Posts

Make Your Bed, and Complete the Hardest Task First

One thing that I’ve always heard from others regarding the gym or exercise is, “there’s not enough time.”

Granted, everyone has a different schedule throughout the day that includes various tasks and responsibilities. Although, I know we all make time for the things that are important to us.

For instance, I don’t normally do laundry during the week at this point in my life. It’s not something that I need done. I have enough of each garment to cover my attire within a week. Therefore, doing laundry every day, or several days through the week is not something I rate as important. If I were still playing sports or had to wear a uniform each day, laundry would be significant and it would be something I made time to do. For me, exercise is essential, not only to my physical health but also my mental and emotional well-being.

I’ve been an athlete and active all my life.

I thoroughly enjoy it and can’t go more than about a week without doing some type of physical activity. Typically, I work out in the morning before I start my day.

Or, rather the workout starts my day. There’s something rewarding about beginning the day with an endorphin rush.

Dr. Bell told a story once about one of his golfers.

He was working on his putting, going through a circuit. The golfer had a certain number of putts to sink, and each one varied in difficulty. Dr. Bell assumed he would start with one of the shorter, easier putts because that would build his confidence moving forward. However, this golfer began his route with the farthest, most difficult putt on the green. When Dr. Bell asked him why, he replied, “because I want to start with the hardest putt first, get it out of the way.” This is a very interesting tactic, and extremely applicable to everyday life. Start your day with the hardest task first, whether it’s exercise or something else that may be difficult and inconsistent for you. Get it out of the way.

It’s understandable that many struggle with exercise, especially exercise early in the morning. Here are 4 strategies to help you get up and going in the morning, so that you’re able to start your day with the hardest task.

4 Strategies to Complete the Hardest Task First

1. Pick out your gym/workout clothes the night before:

“pack your bag at night”: If you lay out your workout gear the night before, or pack your bag if heading into work or school following your exercise, you’ve already completed a piece of the “no time” battle. If you’re like me, it takes you a while to decide what tee-shirt or leggings you want to wear, or what outfit you’ll wear to work. If you’re also like me, you want to maximize the amount of sleep you get, even if it’s only by five minutes. Picking out your clothes the night before and packing your bag minimizes your morning duties. It also allows you to sleep a little longer, and gives you one small reason to go to the gym…a packed bag!

2. Get out of bed when your alarm goes off:

Getting out of bed in the morning is hard for a lot of people. Not because they don’t want to start their day, but because their bed is so cozy and comfortable. Growing up, I remember my mom would start “waking up” my brother almost an hour before we had to leave for school, and he would finally get up about five minutes before we left. Setting two or three alarms that are minutes apart is operative, a method in itself. But, why not get up when the first alarm goes off? Yea, it’s easy to lay there and dread the actual getting-up process. Though, once you’re up, you’re up! One thing I believe to be more important than motivation when working towards success is discipline. Be disciplined with getting out of bed each day. It’s something you can control and another small reason to exercise… you’re already up!

3. Make your bed:

This approach might actually be my favorite. I know I talked about completing the hardest task first, however, what provides you with the confidence to complete that task first? Making your bed! Larger successes, such as working out almost always start with a smaller success, like making your bed. The greatness in “small” is that you gain encouragement, confidence, and an additional piece of experience to create the next success, big or small. If you make your bed when you get up, you’ve already had success with one small task. Over time, these successes build and you generate an advantage and skill set for yourself… I mean how many people become successful within the first five minutes of their day!? There’s actually a best seller out now written by Admiral William H. McRaven and titled, “Make Your Bed.” He discusses this principle in more depth and notes that the little things can change your life. Additionally, McRaven delivered a Commencement Address in 2014 at the University of Texas at Austin. Check it out, it’s amazing: https://youtu.be/pxBQLFLei70.

4. Let’s go:

You are now completely prepared with a packed bag, you’re up, and you’ve already had a small success with making your bed… It’s time to work and get the hardest task out of the way. You got this!

Remember, “The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change.” –Maya Angelou