I Decided to Wake Up at 5:30am for a Week. Here’s What Happened

How many days a week do you hit the snooze button? And how many times?

Are you one of those people who jump out of bed as soon as the alarm rings?

Or, do you hit the snooze button over and over again?

For as long as I can remember, I was the latter.

I really preferred my mornings to start looking like this.
Or like this.

I knew that hitting the snooze button was a bad habit. While I got to enjoy more time in my warm and comfortable bed, the rest of the morning was stressful. I’d rush to get dressed, do my makeup, brush my hair and teeth, pack my bag, and run out the door.

Do your mornings sound like this? And if so, do you think this is a good start to your day?

When I start my days like this, I feel rushed and resentful. I felt rushed because I decided to hit the snooze alarm and had to get ready faster. I felt resentful because I felt like I had no time for myself.

When I read a challenge that promised to break the snooze habit in Mel Robbins’s book The 5 Second Rule, I knew I had to try it.

Challenge accepted!

The 5 Second Rule is simple: whatever idea comes to your mind, act on it in 5 seconds (or less). Why? Give your brain more time to think, and it will try to talk you out of it.

One of the first challenges in the book to try the 5 Second Rule is: wake up 30 minutes earlier.

Why 30 minutes earlier? Because it’s supposed to feel hard. It’s supposed to show you the physical effort of taking action.

Waking up in the dark (and in the cold, if it’s winter) is hard.

But once you’re up, you’re okay.

I figured this challenge could be a great way to slowly incorporate the 5 Second Rule into other aspects of my life, so I decided to take on the challenge. And I announced it on my blog. Yes, I’d have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning during the week. How hard could it be?

Was I successful at the challenge?

Vamos adelante

I was successful at getting out of bed at 5:30 for three days.

And, I only hit the snooze alarm once in the past week.

However, do I consider the challenge a success, despite some setbacks?


Here’s a breakdown of what happened during the week:

What some people think my life looks like every day when I tell them I live in the Canary Islands. Spoiler: it doesn’t look like this every day, and it gets cold. I’m in a hoodie right now.

Monday and Tuesday started well. The alarm would go off, and I’d jump out of bed, and begin my day. I even had extra time to read and clean before leaving. I started my day feeling calm, and proud that I’d gotten a few things done.

On Wednesday, however, I woke up at 4:00 am and couldn’t go back to sleep. The lack of sleep that day, on top of my busy schedule, meant I couldn’t wake up 30 minutes earlier the next day.

Thursday, I woke up at my usual time. While I was disappointed I couldn’t achieve my experiment, I noticed that I didn’t hit the snooze alarm. I still jumped out of bed and began my day.

On Friday, I got up at 5:45 to not shock my system. Again, I didn’t hit the snooze alarm.

On Saturday, I set the alarm at 6:30, even though I technically didn’t need to get up until 8:30. I didn’t want to break the routine by getting up much later than usual. I did press the snooze button once but was out of bed by 6:45.

Today, I set the alarm at my normal Sunday wake-up time, 6:30. Again, I got out of bed, and started my day.

Buenos días! (Actually this was during the sunset)

Why was this challenge a success, even if I didn’t wake up at 5:30 in the morning every day?

The goal of this exercise was to learn how to push yourself in the first five seconds you decide to do something and not hit the snooze alarm. I’ve done both of these things.

In addition, I’ve noticed that my mind is changing. When I think of an idea, I now think within the first five seconds about what I need to do, or I do it.

Before I learned about the 5 Second Rule, I’d spend so much time overthinking an idea. Eventually, I’d talk myself out of doing it, or wallow in worry until I had to do it.

Now, I just go. Not always; it’s a work in progress. But much more than before. And I believe that is a great start to 2023.

Go chase those castles

Takeaway from Challenge 1: Wake up 30 minutes earlier

1. I don’t believe it’s necessary to wake up at 5:30 am to benefit from the 5 Second Rule. The most important part is to wake up and start your day in 5 seconds or less the moment you hear your alarm.

2. Having some time for yourself in the morning can help you feel calmer and happier as you start your day.

3. Knowing I had to wake up earlier also helped me at night. I made sure that everything was organized and cleaned for the next day. Sometimes, it’s too easy to say, “I’ll take care of it in the morning.” Even though I knew I’d have more time in the mornings, I still chose to take care of things at night.

Will I continue to wake up at 5:30 every morning?

Not every morning. It’s not always realistic for my schedule. However, I will aim to have time for myself in the mornings. I’ve enjoyed starting my days doing something for myself and feeling relaxed as I left, so I see this as a long-term benefit.

What time do you wake up? Do you think waking up earlier can improve your day and the quality of your life? Let me know!

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