We’ve all been there. We have these big plans to have a glorious pre-work sweat fest and then somehow end up snoozing the alarm until it’s time for work. So many big dreams of chiseled abs and toned arms that never seem to come to fruition because you just can’t pull yourself out of bed in the morning. As much as we’d like, dreaming of lifting weights and running doesn’t count as exercise. An endless lack of energy creates a repeating cycle that keeps you from hitting the gym or taking your favorite workout class. So how can you make that morning workout routine happen and actually stick? Try these 11 simple tips to keep your motivation high, even on those mornings when you desperately want to roll over for another hour:
11 Skip That Last Drink
Now, this is almost too obvious, but we’ve all done it. You’re out with friends. Excitement is high. You’re enjoying the night. And maybe, just maybe, you have one too many. This is the ultimate recipe for missing your morning workout. Want to feel refreshed and energized when you wake up, and have the stamina to jump out of bed and move? Skip that last drink. Even if it may seem like a good idea at the time, it definitely will not seem that way tomorrow morning. Instead? Down a glass or two of water to rehydrate your body and guarantee you a hangover-free morning to make sure you don’t miss your workout regime.
10 Don’t Snooze!
But, really, don’t! Lifehacker.com states that setting multiple alarms or hitting the snooze button teaches your body one thing: to ignore your alarm. Set your alarm for the actual time you wish to wake up, not a moment before. Don’t pad in any extra time to snooze. Waking up immediately when the alarm goes off trains your body and mind that this signal means it is time to prepare for the day. Also, you establish a routine within your own circadian rhythms of what time your day starts. And, creating this routine within your body will create more energy for your workout (which we all know we need a boost of in the morning!).
9 Pack Breakfast
You likely pack a lunch for most days at work the night before to save you time in the morning. So, when you know you’re headed to the gym or to your exercise class first thing in the AM, you should pack a breakfast the night before as well. This small little change in your morning routine will make getting out of the house and on the road faster and easier. Just grab your packed breakfast and head out the door. No need to worry about taking the time to make your meal. Many people choose not to eat before their workout anyway, so you know that you’ll have a nice treat to look forward to after your awesome training.
8 Form A Routine
The myths of the 21-days-to-form-a-habit are gone, but that does not mean that forming a habit is harder. It just simply takes more time than we previously believed. According to The Huffington Post, new research shows that it takes about 66 days to form a new habit. Although this may seem long, once that habit sticks, it becomes part of your almost “automatic” routine (similar to brushing your teeth or showering). So, what’s the best way to make a new habit? Form a routine! Create a pattern that you follow every single day. That includes going to sleep at the same time each night, waking up at the same time each morning, and, of course, working out at the same time every day. Once you establish this routine, give yourself a little bit of time, and soon you will find that it becomes an almost “automatic” part of your daily life.
7 Mark An Event In Your Calendar
We mark work meetings and parties with friends in our calendars, so why do we not mark workouts? Hold yourself as accountable to your workout as anything else and make it an unchangeable, unmovable event in your daily calendar. We tend to plan our lives around our calendars, so if your morning workout isn’t in there, you may make other plans placing your workout on the back-burner. Creating a daily event blocking out a chunk of time every morning dedicated solely to your workout will make it a priority. That means no answering emails, no scheduling phone calls, and certainly no sleeping in during this time. You workout time is solely that, your time to workout. Make it an event and keep it consistent.
6 Keep A List Of Your Workouts
Who doesn’t love a good list? Lists make us feel organized and in control. They also outline everything that we’ve done or need to do. So, creating a list of all of your workouts is motivating in two ways: it shows you all that you have accomplished and it keeps you on track moving forward. Literally write a very specific list of all of your morning workouts. Write the exact date, time, and number of minutes or hours spent sweating. Write down what you accomplished (i.e. took a TRX class or did leg-day at the gym) to keep you focused and managing your goals. The more accountable you hold yourself to your list, the more likely you are to get up and get moving first thing in the morning.
5 Set A Bedtime
Sleep experts interviewed by The Huffington Post highly recommended going to bed at the same time every night. This establishes a routine in the body and the mind literally creating an internal clock. The repetition of going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time every day creates a self-reinforcing cycle to fall asleep easier and wake up feeling more refreshed. And, when you’re hoping to pop out of bed and hit the gym, you definitely want to be feeling revitalized, well rested, and ready to start your day with some serious sweating.
4 Sign Up For A Challenge
Have a bit of a competitive edge? Challenges are a great motivator for your physical fitness goals. Plenty of gyms, barre studios, martial arts centers, running clubs, etc. have challenges and competitions happening at any given moment. Check in with your teachers, trainers, coaches, and friends to find out what’s happening where you workout. Compete with others to see who can lose the most weight this month or who can do the most pull-ups or who can press up into a handstand first. Or, even better, challenge yourself to see how much further you can progress in your own physical endeavors trying to beat your past records. Train for a marathon or a martial arts belt test or a Cross Fit competition. A healthy dose of competition is a super effective way to keep you motivated and ensure that you don’t miss your morning workout.
3 Find A Teacher That You Love
Nothing is more motivating in life than an inspirational teacher. But an inspirational fitness coach? Now that is a reason to get out of bed in the morning! Finding a teacher that you love will give you the motivation and the accountability to show up. Someone that makes your workout fun and pushes you to try new things and expand your limits is the best influence. Find the best zumba instructor or the most inspiring personal trainer or the hardest yoga teacher or the strongest Cross Fit coach. Whatever your discipline may be, find someone that inspires you to show up, be better, and make real changes. Locate a teacher that gets you excited to practice, because nothing will pull you out of bed faster!
2 Treat Yourself After
We all respond well to punishment and reward reinforcement. It is the nature of our being to seek rewards. Now, of course, your smoking hot body will be reward enough, but a little extra incentive never hurt anyone. Treat yourself after you complete your morning workout with whatever speaks to you most. Maybe after a month of hard work, you can buy that super cute outfit you’ve been eyeing all season. Maybe you splurge and buy yourself your favorite healthy but sweet treat after reaching a specific goal, or maybe you pamper yourself with a massage after working your muscles so hard. Whatever makes you feel good, treat yourself after you’ve been good. Check your list and make sure you’ve fulfilled your goals. And if you have, then indulge yourself a bit as a special reward for all of your hard work.
1 Find A Workout Buddy
Hands down the best way to make yourself accountable to get out of bed in the morning and get your body in gear? Make a date. Find a workout friend who will hold you responsible when you don’t show up. Whether it’s a fellow yoga junkie or your fastest racing companion or your spotter in the gym, finding someone to practice and sweat with will make it necessary for you to pull off the covers and put on your workout clothes. Shape Magazine says that having a fitness buddy not only makes your workouts more fun, but they can make you more accountable, motivated and even fast-track your fitness goals. With so many reasons it’s the best, you’ll never do your morning workout alone again.