and out of bed full of ‘piss and vinegar’. My husband actually joined the 5 am club after the third day I started because he said, “I cannot sleep in anymore after hearing you this chipper in the morning, so I might as well get up with you.” I secretly think it is because he wants to spend more time with me. 

I felt more energy, more clarity and great productivity. I was super happy.

Along came the second week. Now I am feeling the effects of getting up at 5am and working all day. I recognize with my journaling that I should change my evening routine so that I can ‘wind-down’ before bed and get a restful sleep.

Day 17 to 19 were the hardest days since I started the 5 am club. Robin Sharma calls the first 22 days, the ‘destruction’ phase. The second 22 days is the ‘installation’ phase, and the last 22 days the ‘integration’ phase when you finally hit automaticity. God, I am looking forward to day 66.

Day 19 will forever be in my memory. F*&k, was it hard! As I lay in bed after my storm-trooper alarm clock went off, for that one extra minute, what he wrote in the 5 am club came to my mind. I thought to myself, I can do this, if only to prove to myself I am better than I am. Then I thought about the Spartan warrior credence, “sweat more in training, and bleed less in war.” I’m not in a war. I do not plan to have a body part chopped off, but like hell if I’m going to sit in bed if those guys could get up and defend their nation! And rise I did, because really, the first 22 days is about destruction, and destruction will be had!

The first 20-30 minutes after I get up, I do my work out. Now on day 19, I was freakin’ tired. Super tired, probably at the threshold of ‘bitchy’ tired. My husband knows all about that and did not get up with me immediately. But seeing as I had the Spartan credence in mind, I got to skipping and boxing in our basement. I used to teach kick-boxing, so I thought I’d kick some early morning ass that day. As I’m skipping and listening to my pump up music, my husband comes down the stairs and is staring at me. I’m sweating and skipping and not so silently repeating, “sweat more in training, bleed less in war”. I don’t remember who started laughing first!

The next few days were just as gruesome, I got to do some yoga in the morning. Telling myself I got up, but damn if I was going to break out in my Spartan warrior workout. Then I realized, OMG, I have not been re-fueling! At day 22 I realized, when I got home from work and passed out, that I have not been taking much needed breaks. Tsk Tsk! Robin Sharma even writes about the twin cycles of elite performance. How important it is to re-fuel. I tend to keep going like the energizer bunny, then I pass out because the battery is not as long as the commercial claims it is.

Day 22 really was a day of destruction. Seeing as I am on day 32 now, I realize that maybe I did break down an old part of me. I am still working on the reflecting back and learning exercise. They do say that life is a journey.

The following day, day 23, after I had rested the majority of the day after work, I got up with more energy. I started a moderate workout. I then began my usual morning routine of following up my workouts with meditation, journaling and pre-planning my day. I am all about law of attraction and I can tell you, there are many things that have occurred over the past month that I would have never guessed, but I had thought of in my journal and pre-performance blueprint, that actually manifested.

The following nine days, which brings me to day 32 as I write this blog, have been a messy jumble. I am still trying to figure out a routine that works for me. Getting up at five am is sometimes easy, sometimes hard. I respect my stormtrooper alarm clock, so he never gets in trouble for going off in the morning. I respect my husband too, so I turned down the tired ‘bitchy’ woman. Though getting up and shouting an affirmation makes him roll over and groan.

The second phase of ‘installation’ and the ‘middle’ part of my current change is looking pretty darn messy. So, Robin Sharma, you are right. I promised myself I would do this 66 day challenge. I have already learned that I will do this so that I can prove to myself I can attain a higher potential of success. The hard truth is that I realized one big thing about myself that has been buried deep down. Like the golden Buddha story I heard from a Robin Sharma video, where the mud and dirt surrounding a golden Buddha gets cleared away and we realize we have just been burying our truth, our genius.

I realized I am not so much afraid of death, as I am afraid to live the best life I possibly can. I have spent most of my life doing things safe, (though I think other people would look at me and say that isn’t what they see), and following what I believe someone else would deem is a good route. I made choices, and don’t we all! And looking back at them, I realized I probably should have made a few of them differently. Hold up though! Let us not get stuck with regrets though.

We must all remember that our pasts shape us and prepare us for what we will create today. There is no longer a need to worry about those things. I have noticed a greater sense of clarity with my commitment to waking up at five am. I am hoping the part about having more energy occurs soon. I felt great that first week, but this ‘middle’ and ‘messy’ part is really playing havoc with my psyche. However, if only this one thing has changed, my clarity, then that is a success none the less. A success, because with greater clarity one can have better awareness. With better awareness one can make better choices and that will create a better life.

I would like to thank Robin Sharma. And I look forward to posting a blog when my 66 days are over!

Oscar Wilde – “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.