By Benjamin Hardy
I have a challenge for you: Wake up at 5AM for the next 30 days.
For the remainder of this article, I’m going to make you specific promises about what will happen if you do this.
To be absolutely clear: If you wake up at 5AM for 30 days straight, your entire life will change.
- You’ll become a new person.
- You’ll have a new sense of clarity and purpose for your life.
- You’ll be more confident.
- You’ll have better health.
- You’ll show up more powerfully in your relationships.
But before I divulge what will occur in your life if you take me up on this challenge, I must explain HOW to do it.
How do you successfully wake up at 5AM for 30 days straight?
- You start going to bed sooner (by the way, Mark Wahlberg wakes up at 3am and goes to bed at 7pm―In his own words, “I wake up at 3am to work out for 2 hours, 7 days a week (bed at 7pm)”)
- In order to go to bed sooner, you must avoid your consumption-based nightly addictions
- The first few nights, you may have a hard time falling asleep
- Therefore, the first few 5AM mornings, you may be exhausted
- But that exhaustion will, eventually, lead to better and earlier sleep
- When you set an alarm, that alarm should be on the opposite side of the room or in a different room altogether
- Once you wake up, you should already know what you’re going to do.
- Therefore, you must decide what you’re going to do the night before.
- Make it easy on yourself: Don’t have more than 3 items on your to-do list
- When you get out of bed to turn off your alarm, drink a big cup of water
- Don’t get back in bed
- Put your shoes on, go outside, and get into a new environment (I like my car)
- Be active, not passive about waking up
- Within 5-10 minutes, if you’re active about waking up, you’ll start to feel really good
- Have something meaningful to do during your “Morning routine”
Alright, with all of those “how’s” behind us, let us now examine what will begin happening in your life if you choose to wake up at 5AM for 30 days straight.
1. You’ll have time to connect with yourself, your purpose, and your High Power
“Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.”
Most people wake up frantic and busy. They haven’t given themselves time to connect with themselves, their higher purpose, and their Higher Power.
Hence, most people are operating at a very low level.
If you want to operate at an INSPIRED and powerful level, you need time, first thing in the morning, to connect with yourself. You need to reconnect with your PURPOSE, and you need to connect with God.
I’m terrified for children who encounter parents who haven’t done this.
How can you possibly help your children live great lives if you yourself are living unconsciously?
Waking up early and connecting with yourself, your purpose, and God allows you to live consciously.
You can be proactive, not reactive.
You can happen to the world, rather than having the world happen to you.
You can live with intention and creation, rather than consumption.
Connecting with your purpose allows you to live forward, toward your goals and dreams. If you’re not doing this, then you are unconsciously living today as a repeat of yesterday.
This is how most people live. They are living today almost the same way they lived yesterday. They don’t have what Peter Diamandis calls, a “Massively Transformative Purpose,” or (MTP) which is guiding their lives.
When you wake up and get your body moving, and connect with your MTP, then you start moving forward. You’re living your life in a direction.
You have purpose. You have intention. Therefore, you have an identity.
2. You’ll have time for personal development and progress toward goals
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
When you wake up at 5AM, you give yourself some space to actually improve and make progress as a person.
Life, for most people, is very busy. Most Americans read less than one book per year. They’re too busy at work and then distracted by the media and the internet.
If instead, you woke up and started reading books, you could get to the point where you’re reading 20+ books per year.
Many people read one book per week, and others even read 100+ books per year.
This isn’t actually that complicated, but it does transform your life.
- The more knowledge you have, the better decisions you can make.
- The more knowledge you have, the more competent and confident you will be.
As you read, you will learn HOW to learn.
When you learn how to learn, you can learn anything. This is why reading is such an invaluable skill.
Personally, I like waking up and going for a 60 minute walk, listening to audiobooks on 1.5 or 1.75 speed.
While brisk walking 3-5 miles and while listening to empowering content, I begin getting lots of powerful ideas about my future.
Of course, before my walk, I do a short meditation, prayer, and journal session to direct my mind. This session takes less than 10 minutes, but it allows me to be intentional. It directs my mind while I’m walking I can receive in inspiration and revelation.
Get yourself moving. Get yourself learning.
Also, you may even have some time to work toward your bigger picture goals.
If you start waking up at 5AM, you’ll be able to create intention and connection to your purpose, do some learning, and then make some progress toward your goals.
If you make even small progress toward big goals over time, you’ll start to see massive results.
- Small hinges swing big doors.
- By small things, great things occur.
- A little progress daily and overtime, your whole life will change.
As Albert Einstein famously said:
“Compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.”
3. You’ll get into a peak state, which will influence everything else you do that day
“The opposite of the peak experience—sudden depression, fatigue, even the ‘panic fear’ that swept William James to the edge of insanity—is the outcome of passivity. This cannot be overemphasized. Depression—or neurosis—need not have a positive cause (childhood traumas, etc.). It is the natural outcome of negative passivity. The peak experience is the outcome of an intentional attitude. ‘Feedback’ from my activities depends upon the degree of deliberately calculated purpose I put into them.”
If you wake up every day at 5AM, get yourself connected, learning, and making progress, you’ll start to feel a heightened state of mind.
You’ll have more “peak moments.”
Peak experiences are not random, but must occur intentionally. You can’t be passive.
The more peak experiences you have, the more transformed you’ll become as a person. The higher the standards you will have.
Peak experiences can become a normal and expected part of your day. Those moments of “awe” and gratitude.
Those moments you feel completely absorbed by the brilliance and abundance.
Those moments of humility for how amazing life is.
These can and should happen daily.
If you live intentionally and give yourself space, they can happen every morning.
If you’re having peak experiences every morning, then what do you think will happen the rest of your day?
Your day will be guided. You’ll be inspired. You’ll be in the right place. You’ll positively impact others.
4. By putting first things first, you’ll have “moral authority” around your loved ones
“Moral authority comes from following universal and timeless principles like honesty, integrity, treating people with respect.”
—Dr. Stephen Covey
You can’t buy “moral authority.”
Moral authority is integrity and confidence. It’s the energy around you as a person.
It’s your ability to say, “Do this,” and people will feel it, because you are already doing it yourself.
There’s a famous story:
A father is angry because his child eats too much sugar. He goes to a great teacher to have the teacher tell his child to stop eating sugar.
“Go home and come back in two weeks,” the leader says.
Surprised, the father obeys the instruction, goes home, and comes back in two weeks. Once they return to the leader, that leader looks at the child and says:
“Boy, you should stop eating sugar. It’s bad for your health.”
The boy nodded and promised he would not continue this habit any longer. The father then asked the leader:
“Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago?”
The leader smiled and said:
“Two weeks ago I was still eating sugar myself.”
The point of this parable is simple: in order for your words to have power, they must have integrity. It’s easy to say one thing and do another. And when such is the case, your words come-off as shallow.
Waking up earlier and getting things done allows you to have moral authority as a person.
You’re actually living the life you want. You’re making progress. You have a greater zest and spirit about you.
You draw people in, because you’re personally on fire yourself. People want what you have. Your words have emotion and testimony, not just information.
5. You’ll have made progress, which will increase your confidence
“Personal confidence comes from making progress toward goals that are far bigger than your present capabilities.”
Confidence is the byproduct of positive action.
Confidence is the foundation of flexibility and imagination.
The more confident you become, the more you can see yourself as your future self. The less attached you are to the past.
Confidence is fundamental to making huge leaps in your life. You build confidence, every single day, by what you do.
If you wake up and hit the snooze button first thing in the morning, then you have started your day with negative momentum. This is really bad for confidence, and creates negative ripples throughout your day.
Confidence is built through small and consistent wins. When you start your day with small wins, this leads to other wins, and eventually, bigger wins.
If you wake up at 5AM for 30 days straight, and make progress toward your goals, you’ll have a much higher level of confidence. With more confidence, you’ll be able to make bigger decisions.
Without confidence, you’ll hesitate making decisions. You’ll live in a state of indecision and apathy. Passivity.
The more confident you become, the faster you make decisions. The less fear you have about decision-making. The more you’re willing to aggressively jump forward and figure things out.
6. You’ll feel more motivated
“You’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feeling yourself into action.”
—Dr. Jerome Bruner, Harvard psychologist
With increased confidence comes increased clarity.
Clarity comes from making decisions and commitments. The more simplified your focus on specific goals, the more motivated you will be.
Complexity and lack of purpose kills motivation.
The more simple, definitive, and actionable your goals and focus, the more motivated you will be. As your motivation increases, you will start to feel pulled forward by your dreams and goals.
The pull of your future self becomes intensified as you get clearer on it and more committed to it.
Eventually, the pull can be as intense as a black hole, which sucks everything into it with unbelievable force. In the book, Black Hole Focus, Dr. Isaiah Hankel stated:
“The top physicists used to believe anything that entered into a black hole was obliterated. But this is no longer a popular view point. Current research shows that instead of destroying objects, black holes transform them. Imagine if your purpose in life was as powerful as a blackhole. With a force this strong, absolutely everything in your life would be pulled towards it. Nothing would escape. Every thought. Every action. Your entire identity would be sucked into it. And as a result, who you are, what you have, and how you live would be completely transformed.”
7. You increase your standards for everything else you do
“How you do anything is how you do everything.”
—Attributed to Zen Buddhism
In the book, The Power Of Habit, Charles Duhigg explained the idea of “keystone habits.” A keystone habit is one positive habit that ripples into everything else in your life.
If you change one key area of your life, every other area will organically change as well.
Therefore, when you begin waking up at 5AM, you will find that every other area of your life will improve.
Like attracts like.
- You’ll have a higher vision for yourself, so your identity will be more powerful.
- You’ll care about and love yourself, so you’ll eat better.
- You’ll want to be better in your relationships.
- You’ll perform better in your work.
- You’ll stop being distracted by meaningless media and entertainment.
8. You’ll sleep better
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I’m reborn.”
There’s plenty of science now explaining the importance of sleep. It shouldn’t require “science” to prove the importance of something so fundamental.
You should sleep at least 7 hours per night. If you’re a high performer, you’ll probably want more, like 8-10 hours.
You’ll sleep better if you have a clear conscience. You’ll have a clear conscience if you’re moving your life in the direction you believe you should. If you’re “earning” your sleep.
You’ll sleep longer if you go to bed earlier.
If you avoid the high stimulant and dopamine boosting inputs, like sugar, caffeine, and junk media around bed.
Turn your phone on airplane mode. Be fine “not being connected” for a few hours. Be in touch and present with those you love.
Get yourself to bed early.
Lately, I’ve been going to bed between 8 and 9PM. Before going to bed, I write down 2-3 to-do’s for my next morning, say a prayer, and crash.
I wake up between 4.30-5AM with clarity and purpose. I get myself moving, learning, and creating.
Your commitment to your goals is demonstrated by the results you’re currently getting. When you’re serious about getting better results in your life, you start showing up differently. You stop making excuses. You become more flexible to your emotions, rather than rigid.
You become more willing to do hard things. To fail. To face rejection. To look dumb.
You stop caring about all that stuff and just get moving.
9. You’ll make more money
“Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
This may seem like a funny promise, but it’s true. If you go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, learn more, build confidence, cut-out low-level “dopamine” junk inputs, then you’re going to want to make more money.
There is nothing wrong with making more money.
You’ll want to make more money because you’ll have a bigger future for yourself. To quote Dan Sullivan,
“The bigger your future, the better your present.”
You’ll have a better present because you’ll be actively engaged in goals that mean something to you. You’ll be working hard toward something big and important.
You’ll care about the world at large, and specific individuals, and you’ll want to make their lives better.
You’ll make more money for more freedom, yes, and for a better lifestyle. But your primary motivation with your money is to do more good in the world.
I had the opportunity recently to buy a car for a family in my church. They are an amazing family who have been down on hard times lately. I love that I have the freedom and ability to just buy them a used car.
It wasn’t a ton of money. But it was something simple I could do. And that I wanted to do. And that I want to be able to do more of.
Make money so you can serve the world.
Wake up early so you can make more money.
10. You’ll be a new (and better) person
“The definition of hell: At the end of your life the person you become meets the person you could have become.”
“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.”
—Alain de Botton
If you wake up at 5AM for 30 days, you’ll want to do it for the rest of your life.
You’ll have your “eyes opened” to what is possible for you.
For the first time in a long time, you’ll actually feel alive. You’ll feel a sense of purpose. You’ll have accomplished more in the past 30 days than you likely have for several years.
Real progress isn’t about getting stuff done. It’s about getting the right stuff done. It’s about emphasizing the “Important” over the “Urgent.”
If you actually give yourself some space in the morning, and make progress on stuff that is “Important” but not “Urgent,” then you’ll have more freedom in your life.
Eventually, you’ll stop having to deal with much urgent stuff at all. Your whole life will be purposeful. You’ll be in less of a hurry, despite the fact that you’ll have extreme momentum.
Conclusion: You Up For The Challenge?
You gonna do it?
(The author has created a cheat sheet for putting yourself into a PEAK-STATE, immediately. Follow this daily, your life will change very quickly. Get the cheat sheet here!)
Benjamin P Hardy is the bestselling author of Willpower Doesn’t Work, which explains the profound impact your environment has on your behaviour, mindset, and success. He is an organizational psychologist, speaker, entrepreneur and a father to five kids.
(Article published in partnership with BenjaminHardy.com)