I am not known for my ability to do things like get out of bed, be places early, sleep normal and appropriate hours, function in the morning, function in the evening, think through preparation, prepare for anything, or pack appropriately for occasions of any kind.
Suffice to say, exercising in the morning before work is not the easiest for me. BUT I am known for my ability to overcommit to evening obligations, so that’s where I’m at. Leaving the apartment before 6:30a is the name of the game. I like being at my desk around 8a so there isn’t any reason for me to feel stressed about needing to head out before 5:30p if need be.
How does a barely functional human manage this? I make it as easy as possible for myself.
I make sure to pull out my outfit for work the next day and pack it in my bag. I put my work out clothes next to the bag. Lunch and breakfast are prepped and packed. A snack for when I first wake up is next to the lunch bag in the fridge. It helps if your expectation for all of these things are low. This is not a Pinterest lunch. I do not calculate the pre-workout macros for my snack. It’s just whatever is going to come together easily at 9:15p the night before. The outfit… also usually pretty unimpressive.
Evening Brigid knows that getting up and working out will make the whole next day better. Morning Brigid does not understand this, so it helps to reduce the potential for decision fatigue by setting her up for success every night.
The true key to success: keeping a full kitty of toiletries and my running shoes at work.
Here is an appealing photo of those toiletries:
Here’s what it actually looks like in my single file drawer (yes, I dedicated that space to a bath caddy shoved in a Lululemon bag.):
(sneak appearance from my sneaks)
Here is what is in there:
- face wash
- body wash
- shaving cream
- body oil
- face moisturizer
- hair moisturizer
I also have shower sandals and a blow-drier in there, but I will be honest: most of the time I throw my hair in a wet French braid. People compliment it. I know, it surprises me every time. I also don’t wear make-up day-to-day, especially in summer, so that mascara really does cut it. In the winter, I tend to wear a bit more to add some color to my complexion, so there might be some additions to this collection in the coming months.
I really do try to keep the bar low for myself. So long as I am not wearing sweats in the office all day, I generally think I did all right pulling things together. I also don’t expect every work out to be turned up to eleven. A pathetic-level run and a few calisthenics suffice. Just being in the habit of getting up in the morning and doing something more than check Instagram counts in my book.
To revisit: here are the low-stakes steps that get me to a morning workout:
- Work at an office with a shower.
- Keep all necessary toiletries there.
- Leave your running shoes at work.
- Pack your bag the night before.
- Have low expectations for your personal appearance.
- Go do it.