If you own your mornings, you’ll elevate your life, motivational speaker and life coach Robin Sharma writes in his book "The 5AM Club".

In short, the book advocates waking up at 5AM and spending the first 20 minutes exercising, the second 20 minutes mediating and the third 20 minutes learning.

Sharma describes this as someone’s victory hour which will be a quick “win” to make sure the rest of their day is as productive as possible.

The book has been on Exclusive Books' best seller list for the past few weeks, and has been the topic of much debate the past few months as commentators tried to debunk Sharma’s beliefs.

Waking up early is, however, practiced by some of the world’s top CEOs with Apple’s Steve Jobs and Disney’s Bob Iger both getting out of bed before 5AM.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and radio presenter DJ Fresh are also both early risers.

I’ve tried the 5AM club for five days and here’s four things I’ve learnt – including why I think you should wake up early too.

It’s going to be tough.

Sharma suggests that individuals implement the 5AM club for 66 days, the time it is estimated that a habit becomes automatic.

He says all change is difficult at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.

And, while I thought I’d easily reprogram myself to wake up two hours earlier, it was much more difficult than I expected. Every time the alarm goes off at 04:55, a battle takes place in your mind whether it is worth it.

Sharma said people can make it easier for themselves by packing out their exercise clothes the night before, putting their alarm on the other side of the room, and – most importantly – standing up immediately when the alarm goes off.  

You feel much more prepared for the day

Probably the most important reason to do the 5AM club is that you are going to feel much more prepared for the day ahead. While it is difficult to measure one’s level of “preparedness”, you’ll definitely feel much more relaxed and ready for the day ahead having meditation and exercised.

Sharma suggests people take the 20 minutes meditation to go over their day ahead mentally, and play out how the ideal day would look like. This not only gives you a better grasp of what lies ahead, but also makes sure that you prioritise in the morning.

You’re going to burn more fat, and feel less stressed

It is already widely known that exercise decrease stress levels and improves mental health, but recent research has shown that exercising first thing in the morning, before you've eaten breakfast, helps speed weight loss and boost energy levels by priming the body for an all-day fat burn.

You’re going to regret not doing it

The one day when I decided to sleep in, I regretted it for the entire day. I felt like I was playing catch-up all day and I had much less patience for my colleagues.

There was something comforting in going over my day before the rest of the world wakes up. The amount of cravings I had for chocolates and sugary drinks were also much higher when I overslept.

Waking up early, and doing the victory hour, focusses your day on what’s important, instead of simply letting the day pass you by.

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