With winter slowly but surely creeping up on us in Johannesburg, I find myself rather reluctant to get out of bed and start my day. This has often led to my morning routine being crammed into just fifteen minutes of hastily getting dressed and running out the front door five minutes late. As a result, I would arrive at my morning commitments feeling grimy and unprepared.

This led me to question whether or not my slack morning attitude was foreshadowing the rest of my day.  The author Johnnie Dent Junior once said, “Early is a priceless timepiece owned by the successful.” This notion has been echoed by various other successful people, which is why I have decided to join the 5am club this winter. I have been a member of this very prestigious club for three weeks now and so far, I am loving it. In fact, while I am writing this, I am watching the sun rise and nibbling on a piece of chocolate.

What a great way to start the day!

When I first adjusted my sleep routine, I really struggled to fall asleep at night. The truth is that, in order to get up two hours earlier, I had to get used to going to bed much earlier than before. On a brighter note, it took just three days of perseverance (and a lack of sleep) before I was able to drift into a peaceful slumber as soon as my head hit the pillow at 8:30pm.

I have been sleeping like a baby every night since and usually wake up feeling energised and motivated in the morning.

I did a lot of research before undertaking this challenge and one of the questions that came up was why I should wake up two hours earlier than necessary. The truthful answer is that the first few hours of each day usually sets the tone for the rest of the day. Each individual has a choice between waking up just in time to get ready and leave, or take two hours each morning to choose how they wish to start the day. When opting for the first alternative, one is essentially giving external factors, such as traffic and bad hair days, the power to determine the tone of one’s entire day.  In my opinion, waking up earlier is the way to go!

My current morning routine consists of me waking up at 4:45am and then hitting the snooze button on my alarm until those last fifteen precious minutes are up. Once I’m awake I like to have a sip of water and catch up on any admin. This way I get to enjoy the warmth of my bed for just a little longer, while also being able to organise my day without the distraction of people immediately replying to my emails and messages. Once I have completed these tasks, I usually take a brisk 3km walk on the treadmill at home before heading to a yoga class or completing my gym workout for the day. This leaves me feeling accomplished before the day has even started. Once my exercise routine has been completed, I take some time to get dressed and prepare myself for whatever the day has in store for me.

Since adopting this morning routine, my life has felt more manageable and organised. I no longer feel like I am constantly being bombarded with tasks and demands because each morning I am able to deal with these under peaceful circumstances and with a fresh mind. This may not be the solution for everybody, but if you are up to the challenge, I would highly recommend at least giving it a try. Joining the 5am club has changed my life and I do not intend on terminating my membership anytime soon.