Saturday, January 18, 2014

Project Early Bird and #FFCHECKIN

Project Early Bird & #FFCHECKIN
The house is dark and quiet. You were in a dead sleep but awakened abruptly by the shrill of the alarm that fills the room. You look at the clock. 5:00am, ugh. Your husband hugs you a little tighter and you think that you are probably the most warm and comfortable that you have ever been in your whole life. You have exactly 5 seconds to make the decision that will impact your whole day: get up to work out or turn the alarm off? What do you do?

It is funny how we live our life in cycles...both good and bad. Sometimes bad habits sneak into our otherwise good routines. Sometimes we are on a roll and then life throws us a curve ball and everything gets off track. I must reluctantly admit that I have gotten so far off track that I can't even see the track anymore.

Work is busy. I mean, really really busy. I started a new job late last year and have an increased workload, and more travel, not to mention the impact of having to learn a new job. I am sure things will ease up once I get into the groove of my new responsibilities, but for now, things are really hectic. I have been traveling, working late, and going in early, all things that had not been part of my routine for the last four years. I am not complaining, this is a great job, with a great company and I am incredibly grateful to have this opportunity. I just need to learn how to rework my routine with my schedule change.

In order to squeeze in daily work outs, my only real option is to work out in the morning. It is the morning or nothing, and lately, It's been nothing and I need to turn that around. But I have been struggling. Why? Because it is not routine.

In 2012 working out in the morning was my routine. It was what I did and I loved it. I even wrote a couple of blog posts (here and here) about how to get up early to workout. That post was my highest page view blog ever! Sometimes I read what I wrote in the past and I feel like I was writing to my future self. Now I just need to go back and take my own advice. If it was only that easy.

I said to my sister (who gets up at 4am everyday) "I just can't get up in the morning anymore. As much as I know I need to, as much as I really want to get my workout done before I go to work, I just can't drag myself out of bed." She reminded me of a very important fact:

"It is not that you CAN'T, it is that you CHOOSE NOT to." - my very smart sister.

So I decided to do what any good blogger would do, and put it out there on the internet to make myself accountable. If I tell you now that I am going to commit to getting up in the mornings at least three work days a week, then at 5am when that little voice in my head tells me to just go ahead and hit snooze, I'll remember that I promised YOU I would do it...and if I can't be accountable to myself, then maybe I'll feel accountable to you. Deal? Deal.

The good part is that I already know from experience that once I get back into the routine of early morning workouts, it stops being so hard, and I love every single minute of it. I know that I'll just have to suffer get through those first few weeks while I am trying to establish the routine.

Just as I was realizing that I needed some accountability in my life, I read this cool thing that FitFluential is doing called 'FitFluential Check In' with hashtag #FFcheckin. It is a tool for accountability, encouragement, and motivation. The idea is that at the end of the day on Instagram, you take a picture that represents a recap of your day and hashtag #FFcheckin and #FitFluential and the FitFluential community will come together to encourage, congratulate, and inspire each other.

Each day, you "check in" with the FitFluential community. How did you do? Did you work out? Did you take a rest day? Are you proud of something? Did you kick butt? Are you struggling with something? Maybe you're frustrated? It is a way to look for encouragement from an entire community, especially when we sometimes feel like we are at this all alone.

The way it works (and how it will be successful) is that at the end of the day you check in on Instagram with your hashtags, then you search the ##FFcheckin hashtag and look for other people to encourage. Give a thumbs up where it is deserved, or a reminder that tomorrow is another day. It will work when you give as much (or more) than you take. Now isn't that what being FitFluential is all about?

Read the whole #FFCHECKIN post on Fitfluential for all the details. 

Here is FitFluential's Aunt Kelly telling us more about FitFluential Check in.

It seems like the timing was perfect for me. I need all the accountability I can get right now. 

Are you with me? Will you check in with me on Instagram with #FFcheckin? If you want to join FitFluential, you can do it here. You don't need to join FitFluential in order to participate in #FFcheck in, but why not sign up if fitness is your thing? Tell them I sent you (you'll make me look good). 

If you follow me on Instagram @runningwithollie, I'll follow you back and we can support and motivate each other.

What time is your alarm set for Monday? Will you check in with me next week?

I'm a little scared to click publish on this post, because that means I'll actually have to do this!

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Keep Running,


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  1. I'm a stay-at-home mom, so other than when I babysit for some friends, my son is my alarm clock! I'm blessed that my days are pretty flexible, so we can head out to the park to run anytime during the day. I don't really have childcare options, and my husband is gone for Navy training for a few months, so I always run with my son. So the only thing I have to consider is weather for my toddler. That said, I find that my days go better, and I'm more likely to workout, if we head to the park first thing in the morning. If I wait until later in the day, I'm just really tired and unmotivated. I'm going to check out FitFluential. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Your situation sounds great! and it sure is a great way to raise your son where exercise is a routine! Go Mom!

  2. I've been a fan of early morning workouts for-ever! Even if my schedule changes and things get hard, I make it a point to get up early...but it's damn, damn hard. I hear ya! Just keep trying, keep setting that alarm. It'll be a routine. And if it isn't, so be it. Snag those workouts whenever you can!

  3. I've also been working on trying to workout in the mornings again - it used to be my thing too... and I'm working hard to get back there. I did a post a little while back on tips on how to do it and feel that I am getting better and better each week! Good luck & awesome for all the accountability you have!

    1. sounds like we are in the same boat! Let me know how it goes! (and I'm going now to find your post :))

  4. I am totally with you! I so fell off the wakeup wagon in October of last year. I did have a great week last week though, just need to keep that motivation going!
    Your sister is smart! Love her comment to you ;)

  5. I need this so badly! I did great with early morning runs for about 6 months, and then it totally went south. I need to get back on track, because I feel SO much better when I get up and get moving!

  6. I need a routine so bad, I feel like my workouts are always on different times of the day. I can't go early in the morning because my husband has to do PT with the ARMY and then when I try to run at home I always have to get off to take my toddler potty or get more water...something. If I wait for the evening my kids have activities and I'm dead tired by then. The gym here does not offer childcare. Ugh, one day I hope to be able to do morning workouts.

  7. Love the accountability of being public about the early mornings. It's the only way for me too and since I have been on exercise restrictions, I've been staying up late and having trouble getting up. I have to change that this week!

  8. I've been thinking this week about changing my workout routine to the morning hours. I need to commit just like you did. It's so scary to start but I know I will get used to it.


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