By Peggy Chen, Co-Founder Golden Value SG
Recently I read a new book called The 5AM Club which was written by Robin Sharma. I was so inspired by it I started implementing it yesterday. Basically, what it advocates is to start each day early at 5AM so you could
The book could not have come to me at a more opportune time as I have been praying to God lately for his guidance for my life. Then one day I saw in my “stacks” of emails that there was one email introducing this book.
So I happily downloaded the ebook in my kindle and then borrowed the audio version of it. I then spent a few days completing the book. It is said in the book that to install a habit takes 66 days. So I started day 1 of 66 yesterday.
I must say it started well as I got out of my bed at 5AM sharp. However, I did not have a good night of sleep the night before. Not sure whether I was too excited, I was waking up now and then to look at the clock projected on my ceiling.
Therefore, even though I woke up on time, my head was a little heavy. Nevertheless, I told myself that it will take a few days for my body to be conditioned to waking up early, so I persisted.
20/20/20 Started With Exercising
This new morning routine is supposed to consist of 3 parts. The first part is exercising, the second part is meditation and reflection while the third part is growth. According to the book, we are supposed to give 20 minutes to each of the three parts (20/20/20).
I have changed the routine to suit my own style. I started my first part with a 30 minutes exercise on my Elliptical trainer. A cold shower then followed this. I then made myself a cup of coffee and then sat down for a 5-minute guided meditation.
Speaking of meditation, I had started the practice of daily meditation since last year and had found it to be very beneficial. It gave me a good start of the day. I used an app called Simple Habits to do this. So far, I had been doing it for 382 days straight.
The App has been instrumental in my keeping of this habit as it helps to track the number of times you mediate. It encourages you by giving you a badge for different milestones when you have done it without a break for a streak. For example, it started with a 1 day streak, 2 days, 3 days, 5 days and then 10 days and on and on.
If you miss one day without meditating, the app would reset the counting so you would need to start from day 1 again. This is especially effective when you have done it for a while and would not want to see the efforts gone to waste. Therefore, you attempt to continue. After some time, it just became automatic and habitual so meditation is part of my morning routine now.
Reflection and Gratitude
Back to my 5AC routine, after the 5-minute meditation I would then spend about 10 to 15 minutes writing in a journal. I had previously bought this journal called The 5 second journal back in 2018. However, I had not been using it consistently back then.
Therefore, I was overjoyed when I saw in the book that journaling is part of the routine, as I could finally have a good use of the journal I bought. The purpose of this part of the routine is to reflect and give gratitude, so we can start the new day with hope and good vibes.
The 5 second journal has preprinted guided questions that helped me quickly put down the things I want to prioritize for my upcoming day and also give me a chance to express gratitude and feeling grateful for my life and what I have. Therefore, I find it to be very useful and suited for my purpose here.
Growth - Feeding Your Mind
After reflecting in the journal, I implemented the growth part of my 5AC routine. For this part of the routine, you can either read a book or listen to an audiobook, take a course (nowadays there are plenty of online courses or YouTube videos to learn new skills). I listened to a book summary for this part.
I think it was about 6:15am by the time I completed my 20/20/20. By then I still had plenty of time before the work day really starts, so I did my own things.
Throughout my workday, I could hold up even though I felt a bit tired by about past 10am. I could catch a bit of rest during lunchtime and continued with the rest of my day with no problem.
Accidental Disconnect from Social Media
Something happened though, which on hindsight was probably also predestined (getting a bit fatalistic here). My Facebook account was disabled on this very day that I joined the 5AM Club.
Frankly, I have never thought that my Facebook account would be disabled, but it happened. The cause was probably the fact that my husband sent me an invitation through his account and I accepted the invitation from the Facebook email using the same computer after logging out of his account and then logged into mine.
Anyhow, I was really shocked when that happened to me as suddenly the Facebook pages I built previously and my account became inaccessible. Worst of all, Facebook asked me to submit my ID for their review but they also displayed the message that they are short-handed because of COVID-19 and therefore they may not get back to me which means I may have lost my account forever!
I cannot describe how helpless I felt then as there was basically no support from Facebook. They don’t seem to have a telephone number or any email that can be reached. I could not help but wondered if this did not bode well at all at the start of the 5AC.
I finally went through day 1. I must admit that by the evening I felt quite tired, so I slept early at about 10PM at night hoping to do better for the second day.
Right now, it is the second day of joining the 5AC. I have got a better night of sleep compared to the previous day. This morning I also felt that my head was less heavy compared to the previous day. It actually felt fantastic after my morning exercise and having the cold shower. So I guess a new habit is forming. I am sure I will be able to do it!
I will provide further updates when it comes to near the day 66 or if there is any other noteworthy development along the way.
Would you like to join me in the 5AM Club? Or have you already started your own journey? Share with me your experience below so we can encourage each other!