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The first time I had ever heard of the 3 AM Challenge was from motivational speaker Eric Thomas. He talked about how successful people watch the 3 o'clock news. I responded how most people do when they hear something different from what they do, I said "yeah right!"

There is no way someone can consistently get up at that time. If you could, what would even be the purpose of doing so? It just made non-sense to me, until one day it made the most sense to me. Waking up at 3 AM will completely change how you see your day. It all starts with learning how to wake up early.

One thing I have learned from studying success is that you have to be willing to experiment. Be ready to try things and experiment to see how it goes.

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The Miracle Morning Started The 3 AM Challenge

One of the best resources that you can buy on the power of waking up early is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. The book happened to be on my brothers iPad that I was using.  I was working a crappy job that I did not enjoy at all. I knew that I wanted out!

The premise of the book is that if you want to have better days, you need to have better mornings. I had fooled myself into the habit of getting up an hour and thirty minutes before I needed to be at my desk.

The drive through traffic would take at least 30 minutes, I needed to eat, shower, and get dressed. The entire morning was me running around stressed. I hated it!

I would barely get to have a conversation with my wife. Before you know it, I was sprinting out to the car to get to that desk job on time.

When I read The Miracle Morning, it merely suggested instead of getting up at seven, get up at 6. When I started doing that, my days got better because I was less stressed starting them. I quickly realized that I hate rushing in the morning no matter where I need to be.

The Path to The 3 Am Challenge

I figured that if I got up an hour earlier, what would happen if I got up two hours before? Guess what? My day got even better when I had two hours, and I was getting up at five in the morning.

Then I pushed it to four in the morning.  I had a business I started so that I could quit my job and I needed more time to work on it.

Once I got to four, waking up was starting to hurt a bit. It was worth every last drop because my mornings were so fulfilled. I could take my time with everything that I needed to do.

The final push to 3 AM was not because I needed it. I wanted to do the 3 AM challenge to push myself. I was not sure if I could do it, to be honest. The first time my alarm went off, I did not want to get up. However, somehow, I managed to get my feet on the ground and get up. If you want to know how to wake up early, get your feet on the ground each morning. 

The 3 AM Lifestyle

When you do anything long enough, it is no longer a challenge. Before I knew it, 3 AM was the usual wake up time for me.

I could move through my day at a pace that felt natural. I could not go back to what I was doing before. When you wake up at 3 AM, 6 AM becomes sleeping in.

The amount of stuff I was able to get done before the sun came up was just unreal. It was not something I could give up. Here is what most mornings look like:

  • Read Bible
  • Meditate
  • Goals
  • Drink tea
  • Read book
  • Write in a journal
  • Workout
  • Complete the most important task of the day

Success is yours when you can get a lot done early in the day. It is impossible to start the day with that stuff and feel like the day had a bad start.

The best part for me did not feel like I had to rush. I was not rushing my tea down, or feeling like I needed to hurry any task.

My new habit gave me about 4 hours before anyone else in my house got up. I had at least three hours before any texts came in. The time in darkness and silence was my time to enjoy and make the most of the day.

Should You Do The 3 AM Challenge?

One thing I have learned from studying success is that you have to be willing to experiment. The reason that Amazon and Facebook are the massive companies that they are today is that they run a tonne of experiments. You have to be willing to do the same with your life. Be ready to try things and experiment to see how it goes.

You may be thinking right now that 3 AM is way too early but what if you love it after you can adjust to it? You can’t knock something until you consistently try and make it work. What most people do is adopt other peoples thinking.

Society tells us that it is reasonable to wake up only when you have to wake up so that is what most people do, and they get to live average lives as a result. If you want to be great, you have to do what great people do.

Do you think Kobe Bryant or Arnold Schwarzenegger just woke up whenever it was convenient for them too with no plan of what needed to be done? Of course NOT! We know this already. If we know that great people are up early making their dreams come alive, then why do we think we can sleep in? It does not make sense.

Get Some Accountability

Habit Stacker helps you to have the accountability to start difficult habits like the 3 AM challenge. It's not easy to get up at 3 AM, so the more support you have, the better.

Habit Stacker lets your accountability partner know when you are not getting your habits done. Just knowing that they will get a notification will give you the motivation to do what you should.

Habit Stacker comes built-in with habits we all should be doing daily. These include reviewing your goals, journaling, and daily check-in questions.

You don't need to go to another app to complete your journal or the other habits above. They are built into the app for your convenience. It's time you learn how to wake up early and change your life for good

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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