The Morning "Grind"

I'm going to get right to it with this one. I believe mornings are the best. As one who does mornings, I would rather wake up at the crack of dawn and take a power nap later on than sleep away.

I know it doesn't suit everyone but it's a habit worthy of aspiration.

There have been studies to show that working out or being active in the morning leads to productivity, more focus, and increased energy levels throughout the day - not to mention, you don't have to worry about "making time" for your workout later on. Just think of how good you would feel at 9am, knowing you've already completed your workout, or have done something that helps create the best version of yourself.

This, of course, all depends on your daily schedule and routine. Maybe it's not realistic to get in a morning workout when you work until 2am (sleep is incredibly important as well, we'll get to that another time), but maybe its just a matter of waking up 20 minutes earlier to allow yourself to set the tone of your day before rushing out the door.

I became a morning person when I was in high school and my brother Dante came to wake me up one morning to go for a run - I was just too tired and made repeated excuses until he finally said, "Alena, just know while you're here sleeping, someone else is up getting better." That was a better wake up call than any alarm clock.

Here are my 3 top tips for becoming an earlier riser ...

(1) PLAN IT OUT - You already have a good grasp of what's on your schedule for the next day but have you planned your  workout? Write it down. Book into a class. Call a buddy to enjoy a run with. When something or someone else is holding you accountable, its easier to ignore the temptation to continue sleeping.

(2) SLEEP - Try to get yourself to bed at a realistic time. I know not everyone is going to go to bed at 9pm (that may even be past my bedtime ...), but try to shut things down a little bit earlier each night - you'd be shocked at how your body will adjust.

(3) FLAT STANLEY - Lay out your workout clothes the night before (thanks to my friend Erin Baun, I call this the "Flat Stanley"). It's one less thing to think about. "Look good. Feel good. Play good."

BONUS TIP: BREAKFAST - Let's be real for a second. The majority of us plan our days around food ... plan and prep a meal you're going to get excited about eating, either before or after your morning activity - think breakfast of champions.

The morning "grind" will look a little bit different for everyone, but whatever you choose to do with the wee hours of your day - make 'em count.

Comment below with your favourite ways to spend your morning!