Do you aspire to occupy the corner office? Is your dream to be a successful entrepreneur, businessperson, or renowned industry leader? Have you set your sights on the ultimate success in sports, arts or in your field of interest? The secret to success, if you ask anyone in any industry, is being a member of the 5 A.M. club. For years this concept has revolutionised how people work and achieve success. And we’re diving right into it and exploring 10 reasons you should join the 5 A.M. club.
The 5 A.M. club
20 years ago, best-selling author Robin Sharma released a book, The 5 A.M. Club, to global acclaim. In his book, he shared the concept of how getting up at 5 A.M. is the difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary. According to Sharma, a 5 A.M. wake-up allows you to complete a set of 20/20/20. 20 minutes of intense exercise, 20 minutes to reflect on your goals, and another 20 minutes to learn a new skill. The 20/20/20 technique is a method to optimise your productivity.
How the 20/20/20 looks
If you’re like most of us, your reflex will be to toss your alarm clock (not your phone) across the room when it blares at 5 A.M. Very normal reaction. But resist the urge. Keep in mind the purpose behind the early start – to be the best, most productive person you can be.
- 05:00-05:20 – exercise
- 05:20-05:40 – pause and reflect
- 05:40-06:00 – read and/or learn something new
“Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” —Benjamin Franklin
7 reasons to join the 5 A.M. club
Let’s be real for a minute. Our lives are busy. From the moment we wake up until we go to bed at night, we live jumping from one task and responsibility to the next. With little to no time dedicated to accomplishing key projects – well. Or even giving time to things that excite us, challenge us, and make us feel alive. Enter the 5 A.M. club mentality.
- No distractions. At 5 A.M., very little is happening in the world. Your phone isn’t buzzing with notifications, the kids are still sleeping (if you’re lucky), and few people are awake. This quiet time is the perfect time to tap into your brain and do or begin working towards one thing uninterrupted.
- Creates a routine. Our bodies have a 24-hour internal clock, the circadian rhythm, that helps us regulate our physical and mental functioning. Our mind and body serve us best when we are well-rested. A consistent sleep-wake schedule gives you more energy to get through the day and get things done.
- Time to plan. The extra hours you get in the morning allow you to plan your day ahead – without the rush and madness that tends to come with lateness.
- Exercise. While Sharma’s rule calls for “intense exercise”, find something that works for you. The key is to get your body moving, the happy hormones flowing, and your body primed for the day. A Pilates class, walking your dog, going for a jog or a session at the gym, the burst of energy will do wonders for your body.
- Prepare. Dedicate the other 20 minutes of your 5 A.M. start to reflect on your goals. These can be your daily, weekly, or even monthly goals. Are you on track to achieving them? What can you do today that will get you closer to meeting them? What did you do yesterday that you can build on today? And how can you prepare for the day ahead in a way that will get you where you need to be?
- Discipline. Anyone can wake up at 5 A.M. tomorrow. And keep that up for a week or two. To do something when everything in you screams not to, that’s where change happens. Waking up at 5 A.M. requires discipline and digging deep when the urge to sleep is strong. The discipline of repetition for months and years on end takes stamina, mental and physical strength, and an unwavering commitment to succeeding. “Discipline is choosing between what you want now, and what you want most.” – Abraham Lincoln.
- Healthy habits. Waking up at 5 A.M. means you’ll most likely go to bed earlier. This means you’ll “switch off” and reduce the late-night indulgences we’ve become accustomed to – think late-night snacking, bingeing on series, and incessant scrolling in bed. The 5 A.M. club, by default, encourages developing healthier habits that contribute to your success.
No, waking up at 5 A.M. is not easy. But then again, nothing worthwhile ever is easy. And no, not all will become CEOs or billionaires, but that’s not what it’s about at the end of the day. Life is about living to your full potential, being present in any and every moment, doing good (to yourself and others), being productive, creative, and leaving the world better than you found it. It’s being alive. And what better way to achieve this than by getting the most out of every day?
Set your alarm and join the 5 A.M. club. Your dreams won’t wait for you.