For a long stretch of time, the closest I would ever get to a gym in the early hours of the morning was if I happened to have a dream about one.
I reserved my time there almost exclusively for the PM hours but was somewhat aware of the potential benefits that awaited on the other side of the fence in the morning hours.
I searched for a number of years to find a way to make that jump to the AM — there’s just something about the idea of working out before the workday that appeals to people. It screams work ethic, attitude and a desire to get more out of life. But it’s much easier said than done.
But this year, I found a way to break the cycle and gain some consistency and enjoyment in my morning routine. The funny thing is it has very little to do with the gym at all.
Nowadays, every morning throughout the working week I roll out of bed just before the sun, wrestle my way into my gym gear and make my way out to the gym near my office.
But before I get into the gym, I do something that completely changes my mindset, it lifts me out of my semi-comatose state and gets me in the right frame of mind for the workout ahead.
First, I meet up with two close workmates right outside the front door of the gym, and then, we all walk to the café next door and buy each other a coffee. We all sit down, we talk, and we laugh for about ten minutes or so. We enjoy the moment, and then we all go into the gym to begin the workout. It’s as simple as that.
This ritual of sitting down with good friends for a coffee has now become just as important to me as the actual gym workout has. It’s a moment for me to stop and to be present, and it’s a moment to connect and share an experience with people who I enjoy spending time with. That whole process then filters through into the workday.
And it isn’t just the workday that improves.
After maintaining this ritual for a number of months one of my workmates has now quit smoking, a habit he has also been trying to kick for years, while my other friend is now in the best shape of his life as he prepares to start a family with his wife.
The steps were small at first but now the momentum of this morning routine is really starting to show positive results.
The great thing is we are all there to support each other through these moments every day, which is an incredibly important thing — particularly for men — to do.
And while it may sound like a simple, arbitrary event — to sit down, have a coffee and share a moment with friends before a gym workout. The act has changed the way I think about mornings.
I now look forward to getting up and getting to the gym, there is a sense of enjoyment about the whole experience that wasn’t there before. I now feel comfortable in the AM.
What I think I was missing until now was being able to share the experience consistently with good people, to have a moment to stop, to reflect, and to enjoy myself before doing something physically beneficial to my health.
It’s a simple addition to your morning routine, but one that has helped create many positive habits. A great coffee doesn’t hurt the process either!
Check out more articles by Rhys Jack on at his website.