I’m sitting here writing this while looking out the glass door in my kitchen. It’s been snowing for the last few hours, so the ground is covered in a white blanket and all is peaceful.
I’ve always been a morning person. It’s one of my favorite times of day. I savor the moments before the rest of the world wakes up and the tasks of the day begin. Mornings are “me time” and like most women who have married and have kids, this may be the only time I get to myself. For an hour each morning, I usually spend my time reading, praying, writing and just being quiet.
Sidenote: I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I just scan through Instagram and Pinterest for some creative inspiration, but I’m really trying to discipline myself to not pick up my phone at all during this time!!
5 am is my wake up time. Some days I am able to roll right out of bed and start the coffee, but other days I need to “snooze” just once (I’m human, right?) When that happens I start thinking about what I’m missing out on when I’m laying there instead of getting out of bed. I’m missing out my hot coffee, that calm before the kids wake up and if I can master this first thing today…getting out of bed on time…I’ve already started my day off victoriously! I’m a competitive person, so this excites me!
After that hour of quiet time, I head to the gym. I used to work out closer to 8 or 9 am to ensure that my girls were up and fed, but as they’ve gotten older and are more than capable of waking up dad to do all of that (Haha!) I get an hour to focus in the gym. Guys, it’s been some of the best workouts of my life! There’s just something truly amazing about waking up early and getting your sweat on…not just going through the motions of a workout, but thoughtfully pushing your body as hard as you can go then having the rest of the day to be productive.
I’ve never really been addicted to the endorphins that I get from exercise, but I am NOW! I’m happier, more productive and exhausted at the end of the day…and I LOVE it!
So I wanted to share a few tips I’ve learned that have helped me get out of bed early, get your mind in the right place and get your sweat on at the beginning of your day!
Go to bed early
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you need to get 7-9 hours of sleep. For me, 7 hours is just right. 10 pm is the latest I’ll go to bed on most nights and sometimes it may be closer to 9 pm.
Wake up the same time EVERYDAY
Everyday you need to get up at the same time because your body will begin to have a sleep pattern that adjusts to that earlier wake up time if you stick to it. Even on rest days from the gym, you still need to get up early. Even when you went to bed later than usual, you still need to get up early. Why? Because it’s a slippery slope, if you sleep in, you’ll most likely go to bed later, then you’ll want to sleep in the next day. Just DON’T DO IT! If you’re severely exhausted try to sneak in a 10-20 minute power nap, these are all I need when I’ve just pushed it too far with not getting enough sleep.
Go to bed tired
The best way to go to bed tired is to work hard all day. I’m not saying that you need to be busy and have a full schedule, but think of ways that you can exhaust your body physically on top of going to the gym. We live on a ranch, so there’s plenty to do outside that requires physical work, but I’ll also tire myself out inside as well. I’ll set a timer for 60 minutes and clean like a madwoman. If you’ve got kids, teach them to clean as well or just take a break and go play. My girls are all about hiking, jumping on the trampoline and taking walks out in the pastures. Plus, by including your kids in your daily physical tasks it will teach them to work hard and have fun doing it. To be honest, I love the idea of a “Netflix and Chill” kind of day, but afterwards I always feel like crap. I look around am aware that I’m really not that rested, but actually more anxious that I wasted a whole day. So I’ve vowed that I’ll still get a workout in and get a few chores done before I sit down in front of the tv.
Read a book before bed
For all of us modern women, this means putting down your phone and taking out an actual book. My tip is to try to make it a somewhat boring book, not the page-turner because if you’re like me, you’ll stay up all night reading “just one more page.” Reading a book will truly quiet your mind and drive out the stimulation that we’re hooked up to all day through our electronics.
Just do it
Nike had it right with their slogan. If it’s something you want and you know it will be good for you, just do it. Don’t let your mind think about how warm your bed is, how soft the sheets feel, just get up. Don’t make excuses such as, “I need just a few more minutes of sleep, it will do my body good.” No it won’t, you’ll get stronger and healthier if you get up early and workout. Discipline is a word that I’ve grown to really like, because I feel like if I can discipline my mind with this one simple thing: getting up early…I then can master the harder things that require stricter discipline like choosing right over wrong in the big things in life even when wrong is the more comfortable thing to do.
I really feel like waking up early is a game-changer. When we wake up early we can start our day off in victory and not the defeat of sleeping in a little longer. Scriptures show that even Jesus was an early riser. Mark 1:38, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, he went out and departed to a solitary place; and there he prayed.” Jesus awoke before the sun to sneak away and get alone with his Father. Mornings were the only time that he wasn’t surrounded by his disciples and a crowd and so he took full advantage of this time. This alone time with his Father fueled his day and allowed him to be conscious of what God was sharing with him because he set his day up with first making that quiet time a priority.
So take if for what it’s worth, if you’re wanting to make time to read your Bible more and start working out, all it really takes is carving out that time and for me, waking up early is the only way it’s going to happen. You can make up all the excuses in the world, but you’re the only one who can make the change in your life. So with that, I just encourage you to try it and see what happens!