How to Rise with the Sun and Sweat Daily Before Work
I have consistently been one of those mutant beings that wakes up with the sun (and in the winter before the sun) every morning and works out. I am constantly asked how I am able to be disciplined enough to do this consistently and before work. So for all those pleading to know the secret, here it is:
You eliminate the concept that there is an option.
Quite simply, when the alarm goes off, you get up, you get dressed, and you go. You do not think about it. Once you fully commit that you will no longer debate with yourself upon hearing that familiar alarm, you can consider your workout done.
There are various reasons (some even science approved) why this works.
First honestly, when you get up immediately and fumble into workout clothes to get yourself out the door, you are still half asleep when you start moving. By the time you are running, or lifting, or whatever is your workout of choice, you may then decide you are “too tired” or “would rather go later” but you know what? You are already there and once there, you might as well just, well, work out. By not thinking, you can trick your decision-making brain into missing the chance to option out.
There is a science endorsed reason that this approach works as well. If you begin each day with a finite amount of energy (and indeed your whole lifetime consists of an unknown amount of finite energy), then upon waking it is wise to put your highest potential energy toward the things that matter most to your life, ie: health and longevity! The absolute worst use of your highest potential energy is to waste any of it on decision making. Every time you use your brain to consider options and make a decision, you utilize precious energy from your daily finite supply. Roy F. Baumeister, in his 2011 book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, cites a study where students were asked to fast and then come to a lab. Once in the lab, the students were left alone with candy, chocolate chip cookies, and radishes. (You know where this is going). Students were given puzzles to solve after this lab set-up and those who had been forced to use willpower to only eat radishes were only wiling to work 40% of the time on the puzzles as those who were free to eat whatever they desired.
This experiment, while showing why it is not useful to waste any of your energetic powers on deciding whether to get up and go the gym, also provides a good argument for working out first thing in the morning. The further into your day that you go, the less likely you will have energy left to get yourself to a workout.
By now, however, you have already committed that you just get up and workout, so you don’t need data to support any decision making.
So are you ready? Just make your final decision on whether or not to workout in the morning right now, and after that pledge, embrace your new reality as it is. I can’t wait to see you out there!