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.
- 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!
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?