Wake up earlier…or don’t
I was catching up on a bit of reading and stumbled on a great article about what successful people do before breakfast. It talks about how important it is to manage time, prioritize activities and stick to a routine to get the most out of your day. Using the relative quiet time of the morning to keep a clear head and get the important activities out of the way.
And it really got me thinking.
I’ve always been a firm believer in early rising and mornings, in general. I pride myself in being able to get up and get after it no matter how late I went to bed. I love the feeling of finishing up a workout, a shower and breakfast before most people have even shut off their alarm clocks. It makes me feel supercharged, powerful and ready to tackle the day. And when I tell people how early I get up to workout, they often tell me I’m crazy, ask me how / why, or tell me why they can’t do it. After listening to their laundry list of excuses for why not – early meetings, not enough time, can’t get up that early, stay up too late, have a commute, need to dry my hair or walk my dogs – I almost always say, get up a little earlier or can you do that from home?
And no matter what they try to tell me about what they’ve read or why working out in the evening is better, I almost always say the best time of day to exercise is in the morning. For the very simple fact that you’re less likely to be distracted in the morning. You’re less likely to skip a workout because you have another engagement like say happy hour, work events or dinner with friends (or simply a date with your remote and a glass of wine). In the morning, you just get up, get it done and get on with your day. Or at least that’s always been my philosophy.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it’s YOUR morning. To do with it what you want. Exercise or don’t. Whatever makes you feel the most successful before you start your day is what you should do. Forget harassing alarm clocks, dragging yourself out the door when you feel like it’s too early to function and just do what feels right…for you.
I don’t like to work out in the evening because I don’t have the discipline. I am easily swayed by happy hours, spending time with friends or my boyfriend or whatever else…anything else. In fact, I’ve been trying to do more evening runs in preparation for my 100 miler and I just can’t stick to a regular schedule. Evening workouts don’t work for me. Or at least regular ones. My goal is now to reward myself when I can make an evening run happen. I’m going to give myself a realistic schedule and try to stick to it as best I can. Just like the article says.
I think the real key to success is finding your balance. I think successful people realize they don’t have to be like everyone else – and they prioritize their happiness above all else. They probably have routines and know how to manage time – but they do it in a way that works for them…not the next guy.
When do you feel most successful? Mornings? Evenings? Or both (I know there must be some freakishly disciplined folks out there!))?
Tags: achieving balance, athlete, balance, challenge, enlightment, exercise, finding balance, fitness, health, healthy, how to be more successful, key to success, marathoner, relationships, routine, runner, running, successful people, training, ultra marathon, vegan, vegetarian, why morning workouts are better, working out, yoga, zen