How I Failed To Join The 5 AM Club And What You Can Learn From It

And how you can start a successful morning routine too

First one thing: I don’t want to make you a morning person.

I am a morning person and I tried to wake up at 5 am to do the morning routine and it didn’t work out. It’s hard and you don’t have 100% of a saying in your sleep routine.

What do I mean?

I have problems falling asleep. It has to be completely quiet or an audiobook is playing in the background, or else I cannot fall asleep. This is a problem if I want to wake up early because my boyfriend likes to stay up late. Or my student organization starts the meetings usually at 7 pm because we have work or university before.

There is more in life that influences you and your sleep. Just decreasing the hours of sleep to wake up at 5 am is not recommended and is unhealthy.

But I was able to establish a morning routine before work, and I will tell you how:

The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma

“Dreams don’t come true while you are sleeping”

— Robin Sharma

I love books by Robin Sharma.

They changed my view on a lot of things like meditation and also morning routines. I read “The 5 AM Club” a few years ago and I was motivated to join the club and wake up at 5 am every day.

I tried it and failed after one week.

What happened?

My current life circumstances were not compatible with waking up at 5 am. This sounds like a lame excuse that I didn’t want to change my life, but that was not it.

What prevented me from waking up at 5 am consistently?

  • I have a hard time falling asleep and going to bed early was almost impossible because my flatmate had a different day-night routine and started cooking at 10 pm.
  • The meetings from my student organization usually start at 7 pm because most of the people are busy working or studying.
  • I had semester projects with other students and as you can imagine they don’t wake up so early. I had to work with them when both had time.
  • The consequence was that I slept fewer hours so I can wake up at 5 am

The consequence was that I quit really fast and told myself that I’m just not a morning person.

The good thing is that I realized quickly that sleeping less than 7 hours every night was not healthy and was not productive.

Even though joining the 5 am Club failed, I learned a few lessons from the book which helped me grow:

  • A calm morning is important
  • I started meditating
  • The morning is important
  • I want no stress before work

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.”

— Richard Whately

The Big Change For My Morning Routine

Last year I read “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod, and this book made me establish a morning routine again.

I’m amazed by how much he accomplished and survived cancer with such a positive attitude. He is really inspiring.

The most successful and wealthy people have a morning routine. Some wake up at 5 am and start a workout or meditate.

A morning routine is something personal, and that’s what I missed in the book “The 5 AM Club”. It’s not for everybody to wake up at 5 am and do 20 minutes of reflecting, 20 minutes of moving, and 20 minutes of growing exercises.

The system in “Miracle Morning” helped me to establish my own morning routine.

In the book, they have the acronym SAVERS which stands for:

  • Silence,
  • Affirmations,
  • Visualization,
  • Exercise,
  • Reading,
  • and Scribing.

It’s those 6 steps that make your morning routine successful.

It sounds easy, and it is. I think the simplicity of this system is the reason why it’s successful.

The simplicity and the personal touch you can give the morning routine are what helped me to have a successful morning routine now.

“Wake up early every day so that while others are still dreaming, you can make your dreams come true.”

— Hal Elrod

How I established my morning routine

Since November I established my morning routine, even though it was the most stressful month of the year (I organized a career fair with my student organization).

My routine of the SAVERS starts after I drink a glass of water and made myself comfortable on the couch (with a fluffy blanket) in an upright position (to not fall asleep).

I start with a 5 to 10 minutes meditation, and I set an alarm for it. It calms me down and that’s a great start.

The second point is affirmations. They give me confidence and remind me of the goals I have (based on the mindset I got from reading “Think and Grow Rich”). They are a few small sentences about the present and my future. You should find your own set of affirmations that speak to you and trigger feelings.

The visualization part is the hardest for me at the moment. I fall asleep or think about something that is going on in my mind.

This part is about visualizing yourself achieving your goal in the future.

What does your future look like? How does it feel? What kind of person will you be?

The next part of my morning routine is combining reading with exercise. I will start an audiobook and listen to it while I exercise for around 10 to 15 minutes. It doesn’t matter what kind of workout you do, just moving is already a good start. It can be a walk, some Zumba, or weight lifting. Whatever fits you but keep it a little challenging.

Your body wakes up. Exercising is essential in this world of sitting.

The last part is scribing.

I will take my success journal and write down:

  • What I’m thankful for
  • What I’m looking forward to
  • My to-dos for today (only the important ones)
  • And whatever comes to mind and needs to be written down in the journal

I have had the success journal for a few months now and I love it. It helps me focus on weekly goals and the daily consistent showing up on writing, Twitter, and Medium.

Writing down in a journal is important to sort your thoughts, and let go of some of them.

“If you want to take your success to the next level, you have to start taking yourself to the next level!”

— Hal Elrod


I failed at waking up at 5 am and joining the 5 am club but I learned a lot by trying it out. Now I have a different solution that is based on my needs and the time I have currently.

I’m sure my morning routine will change a few times in my life. I will not be a student with a part-time job forever, and at some point, kids will join my family.

Based on the life SAVERS by Hal Elrod and my experiences, I know how to change the routine to fit my needs.

There are a few tips I learned that helped me establish the routine and can help you too:

  • Missing 1 day is ok, but never 2 in a row
  • Not much time: better to do each SAVERS 1min than not doing them at all
  • Set up a timer: I fall asleep easily
  • Have a quiet place to do your morning routine. You shouldn’t need the willpower to do it.

“If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different, first.”

— Hal Elrod

Do you want to get more time every day for your important things?

Get your free copy of my tips about how to boost your productivity!

(c) Karina Ahrer

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