A few years ago, I wanted to begin working out on a more regular basis. I knew it would be healthy to fit a workout or two into my schedule each week. What I did not realize was that I would completely restructure my life for the better.
It used to be that I would occasionally hit the gym after work. It was never consistant. I would have waves of inspiration to go or not go.
Then, I had kids. I started to be more regular on my gym visits. To be honest, this was done in part to get a mental break from infants. Still, I went to the gym after work or at night. I started to realize that this approach was causing me to miss out on precious time with my family.
On a flight during a business trip, I spoke with a seasoned man and we spoke about finding time to focus on ourselves. He shared his wisdom with me by reviewing a point that was right in front of me… “if you want time to focus on yourself, be up and running way before everyone else”. This conversation changed my life.
To be clear, I am not a morning person. However, I found a way to force myself out of bed and get moving with no excuses. At first, it was new and I worked with the new routine. Unlike other routines, as long as I got out of bed, I kept up with the routine. It was early and there are no distractions to impede on the routine.
This wasn’t only about the routine though. Waking up and moving in the morning was more about making my mind work in the way I want. In the past, I rolled out of bed and went straight to work, finding no time to think about my priorities. By waking up and moving, I now have the ability to better contemplate whatever is going on in my life.
I’ve now been consistently hitting the gym or running each morning (at least 5 out of 7 days a week) for almost 3 years. I cannot see myself functioning any other way.
As I started to recognize the positive affects of moving first thing in the morning, I found a great source of reinforcement in the book, “Rise and Grind” by Daymond John. I figured the book from Daymond John would be fairly cheesy, considering his most broad reaching celebrity is from the Shark Tank TV show. However, I was glad that I took the time to listen.
In the book, Daymond uses many stories of people waking up early and moving (Rising and Grinding) to illustrate the points of benefit from getting a head start to the day. There were some fluffy parts, but for the most part, it felt good to read the book and have my new lifestyle reinforced.
Overall, I’m glad to have found a routine that helps my mind and body work more effectively. If you are struggling through the day, I encourage you to make a commitment to get your feet on the ground an hour earlier than normal, hit the gym, run, or do something active. Keep at it for at least 2-3 months. If you make that level of commitment, you will be able to gauge if this helps you too. I hope it does!