5 AM

Navy SEALs get up at 04:30 AM every morning for a gruelling physical session. As the sun rises, a SEAL will complete a body-building exercise, a four mile run and a 17 mile swim. The 4:30 AM start is a habit veteran SEALs find impossible to shake, even after retirement. The process is ingrained into them, not because it’s painful, but because it dramatically transforms their body and mind – all for the better.

Early starts are not reserved for members of America’s primary special operations force. Anyone – especially rebel entrepreneurs – can gain so much from getting up while everyone else is still asleep.

From a practical perspective the benefits are obvious. You allow yourself time to exercise or meditate ensuring that you take the best care of your physical and mental health. You beat the commute and arrive at work before anyone else, giving you time to focus and plan your day free from distractions. You’ll achieve more earlier, freeing up time in your schedule to spend with loved ones later.

From a health perspective, the benefits are immense. Early starts have been shown to reduce the likelihood of developing mental health disorders such as anxiety or depression. Early risers tend to eat healthier as well as be fitter than those who sleep in. Concentration levels are improved, and studies indicate that we tend to make better decisions earlier in the day. On top of that, early risers have increased energy levels due to the fact that they enjoy a deeper sleep at night.

An early start is an important part of the discipline a rebel entrepreneur requires to take that plunge. It’s not a punishment, but an award for your business. The process gives you a headstart and primes your mental and physical health, ensuring that you are equipped to deal with the challenges of the day.

Rebel entrepreneurs need all the time they can get in order to make their product or service a reality. An early start will give you ample time to plan and visualise your day. The morning is also an excellent time to give thanks and to carefully consider your goals, your objectives and key results for that day.

Once you start getting up earlier, you’ll wonder why you ever slept in.

Personally, getting up at 5.30 AM has had a profound effect on my life. It gives me time to plan the day, get some exercise in, visualise difficult upcoming meetings, read new research or listen to positive podcasts. All this strengthens my mindset and allows me to arrive at the office before anyone else, feeling like I can take on the world.

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