My teenage self would be pretty shocked to read this, and possibly be a little concerned for my wellbeing, but yes, the title is correct… I wake up at 5 am.

A ton of people swear by waking up at 5 am, and for the longest time it felt more like a pipe dream than everything else – it sounded amazing, but it didn’t feel like something I could do. And to be honest with you, for the longest time, I probably couldn’t. The number one thing I’ve learned since waking up at 5 am is that it’s totally in your mindset – if you think you can do it, you can do it; if you think you can’t, you can’t. Trust me when I say that when you believe in yourself, you can literally accomplish any dream.

Also read: 10 Mindset Hacks

Why do I wake up at 5 am?

I figured this might be a question that will come up, so allow me to answer it first. I am self-employed and work from home, so right off the hop, I need to be pretty self-disciplined in order to get anything done. I’d like to think that I know myself pretty well, and one thing I’ve realized is that when I’m taken care of first, I’m able to stay more focused throughout the day and show up even bigger and better for everyone around me. I like starting to work fairly early in the morning, so that means I need to sneak a little self-care in even earlier, bringing us to 5 am.

I’ve found a routine that works for me, so I tend to do things every morning, but sometimes the times are a little off. I mean, yes, I do wake up at 5 am every weekday, but sometimes my meditation is a little shorter, sometimes my yoga is a little longer… it sort of just depends. This is something that is super important to touch on: you need to be flexible with yourself in any routine that you have.

If you’re wanting to create a habit that sticks, you need to be able to cut yourself some slack. Life happens, and things aren’t always perfect – it’s not really about doing something perfect once or twice, but rather, just doing your best every day. Things will get easier over time when you are kind to yourself.

5 am Morning Routine

5 am: Alarm goes off

When I say 5 am, I truly mean 5 am… not 4:45… not 5:30. 5 am, right on the nose. I have 2 alarms set, one for 5 am, and one for 5:05. When my alarm goes off, I give myself a minute to collect my bearings, contemplate my life decisions, and then pull myself from the coziness of my bed to start my day. I have found that the snooze button can be a dangerous game to play, so I try to just avoid it altogether. However, 5 am is early, so to make sure I don’t just sleep through my alarm, or go back to sleep immediately, I find the second alarm is pretty useful to have.

5:10 am: Morning meditation

As soon as I climb out of bed, I pour some coffee (a programable coffee maker is a necessity for waking up at 5 am, and a boyfriend who always sets it for you the night before is an added bonus), take a couple of sips, and then hop right into a meditation. I cannot speak on behalf of anyone else, so let me just share my own experience. At the risk of sounding dramatic, adding in a meditation to my morning routine was a total game-changer for my mental wellness for the day. Being able to focus on your mindset and your breath before you worry about literally anything else is an amazing way to prioritize your own self-care and self-love.

5:30 am: Yoga

I used to do a little yoga flow in the evenings, but I found that moving my body when I wake up as the rest of the world sleeps is pretty much the best way to wake myself up. While I don’t exactly do anything too strenuous or daunting (I do my full workout around 11ish), I find that yoga is the perfect way to connect my mind, body, and spirit. Yoga forces you to really connect your breath to the movements, which I’ve come to realize is probably one of the best parts of my mornings.

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6 am: Read

I absolutely love reading – I love learning new information, expanding my mind, and solidifying my mindset. I think it’s important for personal growth and development, and I find that incorporating it into my morning routine really helps to get me into the right mindset for the day. Personally, I like non-fiction/self-help books, written by people who are where I’d like to be, in the morning, and fiction books at night.

6:30 am: Start working

I told you, I like starting my work early in the day. Most of the world hasn’t exactly started for the day, which means the distractions are still pretty limited. By 6:30 am, my mindset is normally in a killer place, and I’m excited to tackle the day, so for me, starting to work is kind of a no-brainer.

7:30 am: Eat breakfast 

I’ve moved my breakfast around in my morning routine a ton – sometimes I eat it before my workout, sometimes I try to slip a workout in earlier so I can eat it after. I am the type of person who can’t eat when they first wake up, and I also can’t workout on a full stomach. Lately, I’ve found that eating my breakfast around 7:30ish is perfect because it gives me a couple of hours to wake up before I eat, as well as a few hours to digest my meal before I workout. If you are the type of person who doesn’t love breakfast, I think it’s definitely worth playing around with your routine a bit to find what works for you. The reality is that it’s extremely important and shouldn’t be something that you skip altogether – listen to yourself, and adjust accordingly.