Almost every morning, I wake up at 4:45am so that I can have a quick cup of coffee before my 5am run.
Why do I run?
I run because I love how running makes me feel.
It clears the cobwebs out of my brain and makes me sharper and smarter all day long.
It makes me feel powerful and strong.
I tend to get my best ideas while I’m running, too. If there’s a problem that’s been nagging at me, the ideal solution usually arrives somewhere between Mile 2 and 5.
Running feels amazing for so many reasons. Given how “amazing” it makes me feel, you might think that I “look forward” to my daily run the way you might look forward to a tropical vacation or a spa day. Nope. In fact, the opposite is usually true.
Most mornings, when my alarm buzzes at 4:45 am, I absolutely DO NOT want to get out of bed. When I hear that first “bzzzt”, my brain cooks up a hundred reasons why I should definitely NOT go for a run today.
“It’s too cold.” “It’s too hot.” “It’s too dry.” “It’s too humid.” “It’s too early.” “It’s still dark out.” “You ran a lot yesterday.” “You can run extra tomorrow.” “You have a 7am phone meeting.” “Running is hard.”
Getting out of bed and lacing up my running shoes is one of the hardest things that I do every day. I have to self-coach myself with Tony Robbins-level enthusiasm to convince myself to peel away those warm, cozy covers and head outside. But I do it. Every day, I fight that same battle with my own mind and almost every day, I win. (Ten years of personal development training will give you those kinds of battle-skills.)
Ultimately, what gets me out of bed is focusing on how good I am going to feel later—once my run is over.
“One hour from now, you’re going to be so glad you did this. Get moving.”
Most self-help experts encourage you to “live in the moment.”
“Stay in the present. Be here now. Forget the past and future. Stay within this moment.”
Sometimes, that’s really good advice.
And sometimes, it’s really not.
In certain moments—say, when it’s 4:45 am and your brain is whining like a toddler—it’s helpful to detach from the present moment—which might be filled with fear, resistance, inertia, self-sabotaging thoughts, and outright lies—and focus on the future instead.
Focus on how great you’re going to feel once you finish that run, once you send that email, once you complete that big project, or once you speak your mind and get the truth off your chest.
Think about your future feelings—not your present ones.
Personally, when I focus on my future feelings—how I’m going to feel an hour, a month, or a year from now—I usually feel braver and more motivated to do whatever needs to be done.
The next time you’re facing a mountain of resistance and you just want to curl up in bed and avoid everything and everyone, consider getting out of the present moment. Project yourself into the future. Consider who you want to become and how you want to feel. Let those desires lift you out of bed, over to your socks and sneakers, and out the door, running towards the life you truly want.
One hour from now, you’ll be so glad you did it.
One year from now, you’ll be so glad you started today.
P.S. If you’re ready to get out the present moment, check out my Make a Scene program. Enrollment is officially open and I’d love for you to join us. You can find all the details here.