Another week has come and gone and I am still in shock that we’re already in the middle of February! Soon enough I won’t hear anyone complain about the cold temps anymore. I mean, what’s -4 degrees and runny mascara anyway? Embrace it. It’s February in New Jersey. Speaking of cold temperatures, it’s 100% one of the reasons why I totally get why it’s not easy but why it works for me.
I am referring to rising before the sun. And by before the sun, I mean before 5am. For years we’ve heard that many studies have associated success with rising early such as improved organization, improved productivity, efficiency, and overall higher levels of optimism. In fact, there are many famous people who endorse being up before 5am. Some Greats that have risen and do rise before 5am: Ben Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, CEO of Apple, Tim Cook (actually most CEOs rise before 5am), Anna Wintour, the Obamas (sorry if I lost anyone here, I still like them) and the President of Starbucks, Michelle Gass, just to name a very notable few. I am not saying I am one of the Greats (eh, but who is to say I am not going to be one day? Right now I am great in my own way) but I stand by these theories. Here are a few reasons why I wake up between 4:30am and 5:00am, Monday through Friday:
- First and foremost I wake up at 4:30am, to get my workout in, and so do most of the people that I named above, except for Ben and Ernest, for obvious reasons. Many years ago, I used to go to the gym after work, however, throughout the day, it’s so easy to lose that momentum. Something could happen during the day that could kill my drive, maybe I am tired because I stayed up a little late the night before, or maybe meeting a friend for dinner sounds more exciting than cable kickbacks. Not to mention the oh-so-dreaded “night crowd.” Every gym has them. After work, the gym gets extremely crowded. More times than not, it’s hard to find a bench, the weights I need aren’t available, or I am limited to cardio. This isn’t desirable to me. The bottom line: It’s easier to skip the gym after work. This can create a pattern of skipping workouts often, which can lead to not being successful in the physical, emotional, and mental health departments. Which leads to being unsuccessful in other aspects of life. So, for me, prepping my work clothes and meals the night before, (I shower for work at the gym) waking up, giving my dog a quick walk, then heading to the gym completely works for me. Since adopting this schedule, I’ve also met some people who have become very special to me and made some pretty great friends with the same mindset. It’s nice being greeted by the same faces everyday which adds to personal accountability. This can also work for you.
- I feel driven. I literally feel like I am ready to smash my day after I finish working out. My overall attitude feels like it is heightened and it’s true, I am more optimistic. (Mary, is this my sunny disposition that you’re always referring to?)
- For those with families or children, this is your time to do something for yourself before tackling another day. You can workout, answer emails, read, meditate, prepare breakfast, lunches, or dinner, etc. This will, in turn, give you more family time after work and school if that is what you’re looking for. (Kids can be annoying, so if you’re not looking for that time, I am not judging you, Carl.)
- Silence. On days that I give my body a rest from the gym, I still wake up early to keep in routine. I take my dog on long runs/walks, I clean, do laundry, stretch/meditate, or do my own work such as blog or school work, and have a nice cup of coffee, at home, while catching up on my life. This alleviates the stress of coming home, from a long day at work, and having chores to do, while also giving me a head start on my morning.
- I sleep better. I am usually toast, in bed, and lights out by 9pm. My body shutting down, at this time, helps give me better rest and a deeper sleep. If I am still amped up from my day, or I have a lot on my mind, I will take a Melatonin (all natural and works like a charm, however, check with your physician to see if it’s right for you) and have a cup of Celestial Sleepy Time Tea.
- It gives you time to eat which, in turn, leads to better health, weight control, and concentration. (I know you’re wondering why a scatter brain is telling you this.) All of these proven benefits, yet I find that many people still skip this meal. If you give yourself extra time in the morning you will have no excuses to enjoy a little morning chow. I am not talking about a bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel, so step away.
- If I go for a morning run I get to see the sunrise. It’s like seeing the world recreate itself which, as many times as I’ve seen it, is still a beautiful thing which makes my soul burst.
- I feel like I’ve mastered some level of discipline, in my life, which makes me feel like a real MVP. Waking up so early is NOT easy, I totally get it. The first two weeks were the hardest part before it became a habit. A good habit. Having something to look forward to every morning, even if it is just an hour of silence, is enough for me to do what I do.
Success is a definition that is defined differently by everyone. Some days, just getting out of bed makes me feel successful. On days that I get out of bed, work out, and wash my hair, too, I feel like I should win a Peace Prize (Hey, Committee, call me!). The fact is, the proven studies and the Greats, including myself (see what I did there?), who endorsed this deal, can’t all be wrong. It’s an attitude changer, a game changer, a soul changer, and an overall life changer. There will be mornings that you’re tired, you’re cold, you don’t feel well, you need thirty more minutes, etc, but I challenge you to give yourself two weeks to try it. I can guarantee you won’t be sorry that you at least tried.
I hope you all had a great weekend and I wish you a happy and healthy week ahead!