Today was a big milestone for us. We completed a full uninterrupted 7 days of our new early morning workout! It hasn't been easy, but so far it has been very rewarding.
For the uninformed, we're basically working to establish a habit of getting up earlier, 5am to be exact, and completing a 32 minute workout alternating between our elliptical machine and strength exercises.
It wasn't easy. Over the past 7 days and even with our busy schedule, we kept pushing through to wake up and get our workout done first thing. In that time we've noticed some very good benefits.
The most obvious advantage we've found is that though waking up early right now is tough, once we are finished with our workout, we're done for the day! There is no chasing it, trying to find time where you can fit a workout in. There is also no dread all day long that at some point tonight you are going to need to exercise. You've already done it!
Another benefit we noticed is that when you get up early and work out hard, you remember that effort throughout the day. When donuts or ice cream pie magically show up in the kitchen at work, it's amazing how much that backs up your decision to avoid them. It's really quite amazing. Exercise is what is called a "keystone habit". This one habit helps you build other beneficial habits on top of it.
Doing our workout early means we simply don't have time to make excuses. We get up. We workout. There is no time to talk yourself out of it. We like that we are setting up something we can do every day, at home, no matter what the weather.
The weekends we ended up working out even longer. Since we had the time, we first took a 30 minute walk around the lake and then did our strength training. It was so awesome to be up and out early, enjoying the nice weather, doing something good for ourselves.
This morning though was the hardest because Bob had to be at work an hour earlier for the morning meeting. We managed to wakeup at 4:17 and start the workout by 4:30. It was hard, but we did it.
We are still very early in setting up this habit. While we are very much in the mindset of "don't break the chain" and not wanting to miss a day, we know the day will come when we screw up. We must remind ourselves that a single misstep doesn't need to derail us. We must persevere and continue on to reach our goals. And so we shall.