How to Become a Member of the 5am Club


How to Become a Member of the 5am Club

Hello friends! If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I’m an early riser. I would definitely consider myself a morning person, and joining the 5am club has changed my life and my routine. Being a morning person isn’t for everyone though and I get so many questions from people about how they can change their habits and wake up early, so I’ve put together this ultimate guide to help you become a member of this early riser club too!

I became a member of the 5am club back in 2018. This decision was by far one of the best business decisions I have ever made in my life! I am more productive, I am more powerful, and I have more confidence in my work. Not to mention, I feel more energized, organized, healthy, and now have the time to get shit done. By the time it’s 9am I am usually already done my work out, my emails, goal planning and my affirmations.

Benefits of Waking Up at 5am

Most of us struggle to get out of bed early. I get it, it can be hard to break your routine and get used to waking up at a different time, but I promise you’ll thank me for choosing mind over mattress. Some of the most successful people wake up early like Tim Cook, CEO of Apple who starts his day at 3:45am, The Rock is at the gym by 4am every morning, and Richard Branson starts his daily healthy routine at 5:45am. If the greats are a part of the 5am club, why aren’t you? Not convinced? Let’s break down some of the most important and notable benefits of being early to rise…

  • It correlates to better grades or work
  • Helps you maintain a healthy diet – late snoozer often skip breakfast, the most important meal of the day!
  • It enhances your productivity – there are less distractions early in the morning
  • Assists with better mental health by eliminating the stress in the morning (or during the day) of feeling rushed
  • Gives you more time to fit in exercise – no more excuses of being too busy
  • Improves the quality of your sleep by putting you in more of a consistent routine

Maria of FoodByMaria standing outside with sun shining.

The Best 5am Morning Routine

Personally I have noticed all the above benefits. The rest of the world is asleep when I get up and it gives me the ability to prepare my heart and spirit for the day, and spend time on me. Plus, it makes me so incredibly healthy. Not to mention that you start your day on the right foot by feeling accomplished before most people have even rolled out of bed. My most productive hours now are in the early morning, 5am-8am is prime time. I have the most energy, I’m not interrupted, and I find I tap into elite performance.

Maria dipping veggies in hummus on a big veggie board.

Tips for a 5am Morning Routine:

  1. It is said it takes 66 days to instill a new habit, so push through those 66 days and after that it’ll be easy and natural. Don’t give up!
  2. Get up at the same time every day to build consistency – even on the weekends! Don’t ruin the routine.
  3. Use the 20/20/20 rule. Use the first 20 minutes to exercise which will release dopamine and serotonin, the middle 20 minutes to review your plan, and your daily schedule, and the last 20 minutes to learn – watch videos, TED talks, read, educate yourself, etc. NOTE: I still do more fitness after my goals, meditation and affirmations have been completed.  I work out anywhere from 1-2 hours a day.
  4. Schedule your 5am-6am prime time by writing things down. This will deepen your commitment and hold you more accountable. It’ll also help you set your focus for the day.
  5. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality when it comes to sleep. How do you get a better sleep? I go to bed between 9-11pm in the summer and 8pm-10pm in the winter and I’m never tired!
  6. Don’t use your technology in bed (or right before bed), screens keep us awake! I keep my phone in a separate room from where I sleep.  This helps keep my room a stimulation free zone and helps get my ass out of bed in the morning too!
  7. Move your alarm clock away from beside your bed so you HAVE to get out of bed to turn it off.
  8. Try to avoid pressing snooze and sleeping longer. Try your best to get out of bed right when your alarm goes off.

I hope all these healthy sleep tips help and I swear in no time you will notice you feel like you suddenly have more time, are less pressed for “me” time and more productive. NOTE: I realize this club isn’t for everyone. It can not always go hand-in-hand with your family schedule or work. However, there’s always room for adaption so make it so it works for you!

Do you think you can become a member of the 5am club?  Are you a member? Let me know in the comments what has worked for you or you have any suggestions for me too?

Mark Holtham

I actually joined the 5am club today! I have heard about it and known the benefits for a while, but never thought it was for me. But 2021 happened and I really struggled mentally with it… 2022 was around the corner and I knew I had to change my mind frame somehow, so I decided joining the club! Hand on my heart, I can tell instanlty that this is going to be something that I will do forever now! My mind has just completely rewrote the script on life and my head feels so much cleaner and healthier, all from day 1!! Already looking forward to tomorrows alarm!!


How are you feeling about the 5am club now 18 days later? Were you able to keep it going?? Any tips/advice on beginning?

Vandana Milind Pundlik

Really great

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you!

Chanelle H

I am alone with my kid 3/4 weeks a month since dad works away. Not only am I juggling a full time job, but I will also be doing school 20 hours a week come September. Giving up the gym I love isnt an option for me during this time. So I guess my question is…is it unfair to have my 8 year old wake up to come to the gym with me 3x a week at 5:30am? Should I let him sleep in on the days I am up but not going to the gym? Will it be hard on him to only wake up that early sometimes? I dont know what is best!

Andie Sfakianakis

Hi Maria,

I joined the 5AM club after reading the book 4 days ago.
I can say I do feel like I have more time to read my books and exercise as well as focus on my soul during this victory hour. I start my day fresh and I am happy. However I do feel exhausted maybe because I am still within the first 22 days (hard beginning). I am happy to finish the 66 days and see how I feel by then. I do not feel like doing weekends though, do you think that will ruin the routine?
Also how do you sleep between 9-11pm on Summers do you not complete 5 cycles of 90 minutes then? Do you not feel tired?

What is your advise on making the most out of this whole new routine?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Do what works for you! I cannot make choices for other my love. It does get easier, is all I will say!

Andie Sfakianakis

Thank you Maria!
It was lovely reading your post it encouraged me even more.
Thank you xxx

Shimaa saber kenawy ali


Catia Vasconcelos

Hi Maria and thanks a lot for your post. I joined the 5am Club nearly a week ago and I’m already seeing and feeling some benefits. I have a few questions:
– I’ve been feeling quite exhausted in the last 2-3 evenings (around 6pm). Does it improve as your system gets more used to the new routine?
– Like you and Andri above, my daily exercise routine takes is usually longer than 20 min (1 to 1 1/2 hours). How would you distribute that? Many thanks and LOL!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey hun! I would say that over time it gets easier. Listen to your body, drink lots of water and rest as needed but I swear after awhile you really get used to it. So currently, my workouts are exactly 1 hour and I actually either do them right in the morning or at 2 PM to boost my energy and fight the mid-day fatigue!

Tina Frimpong

I joined the 4AM club (LOL) after having kids as it was the optimal way I could get my workout in and still do everything else I needed to in a day. It was hard at first, but after a couple of weeks when you start seeing the positive affects of: going to bed early, working out and moving your body, having that uninterrupted ME time…it is well worth it!

Maria Koutsogiannis

It’s honestly the best thing, right?!


Wow! Your post is the first one I found regarding doing more exercise. I exercise pretty much every single day already and I’m thinking like… I can’t just do 20 mins a day! Have you tried doing your usual exercise routine then continuing with the reflecting and the growing? So for example exercise from 5-6 and then reflecting from 6-6:20 and growing from 6-6:40? Something I’m thinking of doing but I feel I’ll lose momentum and by that point people in my house will be up. Thinking a vinyasa for my victory hour ans then my weights session after my victory hour.

Shawnda Charron Nardi

I recently changed my eating habits and gave list 15 lbs and find it has become easier to stick to it now that I’m 10 weeks in.
I would love to join the 5am club.
I have a question though what time are u actually in bed lol?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey! OH, I totally thought this was in the post! Anytime between 9-11, honestly depends on my schedule and how tired/busy I have been that day! I need more sleep in the winter, naturally, so I try to work around that! Hope this helps and good luck!


Yes! I actually start my day at 3:45am. I begin with gratitude and affirmations and then get a good, solid workout in. I can leisurely get ready for work and enjoy a healthy, whole foods breakfast and get a bunch of my water in. I don’t even look at my phone until 6 am and this helps sooo much-my mind is not bombarded with negativity first thing in the morning! And yes, having a set bedtime is key – no electronics!
This routine has done wonders for my emotional health and my self-esteem-it’s like you said: I have already accomplished so much before 6am and it sets the tone for the day. My mind and my body are so refreshed and I feel like I can take on whatever the day throws at me!

Maria Koutsogiannis

This is so amazing! I am so happy for you girl. This sounds like an amazing routine for you and I am so glad it is working for you!

Dominic Murphy

I have to commute to work and leave the house at 6.10am so start work for 8.
Will I still feel the benefits? Should I go for 4.45?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Do what works best for you! It’s your schedule so do what you can and adapt as you must!

leslie weinstein

Hi…I’m reading about this backward, lol, as I just finished reading Part 2. I’m so motivated by the 20/20/20 idea and now this! I’m going to implement the 20/20/20 starting tomorrow morning and I’m certain I’ll be joining the 5 am club, soon. One step at a time and going to “celebrate my small achievements”. Thanks, Maria.

Maria Koutsogiannis

I am so happy to hear about this love! How is it going so far?

Thanks for stopping by!

Siobain Quinton

Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve recently fallen off the 5am train and I notice such a difference. Even if you do nothing but get up and get ready for your day the satisfaction you feel knowing you got yourself up early does so much for your attitude. Looking forward to reading part two!

Ashley R

Wowzers! Thank you for the inspiration! During this time, did you experience hiccups? Or tragic life altering events? If yes, how did you keep your routine? If not, do you have any theoretical tips to help me stay on track?

Courtney A

Ugh, loved this! And it reminded me why I started waking up at 5:00 a.m. to begin with. It’s crazy to think about how much you accomplish while the world is peacefully asleep. Ever since the time change, it rocked my schedule and I’ve been terrible at waking up. Your blog post inspired me to try harder (starting on Monday 🤪).

Simaran Kalkat

Hi Maria,

I love this post! I’ve been getting up by 5am for over 10yrs now. I started in highschool when I would be too exhausted to study. I started going to bed early, and would wake up early the next day so I’d have enough energy to get some work done (yeah – I know I’m a total nerd 🙂 ).

I haven’t looked back since. Even through university, waking up early let’s me get my work out in (I love morning runs and yoga), have an amazing breakfast (my fave meal of the day) and have some time to get some work done when I’m feeling refreshed, energised and calm.

I agree that it’s also the best time for me to get some me time. I’ve lived alone for most of the last 7-8 yrs, but when I do have family or friend living with me, those few hrs to myself in the morning are so necessary for my sanity and productiveness.

I feel that it works best if my bedtime routine is regular as well – I’m usually in bed by 9-10pm and I try to avoid electronics or anything too stimulating around bed time. I usually get ready for a bed around 8pm and then read or do something less stimulating so that when I’m tired, I can immediately go to bed and sleep well.

I’m currently in medical school, and I was able to maintain this schedule really well for the first two yrs. I always had energy and never showed up sleep deprived to classes or exams. However, with third yr, my schedule is all over the place with shift work, especially in July, so that made it tough for me. Luckily, I’m currently on a rotation that’s the pretty standard 9-5, so I’m right back where I like to be. I know that hours of work will probably play a huge role in helping me decide which specialty I end up choosing in the future.

So yes – 5am club for life!

Esta Odongo

Hmm… I have to be honest, I can see all the benefits you’re saying but I’m not sure my body will agree with you at 5am 🙁
Nevertheless…. I will give it a go! I think there’s something smug.. I mean satisfying about waking before (most) people and getting things done before the rest of your world is awake!

Olivia Musselman

Joined the 5 am club just a few days ago! It’s been a little hard to get up, but I force myself to just get out of bed and then I feel great from then on! I’ve been able to read for an hour every morning, work out, eat breakfast at a normal time, and start working before anyone else in my house is awake! It’s so nice to get stuff done and kickstart my day while also getting quiet, alone time.

Maria Koutsogiannis

THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!! so amazing, it honestly makes such a difference in your day right? I am so happy for you and I hope you continue to kick ass!

Vandana Milind Pundlik

Really great

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you!!!!


I love your posts about the 5am club!! But every time I find myself just wanting to do it but eventually NOT doing it!! How do you motivate yourself to start getting up early?? because I just can’t get myself to do it!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

thanks babe! but I have to be honest with you, you have to want to do it. You have to want to make a change. if you continue to not do it then I don’t think you want it bad enough. In order for change to occur you have to really WANT it. and until that happens you will continue to NOT do it. All I can say is, think of your life right now. are you happy? do you want more time? do you wish you got more done? more successful? earn more? become more successful? get up at five and make those dreams come to life.

Denise kilbourn

I absolutely LOVE this!! I am joining this 5am club ASAP (Tomorrow morning!!!). I agree! Although I haven’t had to be very productive at 5am, I’m so damn excited to be!! Thank you for inspiring me!!.

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey girl!!! Yes, babe, it’s possible. Please let me know how it goes for you!


I really do want to because a member of the five am club. But I find my self on my phone first thing and last thing at night. When do you start going on your phone in the morning? How in more detail is the structure of your morning routine? I don’t know if I should really structure my morning routine or have it more layed back. Do you eat breakfast before you work out? What kind of workout do you do? What is the things you must do in the morning to feel ready for the day? I am looking to fix my morning routine. I can’t do it on my own. Thanks for the push

Maria Koutsogiannis

Hey love!

Thanks for this, you hit the nail on the head. This is what I will be answering if the second stages of this blog post. Stay tuned for something next week. In the mean time, start getting up and just learn what routine works best for you and your family/schedule.

Much love

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