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15 Little Tricks: More Willing To Workout In The Morning

15 Little Tricks: More Willing To Workout In The Morning

If you already have a daily workout habit, why not look into maximizing its benefit just by simply readjusting the order of your routine. Working out in the morning gives you the opportunity to breathe in the morning air as well as organize your thoughts to start a new day refreshed and energized.

1. Set several alarms 

The night before, make sure to set up at least 4 different alarms with a five minute gap in between.

2. Set the alarms on your phone with a motivational quote

Make sure to include a message with your set alarms. Remind yourself why it is important to get up early with an inspirational quote. Reading the wise and motivational quotes will trigger your subconscious and motivate you to get out of bed.

3. Eat dinner 2 hours before sleeping

Allow yourself at least 2 hours between the time you finish dinner and when you go to bed.

4. Avoid drinking alcohol at dinner

Do not go beyond a single glass of wine during dinner. Furthermore, avoid eating heavy food or lots of fat during dinner prior to an early workout.

5. Prepare your clothes the night before

Prepare what you will wear for your morning workout and everything that you will need to ensure a smooth transition leading up to the morning workout.

6. Plug in your power song as soon as you wake up.

Treat yourself! Motivate yourself! Make sure to put in some headphones as you get out of bed and listen to your power song to pump up your desire to workout.

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7. Visualize a better future

Visualize yourself enjoying the morning workout, before as you fall asleep. You will feel the immediate effects as you complete it and the long term benefits that visualization can contribute to your health and life.

8. Have a workout plan

Clearly define your morning routine. Plan out all the different exercises that you will be doing or the running routes that you will run, to minimize the amount of decisions that need to be made in the morning.

9. Set goals

Create a long-term plan to sustain the habit of getting up early. Read your goals out loud in the morning before leaving the house for the workout.

10. Make it a habit

Have a regular schedule. There is no better way to never miss a morning workout than to incorporate it into your daily routine. This might be hard for world travelers, but making it part of your routine can be one of the best ways to never again miss a morning workout.

11. Involve a partner

It is always more fun to do things with a partner. By convincing a friend, neighbor, or a family member to join you in your morning exercise will make it a more fruitful experience and will make you feel more responsible to not miss the morning workout.

12. Join a class

A morning class can make sports fun, as you wake up to different exercise and nice music. Also, making it a habit can bring you the necessary pressure in case you don’t have a partner to workout with.

13. Jog or ride a bike to your workout location 

Starting the day with a little movement before arriving to your gym or workout location can make the morning exercise less painful as your body slowly warms up and adjusts.

14. Cool down after your workout

Use the time after your workout when you feel relaxed and energized to stretch and cool down. As you relax, you foster positive vibes and create great synergy to sustain the rest of the day.

15. Run from your house

This is great for those who don’t want to miss their morning routine, but have a tight schedule. Create a running route from your house. You can easily enjoy a nice 30 minute morning jog with only waking up 35 minutes earlier than if you don’t do it.

Featured photo credit: Biker Sunrise/ Chris Martin via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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