Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Things that help me get up in the morning

Things I hear all the time: 'I wish I could get up in the morning!' or 'man, I wish I was as motivated as you!' or 'how do you get up in the morning? I can't function that early!' or 'I can't work out in the morning'.

Guess what. You can get up, I am not a motivated person, I just get up, and yes. You can.

But also guess what. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate HATE working out in the evenings. I'm not kidding. I would rather punch someone than go to the gym everyday after work. I might do it occasionally, or do some yoga after work or go for a run when the weather is nicer in the evenings than in the morning. But for the most part, I despise it. So I feel you.

But I don't say I can't workout in the evenings. I say I don't want to.

I understand not wanting to do something and just saying 'I can't' because that is easier than saying 'I don't want to' or 'it's not a priority'.

If you don't want to get up in the morning and go to the gym, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Zero things. Honestly. I'm not writing this to make you do something you don't want to do, because that's just stupid.

But. If you do WANT to and are honestly struggling to figure out how the heck you can make yourself get up and just do it, I thought I would share the things that I do that help get my ass out of bed in the mornings.

I have a story to go with this, but it's long and boring and this post is already too long, so let's just say I got to a point where I needed to start working out and it had to be in the morning. It was hard. My body hated it. It rejected it, and sometimes I would make myself sick because I hadn't eaten, and I'd have to call in sick to work. Eventually, I found a good groove, found what worked for me and what didn't. It apparently worked too well, see aforementioned hatred for evening workouts.



- Prepare the night before. I know you've heard it before, but it's because it works. I don't just mean keep your workout clothes next to the bed. I mean pack your entire gym bag, make your breakfast, put everything close together so that you can just get up and go. It takes me less than 5 minutes to get all my stuff and get out the door of a morning - the only reason I sometimes take longer is because I talk to KC.

- Prepare early. The minute I walk in the door of an evening, I unpack my gym bag. Like I said, I don't like doing anything in the evenings. I want my butt and the couch to get super acquainted. So if I don't do it immediately, it won't happen. Then I repack it and get ready for the next day.


- Early to bed. It takes me at least 30 minutes to fall asleep, so if I'm not in bed by 10pm, I'm screwed. If you don't like going to bed that early, you might have to do what I did (and what I have to do every time I 'get back into it') and suffer through it for a couple of days. Nothing makes you sleep better than consistent exercise, it will eventually work itself out.

- Workout with someone. Again, a cliche, but that's because it's true. Unless you're not a very nice person, you probably won't want to let someone else down. It really is quite simple. If you don't have a workout buddy, text someone.


- Tell the internet. If you don't have someone to workout with or text, join myfitnesspal or daily mile, post about it on instagram or your blog. Whatever works.

- Hit the snooze/set multiple alarms. Most things you read are completely against this! Not me, I love my snooze. I set my alarm 5-10 minutes earlier than I need to get up. I love the snooze button. If I didn't set it early, I would still snooze, and then I would miss the window that I needed to get out of bed.  My snooze is like 9 minutes, so what I normally do is set an alarm for 5:50am and then another for 5:55am so I get a mini snooze but don't waste 10 minutes. I still get to snooze and I still get to get up. Now that I have a fitbit, I set the silent alarm for a little bit earlier, and then my real alarm a little later.

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- Another alarm trick that helps me: I set an alarm from like 8pm. Obviously I am awake, but if I am sitting on the couch being lazy and about to tell Netflix that yes I am still watching, it makes me get up, turn the telly off, make sure I am ready for tomorrow and the kitchen is clean, I go have a bath and get in my pjs and read a book. It gives me the push I need to get up off my butt, otherwise I might watch TV too late or not prepare properly.

- Make it convenient. Whether it's in your living room, right around the corner, or close to work, it has to be convenient to you. If you have to go out of your way or add unnecessary time to your morning, you'll be much more likely to bail.


- Rationlise or make a deal with yourself. If I want to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep, I make a deal. One mile, Kristen. If you're still tired, you can go back to bed. In my few years of doing this morning thing, I've never gone back to sleep but it sure helps me get out of bed. Also, as mentioned, I am not a good sleeper. The chances of me actually going back to sleep after a snooze, let alone running a mile, are so slim it's ridiculous to even argue. Now, if I am legit exhausted and fall asleep again, whatever. There is always tomorrow.

- Ease into it. You can't expect to easily get up every morning just because you prepared or whatever. You have to start small. Whether that is getting up just one day a week, or only getting up for a 15 minute workout. Start small, and eventually that will be easy and you'll move on to more. If you try and do too much too soon, you'll just burn out and stop.

- Be proud. If you got up early one morning and it's the first morning ever, give yourself a pat on the back and tell someone. If you do it one week in a row, or two, or whatever, do the same thing. You should be proud of yourself for doing something you wanted to do. You might feel like an idiot sharing it on social media, but sharing my daily snaps helped me build that habit and motivate me.


^ I look like an idiot but I was insanely proud that I got up 5 mornings in a row. And so I should be!

- Something is better than nothing. 15 minutes in your living room? It counts. A few push ups, squats, lunges, planks while you're getting your kids ready for the day? It counts. 20 minutes on the treadmill at a pace that will never break a sweat? It counts. Why? Because you have to build the habit first, and then you can work at the intensity. Something is better than nothing and you'll never feel bad after a workout.

- Keep it simple, stupid. I reckon this is the most important. I used to cart around my entire makeup bag and hair products to the gym. I used to wash my hair after every workout. I used to try and do complicated circuit type workouts. Now, my gym bag has the essentials, the things I really absolutely, no shit, actually need. I run on the treadmill or do a class where I don't have to think about what to do. I never wash my hair at the gym, I dry it with a blow dryer if I got super sweaty, I use dry shampoo. If I had to dry and style my hair, I would just bail or go to work with wet hair which is super not cute. This way, I can dry what needs to be dried, and then I can curl or straighten my hair super quickly. My makeup routine is ridiculously simple. I am using BB cream right now as well, but most of the time I stick to concealer and mascara. All in all, shower + getting ready takes me less than 15 minutes. This is key for me, it makes getting ready easier but also preparing the night before.


- Give it time. Last but certainly not least. Habits take time to form and you're not going to become a morning person overnight. Even after a year or two, it might not be super easy and you'll still have the mornings you don't want to get up. Consider starting with a goal of one or two days a week and build up from there as become more comfortable in your new routine.

Linking up with Alyssa and Tracy for Training for Tuesday! Well, in spirit, anyway!

alyssagoesbang

A note: if you enjoy working out in the evening, good for you! If you don't want to workout in the morning, or at all - good for you. I'm merely sharing how I became someone who works out in the morning because that's who I wanted to be.

Honestly, the number one be all and end all reason that I get my ass out of bed is because I just do. I am not amazing, I don't have buckets of motivation, I don't have some secret stash of wonder drugs that help me wake up - I just do it, and the more I do it, the easier it is to do. I never want to jump out of bed and workout. But I do it anyway.

Are you a morning exerciser?

65 comments:

  1. love this. like you, i loathe evening classes and always have but i've made an exception for muay thai twice a week so i go tues/thurs 630pm. it took a while to get used to because im a morning person/morning workout person but i'd pretty much do anything for muay thai so there's that.

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  2. All of these points are so true. It does take a little while to get used to that perfect routine of waking up early and going to bed at a decent time. It's awesome that you were able to find what works for you! I'm a morning person, so I get up at 6am everyday even when I want to sleep in.

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  3. My gym isn't on the way to/from work so morning classes aren't an option for me. I prefer morning runs - but I'm too paranoid to go out by myself (I don't live in an unsafe area - just watched too many scary movies growing up). So if Matt doesn't want to get up and be running buddy, I just run in the evenings on the treadmill at home or the gym. Once school starts back up, I'll have to do more runs in the morning since free-time in the evenings will be limited. It goes back to what you said - it's not that motivation is an issue, it's the self-discipline. Good for you on making it a priority! :)

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  4. I absolutely HATE working out after work but in order to work out before work I'd have to get up at like 4 am and that's just not happening. LOL that alarm screen shot is hilarious. I need to put that on my hubby's phone! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  5. That prepare early thing is key. If I don't get things ready the minute that I get home from work, working out so isn't going to happen the next day. We're working on waking up early and switching the afternoon workouts to morning workouts... so I might have to share some of these tips with my fiancé! It's been a struggle lately haha

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  6. i just need motivation to work out, period haha. i am not a morning person whatsoever so mornings cant work for me though. i cannot speak to anyone plus i already get up at 5:30 so i'd have to get up at an ungodly hour ha. good post girl!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  7. Yes to all of this. I was always an evening exerciser until I had kids, and then I HAD to switch to morning workouts or it was never going to happen at all. It was a very hard switch but now...I can't imagine it any other way. It took three months of consistency for my body to accept the new schedule, but now I love working out in the morning and wouldn't want it any other way!

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  8. You're so right because I always get up when I HAVE to, but if I don't then it usually doesn't happen. But I feel like that's with most things in life unless you finally make the decision to make a change or habit or whatever a priority. My husband works out in the morning, but he's so bad about preparing things the night before so he's always trying to find stuff, haha.

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  9. I was working out in the mornings, and then I got super lazy about it and started working out in the evenings again. I totally agree with you about the being prepared in the evening for the morning. If I wasn't prepared then I would totally just sleep in and not get things done!

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  10. I have to laugh because I'm the complete opposite: I love evening workouts because then I get to shower and relax and go to bed.
    However, there have been times where I've worked out in the morning before work and everything you say is completely true. It just takes prep.
    I really like the idea of setting an alarm at night to force yourself up off the couch to get things cleaned up.
    I usually set a timer for 20 minutes each night and I race myself to see how much I can prep/clean up during that time. (Whoa that makes me sound like a loser :)

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  11. Awesome tips especially for this non-morning person! I despise working out after work too, it's a long day and all you want to do is go home and relax. So, I meet in the middle and workout during my lunch hour :)
    Green Fashionista

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  12. Oooooh I like the trick of setting your alarm at night to get your butt moving to bed. That's genius! Getting off the couch and into bed might just be the hardest part of the day for me. Life is soooooo hard ;) But really...that's hard.

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  13. I'm trying to start working out in the mornings. I've never been a morning person but I think that as long as I hydrate properly the night before I'm okay. 2.5 mile run this morning!

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  14. It's so true that you do what is a priority. I have no problem getting up to watch the sunrise on like zero sleep at the shore, and biking and walking around all day, being very active. At home? Not so much.

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  15. I love all of these recommendations! I admire your dedication to those early morning workouts!

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  16. I'm such a morning person, but the only days I force myself to work out in the mornings is on the weekends - simply because those are not wake up at 430 am days! I use my night time work outs to take out all my aggression from the day - even still, I could get up early and just do it. I love the names of your alarms! too funny!

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  17. Great tips girl!! Now that I'm unemployed until my wedding, I know I want to try to wake up a little earlier and work out some more, but the waking up is the hardest part. I just don't want to and some of these tips will definitely help me change little things to make waking up more possible!!

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  18. I usually roll my eyes when someone makes a comment about how they could never wake up when I do and work out. Or how they dont have time in the mornings. You dont have time because you dont want to. You can most certainly work out in the mornings, you just dont want it enough. I am with you, I hate working out after work. Hate hate double hate loathe entirely. I dont tell people I cant, I say its not for me. I am a morning person through and through.

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  19. I need to do a post for night time exercise peeps :) I think I'm on the outside of normal in that crowd but I'm sure there are a few of us :) haha
    I like the evening alarm - that's a smart one

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  20. You just do. That's discipline! I don't do morning workouts because I hate them more than you hate evening workouts. It also helps though that I don't have a conventional schedule and am not bound to before 9am or after 5pm. But your tips are all spot-on for workouts of any kind, regardless of whether you're bound to a specific timeframe. It's human nature to just gravitate away from things that we don't like to do or that are hard or that we make harder for ourselves. Sometimes if I know it's going to be hard to push myself out the door for a run later, I'll put on my sports bra and running shorts as soon as I wake up even if I'm going to be sitting at my desk and writing for a few hours first. It does absolutely help! Thanks for being the best linker upper ever, friend :)

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  21. I think all your tips are awesome. We've been getting up at 4:45am a few mornings every week to go to the gym at 5am. It sucks. Like, it sucks so much sometimes I fall back asleep when we get home and I'm waiting on K to finish showering. I really really hate it... but like you said, I get up because I just do. I'm a total bear until about 5:30, but at least I'm up. I actually wear my gym clothes to bed. Is that weird? I just wake up, brush my teeth, change my shirt, put on a bra, and put on socks and shoes. It's the fastest, easiest way for me to actually leave the house. Ha.

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  22. These are great tips! I like to workout in the morning too bc I hate it and I'd rather just get it over with!

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  23. Lots of great tips here, Kristen. I'm the opposite of you - I prefer exercising at night. I am not a morning person, so it's a real battle to get me out of bed early to exercise. I still don't necessarily want to exercise at night but I will. To me, keeping it convenient has been key, as you mentioned too. I love walking on the beach, which is close by, but it still takes more effort to get there and gives me a chance to make more excuses. But I can be in my swimsuit and in my apartment's pool in five minutes. It makes it much, much harder for me to come up with a lame excuse to not exercise. :)

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  24. I would so much rather work out in the morning but Abel is such an early bird that it's been impossible since he was born. OK, Like you say, Not impossible, but I don't want to get up THAT early (like 4 am after I've been up feeding him already at 3 am). Lately though there's been a glimmer of hope that we've settled into a good waking-up-later schedule... Gives me hope!
    One of my tricks for running in the morning was that once I put my workout clothes on I HAVE to go, so I'd set out my clothes and put them on ASAP before my mind was working properly enough to talk myself out of it.

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  25. I love this! I am so back and forth between a morning and evening exerciser. Most nights I don't have anything planned after work and because I'm generally off at a decent time, I work out afterwards. But I love, LOVE the feeling of having my run or workout done for the day when I wake up earlier. So for me there are pros and cons of each. Eventually though I know that later on in life (when I have kids in the much distant future) morning workouts will most likely have to become a real thing.

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  26. It's all about the prep right? I've had some of my 6am barre clients tell me they slept in their workout clothes. I think that is overkill but hey if it works for them..... ;-)

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  27. Yes!

    I am definitely a morning work-out-er. I COULD go at night, but I WON'T. Which, like you said, is a big difference between can't & won't. I love having it done for the day & I think I eat better & make smarter choices knowing that I can't "work it off" later.

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  28. I love starting a day off with a workout it's like I can't move on until I do. But I've been doing it for like...almost six years so you could say it's become a bit of a habit. Lol. Excellent pointers though! Whatever works is my motto!

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  29. This is so excellent! This is exactly what I would say to someone only this sounds better than what I would say. I recently talked to Jordan about can't vs. want, and it's so true! Morning workouts have always been better for me because too, and I am trying to get back to it! I went this morning hurrah!

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  30. I love this list! May & June were disgustingly busy months. I definitely made working out a priority sometimes in May, but not enough, and then June was almost nothing. This was great to read today, because we're almost to July! Starting Fresh sounds great to me. I love the 8pm alarm idea. I think that would really help me in general to get my shit together.... seriously, never would have thought of that... which is a little ridiculous. I think that's my biggest thing. I get ready for bed, or for work, or for leaving to do something and I am frozen by the overwhelming sensation of clutter, tasks not done, goals I am not meeting. Sometimes it's ok... but other times I get so frustrated that I have to do something fun just to calm down and practice self care. I think the alarm idea would definitely help me! :) They are also opening a gym RIGHT next to our apartment complex... so that's promising! XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  31. Great post today, girl! I'm slowly easing myself into a similar routine, so I'm thankful for your tips. I think packing my gym bag at night and setting multiple alarms will do wonders. Ever since I bought my FitBit, I have really enjoyed the silent alarm - it seems to work better for me than just my normal alarm.

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  32. Seriously great tips! I'll need a new routine once baby comes! I like the alarm at 8 to make sure all is all set and make you get to bed! Thanks for sharing! Xo

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  33. This post has come for me at a perfect time. I was just telling the bf that I want to workout in the mornings instead of after work because the gym is just insane. I'm sick of having to wait for the machines or weights I want use!

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  34. Ok, the make a deal with yourself point is JUST what I need. That actually might be the motivation I need to get up and go to the gym. Seriously. Ask me tomorrow. Haha!

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  35. Ok, the make a deal with yourself point is JUST what I need. That actually might be the motivation I need to get up and go to the gym. Seriously. Ask me tomorrow. Haha!

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  36. Way to go, girl! I have a hard time fitting workouts in around my little man's schedule and if I were to wake up before him I'd be a zombie but these tips are awesome still!

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  37. Hahaha yesss! I would rather punch myself in the face than workout in the evenings. Really, any time past 11am and I just can't do it. All my energy is done. (That first picture is so funny by the way.) I also just like knowing that it's done or else I would overthink about it all day and give myself way more opportunities to talk myself out of it. I loooove all your tips! The hardest part is definitely going to bed early. It's easier to make myself wake up than to make myself fall asleep lol.

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  38. CRACKING UP at your alarm messages!! I need the laughing/crying emoji!! So agree with all of this - if I am ever at the 6AM barre class, I feel like superwoman!

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  39. I'm so with you on being a morning exerciser! I used to work out in the afternoons after I got off work (around 4pm) and it was fine, but not the best. Now that my schedule is so flexible and I can go first thing in the morning, I LOVE it! It really sets the pace for my whole day. :)

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  40. I'm a morning person all around, I definitely have to exercise in the morning because otherwise I will choose of my own free will not to exercise at all. haha! But I exercise at home--if I had to go to a gym, I probably wouldn't do it.

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  41. I agree with you completely on the I can't vs I don't want to thing! I too would rather wake up early and work out than do it in the evening. I LOATHE evening workouts. I'm already mentally exhausted and it takes all my mental physical fitness to do ACTUAL physical fitness!

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  42. I'm not a morning person, but since I've started a morning routine, mornings have gotten a little easier. Working out in the morning definitely helps :)

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  43. I think these are all fantastic tips...because yes, there was a time, when I actually worked out in the mornings. When I did that, it was because of a lot of the habits you've listed. But, two things that were big for me then to help encourage me was how close the gym was to my house and that I worked from home. That was huge. I could go back home, take the dog out, shower (so I didn't stink), and start working. When that changed in my life, my exercise habits changed, and I've never been as disciplined again.

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  44. Great motivational tips and my alarm clock would definitely be on snooze patrol to make it happen since I prefer evenings in general for working out. I know I can do it but I'd rather not so I commend you for your motivation to get it out of the way in the morning.

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  45. I'm one of those annoying people who is naturally a morning person and wakes up early without an alarm so I don't have any tips, howeveeeerrr, I'm finding wearing the leggings I'm going to workout in the morning to workout to bed is a winter must as girl struggles to get changed into workout clothes when it's cold, haha!

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  46. I switched from a job that I didn't wake up till 9 am for to a job I wake up at 5 am for, and my mind rebelled against it. I still hate waking up early, but even on the weekends I usually wake up by 7 out of habit, now. I think you're right and it's all about building a routine so it seems more natural. I don't do morning workouts, because 5 am is early enough, duh, but I switched over to doing afternoon ones. I think I would still prefer morning ones and hopefully can switch back over once I stop working/am able to workout again.

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  47. These are all awesome tips, lady. LOVE the evening one, super smart!

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  48. I'm an evening workout-er, but mostly because I like to fill that time with something and if I'm sitting at home, I'm more likely to nap and be bitter that Teh German hasn't come home yet. Working out distracts me (if not almost kills me due to Charleston summer). I tried to be an AM workout-er, but getting up before 5 to workout and get showered and go to work just makes me miserable. It's not so bad when I've actually done it, but I always feel like I'm dragging more since my bedmate rarely likes to be in bed before 9. I've embraced my #oldpersonstatus, he's still resisting.

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  49. These are such helpful tips. I try to do as much as possible in the morning because once afternoon hits, I get so lazy. I do make sure to have everything done at night so that the mornings go smoother.

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  50. So many great and useful tips in this post! I love what you said about easing into it. I was so nervous about my brick this morning because I really haven't eased into it. In the back of my mind I was like...I couldn't even get up to run two miles yesterday morning, so what made me think I could do over an hour today?! Obviously I did it but it would have been easier if I were in that habit.
    Also yes to giving it time. I think that's true for any fitness routine/habit, really. It's so easy to get frustrated when things don't go perfectly right away, which is dumb because I obviously know better!
    Do you ever forget that you already worked out? I keep being like I'm tired, oh right, I biked and ran this morning. It just feels like such a long time ago already haha.
    Finally, thanks for always being a loyal linker! :)

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  51. Thank you so much for this and all the tips. I am going to work on this. I've been wanting to incorporate morning work outs into my routine and i just need to GET IT DONE! I like the idea of setting the alarm in the evenings to get my but in gear so I get to bed on time!

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  52. YASSSSSSSSS all these people with their "can't"s when really it's "I don't want to." I used to LOVE getting up early and getting a workout in. I'd get up at 5, walk the dogs, head to the gym for a 6am class and be to work before 8:30. Then if something happened and I had to work late, it was like, no biggie because I already got that workout in! Now, there's no daycare at the gym that early and I wouldn't torture my kids by getting them up that early because they'd be hell to deal with for the rest of the day, but I do miss those sunrises and feeling accomplished so early!

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  53. This was good stuff . . . and I need to follow some of your advice. I THINK about getting up and working out a lot. And I'm totally with you - working out in the evening sucks. You go girl!

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  54. I have always worked out in the mornings. I find it so refreshing to get up and get going and have the rest of the day and evening free. I know for a fact if I don't train in the morning, chances are... it ain't gonna happen. lol

    Great post, btw. :)

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  55. YESSSSS. I'm just now getting back into the swing of it after having a baby, and it SUCKS. There's no way around it. But the more I do it, the better I feel, and if I stop, I won't feel as good. Simple as that. The setting an 8pm alarm is so smart!

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  56. I always workout in the evenings because they offer more variety of classes. Plus I just tend to have more energy at 5:30 PM rather than AM. BUT.. after 4+ years of evening classes, I'm getting burnt out & really thinking about doing some morning workouts during the week instead. Way to go for sticking to it! I'm not a morning person at all so I can imagine that it takes awhile to get into a routine!

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  57. Ooh, I wish I liked working out in the mornings!! ;) I used to have swim practice in the dead of winter before school and I abhorred it. Kind of set the precedent! But now, I wish I could work out earlier in the day but I start work at 8am and well. I fckn hate mornings!! ARRGGGHHHh HAHA I''m so impressed with you!! Well done, lady!

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  58. Love this post! While I don't work out in the mornings, I still like getting up early to work on some blog stuff or just do chores I was too lazy the night before to complete. Great tips!

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  59. These are great tips! I 100% need a workout buddy, or I won't work out much other than walking my dog. Getting into bed at a reasonable time is a struggle for me. I'm much more of a night owl!

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  60. These are great tips! I am so not a morning workout-er, but I often secretly wish I was a natural morning person. Like one of those people who can bounce out of bed WITHOUT an alarm and go for a big run. I WISH. I actually don't mind working out in the evenings, but the problem with evening workouts is, they are so easy to miss. Either because shit comes up, or you're too tired, or whatever. I find it much harder to be consistent if I leave all my workouts till the evening. That being said, as much as I don't like getting up early to workout, on the days that it does actually happen, I feel so good, and I wish that feeling lasted long enough to make it a habit lol. A friend is the best motivator for me, because I just will not leave someone hanging.

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  61. I like the idea of setting an alarm in the evenings to help monitor time. Time flies when you're watching Netflix! :)

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  62. I LOVE working out in the mornings but I have sadly lacked the self discipline for awhile now. I just started getting back into it though, and I love it!! I find it much easier to do if I go to bed by 9pm (lame but necessary). Great tips here and GOOD FOR YOU for making it a habit!!

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  63. I've never been a morning person. I admire you for getting up early and working out and though it seem so much more convenient in my mind, in reality, morning workouts just aren't for me. I have too much going on in the mornings (getting the kids up, getting them ready for school, getting myself ready for work, etc.) to be able to work out comfortably (with the exception of a quick yoga flow). Evening workouts are best for me because the hubby's home by then and can take over the adulting while I get an hour to myself to go for a run around the neighborhood and do some circuit training in our driveway. Afterwards, all I have to do is shower and relax until it's time for bed.

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  64. These are great tips! I'm a snoozer too but I dislike it because sometimes I do it without even knowing and then I even turn off the alarm! Gah! I keep using the excuse that my days to sleep in are running low before baby arrives so I keep avoiding waking up early. Then I kick myself in the butt for not doing it. Your right, just doing it makes it easier in time. Hopefully someday. Ha.

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  65. I've been trying to get up earlier lately and while it is NOT easy, it's always worth it. Some of these tips are going to be helpful though!

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