The question I am asked most frequently by friends and coworkers is “how do you get up so early to work out?” Although this is a simple question on the surface that could easily be answered with “an alarm,” the underlying question is why do you wake up every morning at 3:15.
Take a minute and think about the way you wake up. I am willing to bet the majority of us set our alarm clock for a particular time that is dependent on our first task of the day. Now think, do you set multiple alarms? Do you allot extra time to repetitively hit the snooze button to allow an extra 15 minutes?
These actions are conscious decisions that determine our success in completing the first and arguably the most important task of our day. There is a reason we all set that alarm in the first place; we all have a particular purpose to be up at that specific time. So why would we consciously set ourselves up for failure by delaying the inevitable?
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received was from my freshman football coach. He tasked every member of my team to take five minutes each night and think about the next day before we went to sleep. He told us to list every activity we had to do the next day and define our purpose for each task before it even began.
As obvious as this may seem, I think taking the time to define a purpose is often overlooked and underutilized. It takes time and effort to consciously define the purpose of an activity you are going to complete before you do it. People often don’t realize the positive impact that taking the five minutes will have on their success in completing that task, and further, how the success of that task can affect the outcome of the remaining tasks that day.
Waking up in the morning is no different. The way in which we wake up sets the tone for the day, influencing our mood and behavior for its entirety. Just think about the last time you “woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” and how that negatively influenced the rest of your day.
Conversely, think about the last time you had something important to do the next day that you couldn’t get off your mind. How did you wake up that morning? I bet your eyes were open before the alarm made its first sound, and you were full of energy.
Although waking up with this amount of excitement to start every day is not realistic, it is possible to spring out of bed each day with purpose and a positive attitude. Every task we attempt in our everyday lives will be easier and more meaningful if we define the purpose and determine why we are completing the task in the first place. Whether it’s doing the dishes, waking up or doing a CrossFit class, I challenge you to take five minutes to define your purpose.