Doing your most difficult thing in the morning, finding groundedness, and back day

Happy Monday,

Mornings have always been my favorite part of the day. I like the quiet before the hustle and bustle of the world begins. Most of the time, I feel clearest-headed in the morning, full of optimism and energy to start my day.

I also use mornings to complete the most difficult thing of my day.

Right now, that means writing. Every morning, I get up and write for about 90 minutes. Writing is my “hard thing” for the day and the thing I most want to accomplish.

Once I do my morning writing session, I can feel good about the rest of my day. No matter what else happens after that, I know that I finished one thing that brings me closer to my long-term goals.

Although doing my most difficult thing in the first part of the day has always been instinctual for me, what I prioritize in the morning has changed over the years.

I used to get up and work out right away because if I didn’t, I worried I’d end up making excuses and skip my workout.

As fitness became a more ingrained part of my identity, I became more flexible with my workout times. Now, I trust myself to work out no matter what time of the day it is.

This might be different for you. Like me, you might want to knock out your highest priority creative work for the day, or work out first thing to get your day going. Or you may choose to take that time to meditate and journal before the rest of your day starts because you know yourself well enough to know that carving out that quiet time later in the day is just not doable.

Get your difficult thing done first thing in the morning, and you can feel good about the rest of your day, no matter what happens.

What I’m reading —

My Monthlong Quest to Become a Morning Person / Erin Berger / Outside Magazine

Not a morning person? That can change, if you want it to. As the author notes, mornings are the only time of the day guaranteed to be free of distractions. You may choose to get your creative work done first thing like I do, or use the time to meditate, doodle, and cuddle with your dog before the day starts.

What I’m listening to —

Brad Stulberg: Finding Groundedness / The Psychology Podcast

How do you go from your core values (I.e. a value of being more loving) to putting those values in practice? Stulberg talks about ways to achieve big things by putting in place concrete steps. He also talks about the benefits of exercise (he names them as biology, psychology, and community) in this episode.

I see pretty eye to eye with Stulberg, and am guessing his upcoming book, The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path That Feeds — Not Crushes — Your Soul is going to be a good one.

A quote that inspires me —

“Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.” — Albert Bandura

What I’m training —

Back day exercises.

Don’t forget to train your back! Here are some of my favorite back exercises you can do using a pull up bar, dip bar, bands and a couple of dumbbells. Get creative!

Three new workouts —

16 Minute Sweatier Jump Rope Workout (16 minute, jump rope)

Challenger Bar Workout (Time challenge, pull up bar, dip bar)

Equipment-Free Explosive Sprint Workout (Time challenge, bodyweight-only)

And here’s a resistance band workout I posted on Instagram.

Remember, you can get these and all future workouts right in the 12 Minute Athlete app when you subscribe as a Super Athlete (this is WAY cheaper than joining a gym or hiring a personal trainer! In addition, you’ll be helping to support the site and making future features to the app possible.).

As always, I value your feedback, so please feel free to reply directly to this email if you have any questions or comments (yes, I am a real human). I get a lot of emails and messages, so I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read everything you guys send me!

Here’s to stellar mornings,

– Krista

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