10/15/2013 07:12 pm ET Updated Dec 15, 2013

What to Do the Night Before So You Exercise in the Morning

Exercise: You know you should do it. You even want to do it. Despite good intentions, it can be all too easy to skip this healthy activity for "more important" commitments. The reality is, exercise is one of the most important things you can do for physical and personal balance. The below routine is one person's strategy to help you power down at night so you can power up in the morning and get your day started out right! Let the balance begin!

Example of an Evening Before Morning Exercise Routine

Important Mindset:
  • Taking time for myself and particularly for exercise is a good and necessary use of my time.
  • Exercise plays an important role in maintaining my health and sanity.
  • It's worth going to bed and getting up earlier so that I can work out on a more consistent basis.
Action Strategy:
  • Start to wind down around 8:30 p.m.
  • Wrap up with email
  • Put away dishes
  • Get ready for bed
  • Set out exercise clothes upstairs
  • Set out water bottle and magazine you're looking forward to reading downstairs
  • Decide not to start a show that will run past 8:30 p.m.
  • If it's helpful, set cell phone alarm to remind you it's "wind down" time.

Goal: To make this a habit so that exercising at least three times a week becomes a natural, effortless part of your daily rhythm.

A Few More Motivational Thoughts:
  • It is more important to me to exercise consistently than to spend extra time reading or watching TV at night.
  • Following this routine will make me feel like I'm in good shape and able to keep up with the kids.
  • This can help with losing a few pounds.
  • I will be sore at first but that's normal, and I will be over that phase soon.
  • This is something important that I want to do for my personal health in the short-term and is also important long-term.
  • I'm worth it!

Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E®, a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.

McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of the Year by Stiletto Woman.