2014-02-13

The Trick Is Moving

It's been said that the best way to wake up in the morning is to get some light shining on your face. It's sort of a trick of human evolution, we're hard-wired to be awake when light is shining on us, and asleep when it's dark. So they say that if you have trouble getting up, you should turn the lights on immediately.

There is an analogous trick I've noticed when it comes to getting up early for a morning workout. Sure, the lights help, so go ahead and turn on the lights. But on top of that, it's always the first batch of movement that proves the most challenging.

If you decide to get up and do some push-ups, for example, it's always the first few reps that are the most difficult. After they're over, something happens: your body switches over into active mode, and you hardly notice that you were moving sluggishly before. By the time you're finished with your first set and stand up to take a rest between sets, it's like you weren't even asleep just five minutes ago. Amazing.

You've almost certainly noticed this with anything. The most difficult part of doing something you're dreading is getting started on it. After that, it becomes a lot easier to focus on what you're doing. Even when I get occasional bouts of stage fright, they tend to disappear after the first note. Something about just moving, or just taking that initial step, does most of the motivational heavy lifting.

If you're having trouble getting up for a morning workout, or getting started on a big project, or running despite the stormy weather outside, try to overcome your initial reaction. After that, things get much easier.

Housekeeping: I'm adding a "Motivation" label, since it comes up frequently.