The 5 am alarm…benefits of waking up early

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always heard that successful people wake up early. And I’ve been so fascinated by this that I read up articles about it all the time. And it seems to be true. People who’ve carved out a successful life & career make it a point to wake up early.

In some ways, my natural inclination to wake up at the crack of dawn has proved pretty useful. My debut novel ‘Diary of an Immigrant Bride’ was written while working full time in a fairly demanding sales job. And the only way I managed to push out the manuscript to my publisher before the deadline was to make use of the early hours of the morning. On some days, my alarm would be set for 4 am and on others for 5 am. Did I feel tempted to snuggle under the quilt, particularly on winter mornings? Of course I did. But I’ll tell you a tiny trick I use each time I struggle to get out of bed. I relax, close my eyes and visualise my goal. What do I want to achieve today? Once I focus my attention on my goal for the day, it’s amazing how clearly I can see it in my mind’s eye. And that vision is enough to get me out of bed.

People have often asked me what my morning routine is like, so here’s a little about that. I don’t open my laptop straight away. Neither do I check social media. I make myself a nice hot cup of coffee and then sit for 15 minutes doing nothing other than sipping the coffee. During those 15 minutes, I connect with myself. Deep breathing exercises are a marvel for helping me get my thoughts aligned. Once coffee is done, I do a light exercise regime. Nothing too vigorous..I’m not a huge fan of push ups or anything like that.

The 15 minutes of meditation followed by exercise are almost magical. I then write down my goals for the day. What do I need to get done? Which book chapters, blog posts or articles need my immediate attention? Unless I actually schedule time for them in my calendar, I know they’re not going to get done.

Just waking up early is not as important as what you do with all that free time you get when you wake up while the rest of the world is slumbering. Utilise that hour or two wisely. Meditate. Connect with your inner self. Visualise your goals. But most important, write those goals down. There’s nothing quite as powerful for gaining clarity as seeing your goals written down on paper.

I know some of you may think ‘but I leave home so early anyway. How can I get up any earlier?’ Believe me, you can! Do what it takes to help you get out of bed just half an hour earlier if that’s all you can spare. Go to bed a little earlier. There’s no need to read every single Facebook notification before bedtime.

Believe me, once you get into the habit of waking up early, you’ll recognise the magic and power of that wonderful time of the day.