How to Become an Early Bird
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image by Luz Adriana Villa

It’s 7 am as I am writing this post. I slept in, so I’ve only been up since 5:30 am.

That’s right, I said slept in. Normally on Tuesday and Thursday I get up at 5 am. It’s prime blogging and program writing time. The rest of the week I get up at 6 am to get ready for morning client sessions.

This is funny because I love sleep. I used to be the person who thought that getting up before 8 am was a serious form of torture. In high school and college I loved the night life. I would work or go to class all day, take a nap and then get up so I could hang out with my boyfriend or go out with friends. Weekends, especially Sunday, were perfect for sleeping the morning away.

Somewhere along the way, I become a morning person. It’s been 14 years in the making but now mornings are actually my favorite part of the day. Think it can’t happen to you? Here is how becoming the early bird (and getting fit) happened to me.

  1. Don’t force yourself to become an early riser to exercise.

    When I started my fitness journey, I preferred to go the gym at night. It wasn’t unusual for me to show up at 8 or 9 pm for a good sweat session. I never felt like it kept me awake, in fact I think I slept better.

  2. Exercise when you need it most. Make it a priority and not an afterthought.

    When my life shifted away from school my exercise patterns also started to change. I would still work out in the evening, but after dinner about 6:30 pm or so. It was my de-stressor after an extremely long and taxing day as a bank manager. It was only after exercise I could classify myself as human again, able to have a civil conversation with Brian.

  3. Exercise wakes you up better than coffee (or tea).

    When I started working at home, working out at home became my habit. Since I didn’t have to be at my desk utill 8 or 9 am (and no one would know whether or not I had showered on a conference call) I started working out mostly in the morning. When I traveled for work, morning become the only time I knew I could get in some exercise. I also noted how energized I felt after a morning workout. I liked how it set the tone for the rest of my day.

  4. Put yourself first on your schedule.

    I started my personal training business part time while I still worked my full time bank job. I HAD to get my workout in and get going earlier because it was the only time available. I made the appointment with myself, like I have always done, but just earlier.

  5. You can do anything when it’s something you want to do vs something you have to do.

    The shift to 5 am was all about attitude and outlook. I start getting up at 5 am not to exercise but to write, answer client questions and work on their programs. I love these things almost as much as being active. I enjoy the quiet and sipping Scottish Caramel Pu’erh tea while I work. Nothing feels better than having most of my to-do list complete prior to a 7:30 am workout.

I recently read a quote that I think it sums it up best:

If you can’t wake up an hour earlier to pursue your dream then you’re pursuing the wrong dream.

The real secret to becoming an early bird is doing what you love and being true to your goals. Don’t do it for anyone else but yourself.

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