You guys! I did it! I became a morning person. Actually, I should rephrase that. I became a person who wakes up early. In the MORNING! February 1 I signed up for a new gym that is super close to my office. With my husband taking over morning duties at home, I started waking up at 4:35AM and heading to the gym. Okay, okay, my alarm goes off at 4:35. I end up rolling out of bed around 5ish. But still! That’s 5:00 in.the.morning!

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I drive 40 minutes to the gym (which gives me a little time to come out of my sleep coma), work out, shower, do hair and make up, and then head off to work arriving there (usually) no later than 8:00. For real! I did it!

I’ve never been a morning person. Like ever. In fact, I still sleep until 9:30 or later on the weekends (although this makes Mondays hard and is very ill advised). The first month, my goal was to just “show up”. I wanted to work out every morning before work, so that first month if I just showed up to the gym Monday through Friday I had accomplished my goal. There were SO many mornings I wanted to throw in the towel. Mornings are stupid and leaving my bed, much less my house, when it’s still dark out is torturous. But I pushed myself out of bed and to the gym. There were days when I would be on the elliptical only 10 minutes and then hit the showers. But it didn’t matter because my goal was to show up and that’s exactly what I did. I created the habit of going to the gym 5 days a week. Man, did that first month suck!

I’m a goal setter and a perfectionist. I like to plan things, write them down, check them off a list. So my first instinct when I want to get back in shape is to create a crazy work out plan and eat perfectly and lift all the things and run all the races. And then I quit three days later because it’s too much and it’s ridiculous and being fit is stupid, duh. That’s exactly why I approached things differently this time. I needed it to work because working out in the afternoons or evenings was impossible with my kids’ schedules. I wanted to create a habit that no excuse could break. The mornings seemed to be my only answer and even I wasn’t sure I could do it. Starting with that tiny goal of just “showing up” was really the key to that success. As I said, I started in February. I’m still going to the gym (almost) every day before work, Monday through Friday. Am I bragging? Um….yes! But not because I’m so awesome and you aren’t. It’s because if I can do it, ANYONE can. No, seriously.

YAY!ME!

If you’ve been putting off something because it’s just too much, break it down into itty bitty tiny goals. Start by just showing up. There were definitely days in February where I felt great and was tempted to create that crazy work out plan and get started on the next level. But I stopped myself because my goal was to just show up for a month. If I would have jumped forward to the next phase because I thought I had the “showing up” thing down after only a week or two, I would have failed. I’ve done it before – lots and lots of times. So, start slow and resist the urge to fast forward to the next goal. Stay the course and it will be totally worth it. Where are you going to “show up”?

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