I’ve been experimenting for the better part of the past year with waking up before the sun at a time that most people raise their brows or spit their coffee out when I mention it. It’s the wee hour of 5 AM. So, what’s the best part of waking up THAT DANG EARLY?
Now, let me first mention that this was not something I chose at first. I was teaching sunrise cycling classes at a local fitness club, so I had just gotten used to waking up very early so that I could get some coffee in my system before the class. There was no faking it at that hour. I needed a serious pick-me-up. My red-eyes may have made me look like some sort of addict, but I brought the energy and rocked those cycling classes (Literally. We spun to a “Pedal to the Metal” playlist). After the class I went to wash the sweat off at another club that I was managing at the time.
What I began to notice was that after these classes, I went through the rest of the day with more energy throughout the day and was even able to remain productive later into the evening than if I slept in for the few extra hours. Crazy, right?
So, I started making it a habit.
I started going to bed before 10 PM, and waking up before 5 AM. However, I am typically a very lazy human being, so I had to set some sort of motivation in place, or else I’d turn my alarm clock off and over-sleep. Counter productive.
Thus began my fasted cardio regimen. This was NOT my motivation. Cardio sucks. I will talk myself out of cardio at all costs. Cardio is not fun. It’s not all that effective if not utilized properly, either. Doing cardio was not my motivation. However, it is very important to the whole morning ritual.
You see, when you begin your day with accomplishing something, you set the rest of your day up for success (I also make my bed up every morning, a mutant trait among single, 24 year old, male, young professionals). You start the ball rolling early, and then all you have to do is keep the momentum going. Not only that, but getting the blood flowing releases all the feel good hormones that put you in a good mood. After this ritual, you completely rock the rest of your day.
That still doesn’t answer the big issue: How the HELL do you get motivated for that structured torture?
Well, that is fairly simple. I multi-task.
Any of you that have been reading or listening for some time know that I am eager to learn everything I can. My book list is seemingly endless and my Spotify plays more podcasts than music. I take great comfort in the understanding that I will never know everything there is to know. My favorite hobby will never get old because I will never complete the task. It’s quite humbling, knowing that you won’t ever know everything.
Consequently, I spend my cardio sessions watching documentaries or listening to podcasts and audio-books. It’s a perfect window of 30-45 uninterrupted minutes of expanding my mind. AND I get some good quality exercise and feel good hormones.
Now I am not suggesting you start listening to documentaries during your crack-of-dawn-cardio-sesh. I AM suggesting you find some passive hobby you enjoy and use that to motivate you to get things done in your life. Think about it: You would wake up at 3 AM to catch a plane for vacation. You know you are capable of waking up and getting stuff done. Now find something you look forward to on a daily basis to get you up and at it. Ideally this would be your job, but I get that many of you reading this aren’t in the career of your dreams, but I would bet building this sort of habit will get you closer to living the dream, so long as you keep taking steps towards making your dream happen. Never quit!
Get out there and CRUSH YOUR GOALS!