How I finally started consistently working out in the morning

Like many of you, I’ve seen dozens of articles written about the importance of creating morning habits and routines. Usually, these type of “12 Things Successful People Do Before 8 am” articles make you feel terrible about the fact that you struggle to wake up after you hit snooze, shower (maybe) and get dressed in order to get to work on time.

I’ve had a good routine of working out consistently for the past few years. Most of the time this happened late in the evening, which in turn ensured that I was up late and therefore unable to wake up early the following morning. I had long since wanted to break this cycle and get my workout done early but I struggled to consistently make it happen.

Since I moved to Norfolk, VA last month I’ve been working out at 630am four to five days a week and it feels awesome. I’ve been more awake in the morning after I’m done and I’m feeling more accomplished throughout the day. As I’ve tried to reflect on how I was able to break my pattern and build this habit I’ve identified a few key things that have helped me.

Motivation (aka ☕️)

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Believe it or not, I have never kept coffee in my house before. I relied solely on the kind folks at Dunkin or the coffee at my workplace. Now I have a to-go cup ready to go and brew it first thing when I wake up. Without coffee there is no way I would be able to workout before 9 am. I’m able to drink it on my way to the gym and give myself the ability to function.

Reduce Friction

This may be stupid but I’ve started laying my gym clothes out next to my bed the night before. When I wake up my clothes are right there without any thought or struggle to find something clean to wear while. This small hack has helped me save some time and eliminates one potential hurdle from getting myself to workout.

Create Incentives

One of the major reasons why I was working out late at night previously was because I was able to avoid the 5 pm post-work crowds. Unsurprisingly I’ve also found that going before the workday is another good way to avoid the rush and ensure that I can use pretty much any piece of equipment I want.

Plus being in a new city leaves me wanting to explore and try new things. Getting my workouts done early allows me more time later in the day to devote to these activities — like finding the best happy hour bars in Norfolk.

via Giphy