[Photo credit: Ivory Mix. Edited by me.]Get everything ready the night before.
I know this is obvious! Really, I do. However, it's also key, so we're gonna talk about it. If you're gonna need it in the morning, get it ready the night before. I try to have gym kit ready to put on as soon as I get up, my gym bag ready with clothes for work, my make-up bag, and things for a shower... Breakfast (I just take some granola in a little tupperware tub and a yoghurt - easy peasy!), lunch, and anything I need for work, all ready to just grab and go. Especially if you're not a morning person, this makes all the difference!
Give yourself plenty of time.
This took a little perfecting for me - it's about 20 minutes drive to the gym, so I try to leave by 6.45, so my alarm is set for 6.30. (I actually have two alarms; one on my phone, and one horrible obnoxious old-school alarm clock which I keep on the other side of the room - then I have to get out of bed to switch it off!) This gives me 15 mintues to get dressed, have a quick wash and brush my teeth, and grab my lunch from the fridge - I've found anything less than that is just too much of a rush, and I end up forgetting something important like my lunch.
I'm definitely still on Autopilot by the time I get to the gym, so I like to know what I'm going to be doing so I can get started without having to think about it - whether it's swimming, cardio on the cross-trainer or bike, or weights... Having a plan means I can just crack on without having to make early-morning decision, because they're just the worst.
Another obvious one... I'm still working on this! I'm just not very good at it, especially when I feel like I'm missing out on a fun evening - I'd far rather do the pub quiz or go to the cinema than have an early night. Even when I'm not doing anything, I often find myself reading, or drafting blog posts, or trying to make my way through my Bloglovin' feed... But I'm trying to get better at this, and I'm trying to implement an 11pm rule, so I'm getting at least 7.5 hours. I find I sleep far better when I'm exercising regularly, so I can get away with a bit less sleep - plus an early morning workout does wonders to wake me up!
Think about why it's important to you.
Like anything in life, it's easier to get up early and drag yourself to the gym when you know why you're doing it! Maybe it means you can spend evenings with your partner? Maybe it's the only way you can fit in training for a race? Maybe you just want a challenge? Whatever it is, I really do think you need to have a reason to drag yourself out of bed and out into the cold in the depths of winter - you need to be doing it for you, and because at some level you want to do it.
When do you like to work out? Do you have any early-morning workout tips to share?