|Can you tell I'm not a morning person? (J. Johnsen)|
It's still dark. Who in their right mind gets up when it's dark? Better yet, I got six hours of sleep. That's not healthy. Or even, I can stay in bed for five more minutes. Just five more.
It's true; only crazy people get out of bed when it's dark, it isn't healthy to run on six hours of sleep, and I probably could spare five more minutes. Regardless, it is possible and healthy to get out of bed for a morning workout. Most of us have a lot to manage, and sometimes, an early morning wake-up call is our only option. To help me drag myself out of my warm cocoon in the morning, I've found these six techniques particularly helpful.
Make smart decisions the days and nights before. No one wants to get up at 5:30am or earlier when they've gone to bed at 1am. It just doesn't make sense. Even if you are able to get up with only four hours of sleep, you're not going to perform well and you can't sustain a schedule like that. Keep everything in balance, and make decisions that allow you to get the rest you need.
Don't give yourself permission to snooze. I'm not sure why the snooze button was invented. It's evil, and we all know it. For those of us who are snooze button addicts, it can be difficult not to succumb to the allure of just five more minutes. But what will those five minutes get you? They won't make it any easier to get up and they could turn into a lot more than five. If the latter happens, then you've got the associated guilt of skipping whatever you had planned. Bottom line - snooze is bad.
Tell at least two people what you're planning. No one likes to feel as though they've let someone down. Making a commitment to others is a great way to stay motivated to stick with your plan. Tell at least two people just in case the first person you tell is too willing to cut you slack. If one of those people happens to be a workout buddy or a trainer/coach, even better. I've developed a habit of sending notes to my Crossfit coach (Joe) the night before early morning workouts. Then, my commitment is in writing. Accountability to others can be as motivating as accountability to yourself.
Give yourself a cookie. Not necessarily an actual cookie, but some sort of reward for accomplishing what you set out to do. It might be a midday nap, a happy hour rendezvous with friends, or simply knowing you've got the entire day ahead of you once you're done. For me, if I'm having a tough time getting going, I promise myself a latte from my favorite coffee shop. It might not sound like much, but a high quality cup of joe is a perfect reward. It also means I'll have the whole night free, which can make planning time with friends a lot easier.
Remember why you're doing it. This one is my personal favorite. Whether it's a run, a long bike ride, a Crossfit WOD or a completely different workout, you're not just doing it to torture yourself. You have things you want to accomplish, and once you get going, it might be fun! Forcing yourself to do things that are difficult can be fantastic mental training. Remind yourself of that as soon as the alarm goes off. I know that every workout makes me stronger, and that strength will come in handy for the next day. It's also one of the only hours of the day I don't think about anything else, and that mental break is incredibly important.
Do you have a particular technique that makes it easy for you to get out of bed in the morning?