Don’t want to get out of bed and go to the gym? Read this for a little extra motivation.

by Don Smith

All products and services featured on this site are independently selected by our authors and editors. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

I growled at the alarm on my phone, which seemed to be oblivious to my annoyance as it went on playing a cheerful tune. Not quite 5AM, I remembered that I had agreed to meet my personal trainer at 6AM this morning as I had a conflict at work so couldn't go at my usual time over lunch. The gym…or another hour of sleep…decisions decisions.

Have you ever had those moments? That moment when you are too exhausted, burnt out, hungry, or fill in the blank to give a shit anymore? Another hour of sleep sounds wonderful. That was a rhetorical question…of course you have! The only problem is that you know that you will regret it later, and it won't do much good anyway, you'll still have to get out of bed and be at work shortly anyway. Let me tell you a little story about my day which might help motivate you to make the right decision.

Puppy snuggled up in bed - Go to the gym or stay in bed?
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Go To The Gym or Stay In Bed?

Ahh, first world problems. To get up and go to the gym, or stay in bed this morning? No one is going to starve if I don't get moving, these are trivial problems to have in comparison to the issues others face in the world. But for me, early in the morning, still groggy from sleep, it was a big question.

Getting up or sleeping in? Bed feels good!
I'm Pretty Comfy Here: Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

I thought back to something that my personal trainer had said which has helped keep me motivated to work out and do those things that I don't always want to do. Sometimes indulging yourself isn't about sleeping in late or going to the spa or treating yourself to a bubble bath. Sometimes it is about working hard so that you feel good about what you've accomplished. Often the hardest things you do right now in this moment are the best things you can do for yourself in the long run.

I shrugged off the covers, still a little groggy, and got up, the decision made.

A Beautiful Morning

A peaceful morning - sunrise through the window
A Beautiful Morning: Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash

The house was quiet at this time of the morning, a rarity with five kids. I enjoyed a meal in peaceful solitude, and took a quick shower and headed out. The crisp morning air felt invigorating, and I felt at peace. Arriving at the gym, I smiled as I greeted several people who had become friends over the last several months, and got down to business. A little sore but reenergized, I left the gym and once again stepped into the unexpectedly warm yet still crisp January air, and headed back home to begin my day.

One Percent Improvement Each Day Adds Up To Big Results

Missing an occasional day at the gym or an opportunity here and there isn't going to make or break you, but over time tiny little decisions like this add up big time. Look at this graph from “Start Today: What 1 Percent Change Looks Like” to get a picture of just how big of a difference that one extra percent effort each day makes in a single year. Keep in mind that this chart works for both good and bad decisions, small things add up in a big way over time.

Graph showing the incredible compounding benefits of 1% personal growth each day
Start Today: What 1 Percent Change Looks Like

Making the right choice which was a hard one to make for me this morning allowed me to have a great day. I know exactly what would have happened if I had slept in because I've done that before. I would have waited until the last possible moment to get out of bed then rushed around to get ready for work. If my children had done what children do I probably would have been grumpy rather than a little more relaxed since I had time to wake up first. I would have been beating myself up for not doing what I should have done. My day would have started with a little cloud over my head rather than starting out by getting my muscles warmed up and enjoying a little spare time before the hustle and bustle of the day caught up to me. If I had kept repeating that decision over and over, my health would have deteriorated quickly as past experience has proven. Instead, my health got a tiny bit better today from making the right decision…probably about 1% better.

What Will You Do?

What will you do when you are faced with a choice to do something a little hard now in return for a better reward later? Will you rise up and meet the challenge? Or will you go back to sleep and regret the decision later?

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

I walked for 90 minutes in 23 degree weather today. Wind chill factors reached 5 degrees. I found myself walking solo beside

Read More
Grow Your Mental Muscle Slow and Steady

Life is a series of comings and goings. People enter our lives. People leave our lives. Friends never seem immune from this

Read More
What Friends Need to Go?

The only control you have in life is control over your inner world. Anyone can control how they perceive situations. We all

Read More
What Do You Control?

The truth stings. The truth will set you free to experience unprecedented levels of personal growth. But first, clearing fear-pain blocking the

Read More
What Is the Bandage Effect of Personal Growth?

I read Don's excellent recent article: Why Simple Is Better When It Comes to Business He makes a smart point about keeping

Read More
Who Did You Learn Business From?

2020 has been ALL about this: it's time to pay the fear piper. 2020 will be a powerful year for humanity because

Read More
Why 2020 Will Be a Powerful Year for Humanity

Successful advice makes sense sometimes. Other times, successful advice seems counterintuitive. Bloggers email me regularly asking to place guest posts, sponsored posts

Read More
Successful Advice Seems Counterintuitive Sometimes

This month, I was approached with an unusual offer.  My mentor and friend had recommended me for a board position at the

Read More
Would you not only work for free, but actually pay your employer to let you work there?

Pamela 3 Weeks Into the Ketogenic Diet My beautiful wife, Pamela, recently decided that she was not happy with her weight, and

Read More
Pamela Talks About Losing Weight on the Keto Diet

Like I have often read after consuming fortune cookies, the USA has entered interesting times. The fortune cookie pearl of wisdom: “May

Read More
Freedom or Fool’s Gold?

The other day I stopped by the mall. I saw this: Whoa! Whoever decided on the location of the restaurant did not

Read More
Do You Have the Total Picture?

'We have only today. Let us begin.' Mother TeresaClick To Tweet 'Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift.

Read More
Ideas on How to Make Today Great


Get new articles and course discounts from leading providers every Friday in your inbox with your free subscription!