I’ve often opined that all those Californian, rich(ish) personal development speakers and writers and their ‘Rise at 5AM and exercise’ freaks should come and live where I do in South Wales, where it’s easier to pick up the dog eggs in the garden at 6AM because they’re rock hard with ice. Where the idea of a home gym is fine if you live with a spare room big enough for a running machine or static bike, said room being centrally heated to at least ‘bearable’ for that early effort. And where going to bed early so as to get a decent kip before getting up at 5AM isn’t easy because the road and neighbours aren’t 100 yards away and are living their noisy lives while you try to drop off. And fitness clubs remain an expensive luxury.
Which is not to say that exercising is impossible.
I have a spin bike, a relatively inexpensive yet reliable (4 years so far) model. I have a mount (thank you Santa) for a 7” tablet through which I watch YouTube videos which inform, entertain or anger depending on the day’s choice. And a garden shed to put it in. There simply is no room in the main dwelling. You see, I am not a financial success like all those 5AM loonies. I am a moderate professional success on that I have always been employed doing work I enjoy, on the public purse in their service. So none of that ‘earn twice as much, work half as hard’ twaddle that Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield promote – which is valid for the entrepreneur or commission-paid individual but not public servants like us. If I wanted to earn twice as much as a copper I’d have had to work 76 hour weeks AND ask permission, first.
Each of us lives in his or her own circumstances, which do not necessarily reflect those described by such writers. Some do. Lucky them.
Back to me.
What gets me out of bed at 7.30AM, or more specifically onto the bike at 7.40AM, is self-discipline and a desire to not get fat again. I don’t want to ride a bike first thing, but it would be rude of a promoter of such a concept not to try. So that’s what gets me up. My Integrity. Doing the things I don’t like to do because (a) they serve me and (b) I said I would. If only to myself.
I should also be up front and state that it doesn’t work every day. If I don’t sleep well I’d make the next day worse, not better, if I self-flagellated with exercise before starting work. (I can always exercise afterwards, if I feel up to it.) But here, the point isn’t to apply self-discipline to the point of self-punishment. That’s a route to failure.
But I will also add that doing that exercise first, and educating myself while I do so, sets me up for the day. And you may have noticed that many of your successful colleagues do, as well.
I get up. I go out into the cold shed and exercise.
I win. The rest of the day is a breeze.
So much so, this took 15 minutes to write. In the flow. And with integrity – nothing I write is a lie to myself or to my reader. Whoever you are.
Be disciplined. But be disciplined early.