The 5:00 AM challenge (4/30)

Good morning! Day 4 of the challenge. Got up at 5 AM again. Feeling good. With the exception of Sunday, it hasn’t actually been that hard, but I’m sure it will get more difficult soon enough.

And here’s a strategy if you’re sleep but really want to wake fast: Smash your toe really hard against your kitchen counter. Just kidding, though, it actually sucks.

Getting up at 5:00 AM is a challenge but staying up is the underlying challenge. I mean, it’s easy to get up and turn off your alarm but it’s harder not to crawl back to bed (which is what I was doing before and one of the things that prompted me to start this challenge).

I’ve mentioned in a previous 5:00 AM challenge post that one of the ways I ensure I stay up is to put my alarm clock by the kettle so that I turn on the kettle as I pass it on my way to turn off the alarm clock, and the fact that the kettle is on somehow makes me feel committed to staying up.

But that’s just the first step. Once the kettle is going, I also start my morning routine by stretching. And that usually lasts until the kettle is finished, then I head downstairs to my office where I fire up the computer. As the computer is running its start-up processes, I review a number of things: My state of mind (am I productive or do I need to address feelings of unmotivation?), my personal purpose and vision and goals, and then my plan for the day. Then I open up my blog and write a blog post… and my day has begun.

You don’t have to have the same routine as me in the morning but I’m a big believer in creating a morning routine or ritual that you follow. Part of its value is to get you moving and doing stuff first thing, but part of the value of a ritual is that you can move through a checklist of things without committing a lot of brainpower to the “what should I do next?” question. I don’t want to have to answer that throughout the day and I especially don’t want to do that while I’m just waking up. If I can be instantly productive first thing in the morning then that helps to set the tone for the rest of the day.

So what should you create for a morning ritual? I don’t think it should be too complicated. I do think it should feed your mind and body and motivation. I also think it should get you doing something on your daily action list right away so that you embed a mindset of productivity first thing. In the past I’ve had other things in my morning ritual (working out, reading, study) and I’m always tweaking it.

On that note, I’ll wrap up this blog post and that will finish up my morning routine and get me rolling.

Stay productive my friends!

Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and he's a real estate investor and a copywriter for real estate investors.