1. Wake up before the sun
The most successful people are early risers. It will take some sacrifice, a little will power, and a lot of determination. You will be better because of it. Starting the day with a sense of accomplishment is something you will find very valuable. The best thing about waking up early to train is that once you do, none of the hurdles you encounter throughout the day will turn into an excuse for you to skip your workout. Rise and grind!
2. Set ONE alarm
Don't start your day off being lazy. If you need to wake up at 5:00am to be at the gym by 5:30am so you can still make it to work on time... then set your alarm for 5:00am. Not 4:45am, 5:00am, and 5:15am. Don't give yourself options. Just go.
3. Drop everything and train
Designate a time to train before anything/anyone has the opportunity to interfere with it. If you can't beat the sun and do this first thing in the morning, choose the next best time of day according to your schedule and make it happen. A one-hour training session is four percent of your day. If you "don't have time", make time. No excuses.
4. Leave your phone in the car
Whatever it is, it can wait. Don't let your work, your friends, social media, etc. get in the way of your productivity. You will be more focused and more efficient during training. Give yourself that one hour to worry about you.
5. Have a plan
Exercising, working out, or training...what's the difference? Exercise can be defined as any activity requiring physical effort. Working out is simply a period of physical exercise. Training is the process by which an athlete prepares for an event through planned exercise and diet. You are an athlete and life is your event. Training requires you to enter the gym with a plan, carry out that plan, and continue doing so day in and day out until your goal is met. Devise a plan, execute it.
6. Measure progress/success in more ways than one
The number on the scale is important, but there are other determining factors. How are your clothes fitting? Have you been consistent in showing up every day? Are you getting stronger? A lot of times we want to see results immediately when in reality, it took us years maybe even decades to get this deconditioned. Trust the process.
7. Find a way, not an excuse
Don't use the words "I can't". The more you hear yourself say them, the more you start to believe them. You can do anything you put your mind to, especially when it comes to your fitness. Too often I find people talking themselves out of trying to complete a workout rather than finding a way to just get it done. Ask yourself what it is going to take to get the job done, and make it happen.
8. Don't let failure be an option
"I'll get back on track tomorrow", If you want to make a habit of waking up early to train and stick with it long term, you cannot let failure be an option. If you're tired and you don't think you'll make it through the day, if you don't get that extra hour of sleep, so what. Get up and go to the gym anyway. If you think having just one more beer on Sunday evening won't stop you from taking care of business on Monday, chances are you'll feel different about it when that alarm goes off at 5:00am. Set yourself up for success. As humans we are all given the option to exercise and eat healthy, if you've failed up until this point, you don't need options anymore. Set yourself up for success.
9. Find your internal motivators
No one else can do it for you. You shouldn't need a cheerleader to encourage you to be better. Of course... we all need support sometimes, and probably a little kick in the butt here and there. However, if you are relying on external motivators to get you out of bed and to the gym every morning, it will not last. Find your own motivation.
10. Be relentless
Effort is a choice. Every second of every day has to be given 100% effort. Starting a new training regimen is not easy, but with the right attitude, the right plan, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, anything is possible.