You go to bed with the best intentions for the next day.
The night before, you have some idea what the next day will hold: when your workout will be, what you will be eating, etc.
Some days it’s more clear than others. This is how you see tomorrow morning going:
- 5:00am; wake up
- 5:15am; bodyweight workout
- 5:45am; shower and get read for work
- 6:15am; make healthy breakfast and pack a nutritious lunch
- 6:45am; head out the door to work feeling like you’ve already accomplished a day’s worth of work!
This is probably what our mornings look like more often:
- 5:00am; hit snooze
- 5:15am; hit the snooze again…the workout can wait until this evening
- 5:30am; snooze again. You can grab lunch from the Hawaiian BBQ place
- 6:00am; scramble out of bed and hastily get ready for work
- 6:30am; head out so you can grab a Venti iced mocha and a scone from the bux on your way to work.
You think a few times during the day “I should really start that workout now.” You thought about it on your lunch break but decided you didn’t want to have sweaty pits (like stinky-steve) at your meeting. You thought about it when you got home from work, but needed some food first. You thought about it after dinner, but it was a long day and you deserve to kick your feet up and #netflixandchill.
You go to bed at night swearing to exercise (twice) and eat well the next day no matter what.
“The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day” -Steve Pavlina
What we do during our first hour or two after waking sets the tone for the entire day. What we do during these early-hours day after day sets the tone for our lives.
So what makes getting up and getting going in the morning so difficult?
The excuses we make are what Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, calls “The Resistance.” The Resistance is an unconscious part of us that acts against our conscious desire and and sabotages our work. The Resistance is the part of us that tells us we need to eat the cake to be socially acceptable or to skip our workout because we deserve a break at the end of the day.
Script the morning
How can we beat the resistance and get after it in the morning?
Before you go to bed, write out a detailed account of what your first two hours of the morning will look like. Here is what I wrote out a few nights ago:
- 4:15am; Wake up
- 4:15-4:40am; Make Wifey and myself breakfast, coffee and a snack for the mid-morning.
- 4:40-5:15am; Read and pray.
- 5:15-5:3am;. Do the Launch Workout. This workout was a descending ladder of Burpees and Jump squats. Start with 10 of each, then 9, 8, 7…all the way to 1.
- 5:30-6:30am; Writing an article on 5 steps of Fat-Loss.
I wrote this out the night before, got it done and moved on with my day.
When you write down what you want to get done in the morning, it eliminates the choice needed to take action. When you already know minute-by-minute what your morning will look like, you don’t have to think twice about getting going.
You have to write it out.
Going to bed with a vague list of to-do’s for the morning won’t cut it. You can’t simply say “i’m going to walk the dog, make a healthy breakfast and lunch for myself and the whole family, get a workout in, and write in my gratitude journal.”
If you don’t script it out and be realistic with how long each objective will take, it simply won’t happen.
Most Important Task (MIT)
Start with what is most important.
If you’re reading this, preparing healthy food and some sort of movement are likely in your MIT’s for the day. Plan to make your first meal (and snacks if applicable) and get your workout done in the first hour or two of the day.
When you plan out the first few hours of the morning and fill them with what’s most important to you, you set yourself up for success. So tonight, write what your first two hours of tomorrow morning will look like. Get up without hitting the snooze, and get things done.
Get up earlier
Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. And you need to actually get up when your alarm goes off. Stop hitting the snooze. It’s preventing you from reaching your goals and you don’t get good sleep in 10-minute intervals between snoozes.
The morning is the best time to get things done. Your brain and body are fresh and you are not yet burdened by the chaos of the day.
Getting up earlier requires going to bed earlier. This is still really hard for me. Nicole and I are either hanging out with friends or catching up on the events of the day every evening.
Thankfully, now that Nicole is working for Village Fitness full-time, she doesn’t wake up at 4am very often. Plus, she is growing a small human inside of her so she is extra sleepy every night and ready for bed.
That’s all for today,