One Highly Effective Habit (that I’ve neglected lately)


On a nightly basis, I go to sleep with the intention of waking up and exercising first thing. I set the alarm and lay my workout clothes out next to my bed. Sometimes first thing is 5:30am and other times it’s after preschool drop off at 8:30am. Regardless, the objective is to get up and get moving. I find that if I do something active first thing in the morning, I am more happy, productive and balanced the rest of the day.

Doing this consistently pays off big time, especially in the mental health department.

A solid morning workout is one of my keystone habits to maintaining my goal to always be fit. Yet, it’s one that I struggle with. Because, in the reality of daily life, there are barriers (kids who don’t sleep through the night, kids who don’t want to get into the jogger, husband who has to work, etc.) that get in the way. And somedays, I’m not interested in fighting, I forgo a morning workout in hopes to fit it in later in the day. (Not to say that working out later in the day is negligible, I just feel like I get the biggest bang if I hit it straight away.)

Aside: You know, it’s ironic – when I was working, I was more consistent with 5:30am workouts. I think it was because I didn’t have the option of fitting it in later in the day (because of the work/kids juggle), so it was either 5:30am or nothing. Nowadays, I have the flexibility (in theory) to fit in a workout during the course of the day, which makes hitting snooze at 5:15am (or not setting the alarm at all) very easy.

Well, no more excuses! (Wasn’t that the Biggest Loser Season 13 mantra?) Morning workouts are my way of greeting the day – it’s in that activity that I choose my perspective and set the trajectory of the day. It’s where my soul explodes and my energy increases. It’s how I say Hello Day! It’s something I enjoy tremendously.

So, let the discipline begin! The past few mornings have been a success and I’m gaining momentum. Sunday was a group exercise class at Equinox. Monday was 30 minutes of at home yoga. Tuesday was a run after preschool drop off. This morning was 30 minutes of Yoga (in the master bathroom), before leaving the house for a 9am appointment. Tomorrow, the sweat fest will start at 6am (which feels so early these days).

I just have to make the habit an actual habit again… and I’m getting there. Next week, I’ll check in with you all to let you know how I am doing. And, while I pretty much dread turning the clocks back this weekend, I am looking forward to waking up with the sun. It’s tough to rise and shine when it’s pitch dark outside #excusesexcuses.

What about you? Do you have a favorite time of day to exercise? Any morning people out there?

Photo shot by Ryan Haack at Wolfcamp Studios in Costa Mesa, Ca.

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  • Reply
    Rani Jo Watson Rommelfanger
    10/29/2014 at 2:37 pm

    Well said, Natalie! I couldn’t agree more . . . with everything! From the benefits to making it happen in the morning to how hard it is to make it happen in the morning. 🙂

  • Reply
    10/29/2014 at 4:47 pm

    Ah, yes. I love the way I feel when I exercise in the mornings, but I tend to make it happen more at night. I’m trying to get back into the AM habit, too!

  • Reply
    Kathy Lee
    10/29/2014 at 5:43 pm

    It is really hard for me to motivate myself to run in the morning. I tend to run right after school at around 4:30. It isn’t always easy to motivate myself after teaching preschoolers all day but I have my Sage who is counting on a run after being inside all day! She is my motivation! Great post, Natalie!

  • Reply
    10/29/2014 at 8:16 pm

    I feel exactly the same way. I love working out in the morning, if I wait there is are too many things that tend to get in the way.

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