5 Ways To Get Your Ass Out of Bed and Get to the Gym in the Morning.
We’ve all thought it: “tomorrow I am just going to get up and exercise first thing in the morning!”
And the next morning, the only ambition that we had left has dissolved as we hit the snooze button for the 4th time, and we keep telling our body to get up, before you realize that now you’ve overslept AND you forgot to switch the clothes from the washer to the dryer. You spiral out of the house to make it to work on time in your damp uniform, spilling coffee or protein shake, or both, all over your nice shirt.
But, somehow you think you have half-ass hope for tomorrow.
I’m sorry to kill your dreams of waking up like a picture from Pinterest, yoga mat in hand walking outside in the fresh morning dew air of nature….but that’s never going to happen unless you make the effort to physically DO it. To help with your plan of action, here are a few tips that have helped me. I can’t promise you that you’ll look pretty or like you have your life together, but it should at least help you be able to break a sweat before work.
1. It starts the night before.
While you may just happen to wake up at the crack of dawn refreshed and ready to go, let’s not assume this to be consistent. Instead, let’s form a pattern of habits, beginning the night before. It should take you no more than 5-10 minutes to prepare before you go to sleep, but it will somehow save you 1-2 hours of procrastination in the morning. Take every small step that you can while you have the time and energy.
2. Make a trail.
From your bedside to your front door, make a trail to guide you in that direction. Place a pair of socks and shoes at your bedside to put on immediately before you do anything else. It’s pretty uncomfortable to put on your gym shoes and curl back under the covers. Set a bottle of water and/or your supplements on the hallway stand or in your bathroom to drink right after you put your shoes on to hydrate and wake you up, but make sure it leads you toward your toothbrush. Set your keys to the halfway point (possibly your kitchen where you can grab your meals for the day) from the bathroom to the front door. Set your gym bag or work bag by the door so you can get it on your way out. Only set your trail up in the direction that you need to go, rather than all directions of the house that may pull you away from your path or distract you.
3. Set yourself up for success.
Are you a caffeine junkie? Support your habit by setting your coffee maker on a timer for 15 minutes before your alarm goes off (the first time). It’s easier to get out of bed if you have the aroma of fresh coffee helping you. Alternatively, if you hate coffee or the smell of it, try using a citrus aroma in your bathroom so that when you brush your teeth, you can begin to associate energy and alertness with your new repetition. Scents are great for habit forming. If you prefer other energy sources, make sure your drinks are cold in the fridge, or that all of your supplements are easily accessible to quickly get them into your system. If you need a breakfast on the go, try to prepare as much of it as possible the night before, to cut down on steps in the morning. If you will be showering or changing into uniform to get straight from the gym to work, pack a bag of these things the night before. Pick out and set your workout clothes somewhere in your “path” to change into immediately, or if you are like me and want to take it a step further, go ahead and wear your workout clothes to sleep in the night before. Then you can just put your shoes on and be ready to go, and you look athletic while you sleep.
4. Set a timer.
I can’t tell you how many mornings I wake up at 5:30am, and somehow I don’t actually get to the gym until 9am. This has led me to set a realistic timer, plus 10-15 minutes to spare. Start backwards from your “path” and set an alarm for the time that each task should be completed by. It takes me about 5 minutes to grab my belongings, headphones, lock the door and start my car. It takes me probably 10-15 minutes to take in my coffee, supplements, or cook my breakfast. Let’s allot 5-10 minutes to brush my teeth, weigh myself, or change clothes if needed. I’ll allow myself 5-15 minutes to hit the snooze button ONCE and to put my shoes on. This totals about 45 minutes at the most, from the time I wake to the time I exit, or 30 minutes if I stay ahead of schedule. Of course, you may need to add in some more time for your tasks if you have pets or kids. Tailor it to steps that are absolutely necessary for YOU. It also helps me to set an alarm with words or phrases to keep me focused….some are positive, but sometimes I use tough love and profanity to put myself in check. Strategically place motivational pictures along your path if you have to.
5. Get your ass out of the house.
That’s it. That is the only step. I don’t care if you are still half asleep with only one shoe on, a bag of clothes that don’t match, and a healthy breakfast burrito in your purse, just get out of there. Run through the house collecting your items as if your house is on fire (but if it really is, set all of these things aside and grab a fire extinguisher.) It’s even better if you can leave your belongings or spare clothes & shoes in the car the night before so you have less to carry. Get in the car and just start driving toward the gym. You can drink your coffee or eat your breakfast on the way there, or even in the parking lot. Once you arrive at the gym, you have no other choice than to do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Just get there and do anything that you can for as many consecutive days as you can, even if it doesn’t make sense to you yet. You can facebook and read articles while you are waking up on the treadmill. The point here is just to meet the simple goal of getting your body to the gym until your mind catches up, but if you’re lucky, the repetition will get you there mentally to form a new habit, and a new reason to continue to get up and going.
All of this is more than attainable if you have a gym in your basement.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”-Jim Rohn