My life is pretty busy. Having a full time job as a Systems Administrator, 3 kids, a wife, house being built, after school activities, homework, and studying for my certification exams is a lot on one plate. That said, you need time to be by yourself and do things you want to do. For me this is going to the gym in the early morning. I have always been an early riser, but for anyone who can, I’d recommend getting up earlier in the morning if possible. Today I’ll go over the benefits I’ve found from getting up early in the mornings.
Everyone is going to be different here, but I’ve noticed all the guys in my family were always the ones getting up before the sun. Mostly because they were blue collar workers, but it left an impact on me as a child. While everyone else was still sleeping, or struggling to wake up, my father, grandfather, and uncles were always the ones killing shit in the early morning. As of this year, I’ve decided to wake up at 3:45 A.M. and go to the gym. I used to try to go after work, or squeeze in a gym session from 6am to 7am, but I felt too rushed. I love this time I have to do something I love, but even if I end up skipping the gym, my body is ready to rise at 3:45.
Its Quiet: Who doesn’t love a little quiet time? My wife and kids wont be up for another 4 hours so its my time to do whatever I want. I don’t have to be dad or husband at this time, just myself. Even at the gym, there are only a hand full of people there at the time I go. No waiting, tons of equipment available and not a lot of chatter.
More Prepared: I have to be in work by 8:30 am. By this time I’ve been up for 5 hours. My body is adjusted to the day. Sure I’ve had some coffee by then, but I find that compared to when I used to sleep until the last possible moment, I feel much better. I used to be half asleep still when I slept in. Also, it gives me time to think and plan out my day before its actually happening.
Held Accountable: If you have enough discipline to get up so early, you know that alarm is coming, so staying up and binging Netflix or drinking isn’t in the cards. You still need a good 7 hours of sleep. I used to stay up late, but I’ve traded that in so I can have this time in the morning. Add in the factor that its the only time I get to do something I truly love with no distractions, and I cant wait to get up and hit the weights.
Tips on Waking Up Earlier
If you plan on waking up earlier in the mornings, yet you think its a daunting task, have no fear. Here are things I do to prepare for going to the gym, but even if you’re just going to wake up early to read a book or go for a bike ride, it can help to be prepared.
Clothes: I pick and lay out my gym clothes the night before. Track pants, shirt, socks, underwear, even my hoody and sneakers are all lined up. The last thing you want to be doing at 4am is stumbling around trying to find your clothes. On days where I’m going straight to work from the gym, I pack my work clothes, soap, towel etc and bring that too.
Food/Shakes: I prepare my lunches and bin it up the night before. That way on the way out I can just grab it and go. I blend up my protein shakes at night, and throw a water bottle next to it in the fridge. No thinking, just grab and go.
Reminders: This has really helped me. Listen, its 4am, and there are times you forget things. Sure you could write a note and stick it somewhere, but I’ve found I can use other things to remind me to grab my food or bring a jacket with me. I’ll typically put my car keys in an easy to find, but non typical spot. I’ll then put something like a spoon or whatever on top of my keys. Its odd, but something like that out of place shocks your brain into remembering.
For me, I love my time in the morning. It is the perfect time for me to do something I love, and I get to have that time to myself we all desperately need. If it isn’t for you, then so be it. Even waking up 30 minutes earlier can help better prepare you for your day. Give it a try and let me know how you like it.