A man is desperately trying to reach the surface of the water while an anchor weighs his ankle down.

Motivation

It’s no secret that I get up before most people to get my day started with meditation and getting in a workout before getting ready for work.

So, how do I get and stay motivated to get up before the sun?

My motivation began with a need to change my life.

Starting a fitness journey

When I began working out, I was in a really dark place. I was angry after my diagnosis, in an unhealthy relationship, and had turned to drinking and comfort food to help self-soothe.

On January 1st, 2017, I woke up feeling fed up with my life and my relationship. Suddenly, I became aware that if I didn’t start prioritizing my wellbeing, things would only get worse.

Progress as motivation

It was an "A-ha!" moment for me that I had a choice to change or stay stagnant. One of my greatest fears in life is to be stuck while the rest of the world continues to move forward.

Initially, I looked to celebrities and fitness models to inspire motivation. But once I began to see how I was progressing, that became the greatest motivation for me.

Managing set backs

A few months into my new fitness journey, the relationship I was in exploded in a violent evening that resulted in a concussion and a trip to the emergency room.

That night led to several days of fearing for my safety, nightmares, and sleepless nights.

Since I had a concussion, I had to take a few weeks away from working out. Once I was cleared to return to the gym, I found myself without any motivation.

I turned to inspiration from others' fitness journeys and still nothing. Yet, I found myself angry at the outcome that I had experienced.

Motivation from within

Since I couldn’t sleep for long periods of time, I would get up and head to the gym - sometimes in the middle of the night - because of nightmares that were waking me.

Instead of laying there upset, I decided I would put that negative energy into making sure I was strong enough that no one would lay their hands on me ever again.

Years later, anytime I’m having difficulties getting myself out of bed at 4 AM, I think about that night and I get up knowing that what I do today will impact my future self in positive ways.

The 5-second rule by Mel Robbins

Maintaining motivation is an entirely different story, especially when the sun isn’t up when I'm getting my day started.

A few years ago, I learned about the 5-second rule by Mel Robbins through her TEDTalk (if you really want to be inspired, definitely check out some TEDTalks!)

The idea is this: If you have the intent to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or you will come up with all the excuses in the world on why not to, and your brain will kill it.

When you know you need to take action, count down "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" and move.

This applies especially in the morning: If the alarm goes off, you have to sit up and get moving within 5 seconds or it won’t happen.

A playlist of music that motivates you

The last tip I will leave you with is this. Find music that motivates you and creates a playlist of those songs.

Use the songs as your alarm ringtone, play them in the car on the way to an important meeting or event, and play them when you are trying to be physically active.

Music is powerful and can be an incredible tool to help you get things on your to-do list accomplished.

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