As I’ve been trying to figure out what works best for me and my schedule, and trying to get in shape, I’ve been realizing that the most important key to making healthy changes towards a better lifestyle is drive. You can’t eat healthy and follow a nutritious diet without having the drive to. You can’t push yourself to get up and exercise without having that drive to.

In case you weren’t sure, when I refer to drive, I’m talking about that ambition, desire, and discipline to get to your goal no matter what comes in your way. Sometimes, we need to be motivated by external factors, and sometimes what is needed is a sense of motivation from our own selves. I remember once reading a quote by Jason Statham, where he was asked about his motivation towards being so physically fit, and he said, “If you can’t motivate yourself, nothing can motivate you.” I found that really interesting because it made me realize that unless I want to make a change myself, nothing else would be able to convince me to do something. Maybe that’s just me, but I definitely know I can be stubborn about things unless I come to terms with them on my own.

So, after finally coming to this point of knowing what I want and working towards my goals, I decided to set things up so that my morning environment in itself motivates me to do my 6am workouts:

  • I set out my workout clothes, shoes, and water bottle the night before, and place them on my path to my bathroom.
  • I always keep a picture that motivates me towards my goal, and look at it as soon as I wake up.
  • Finally, since I wake up for Tahajjud/Fajr (morning prayers) anyways, Alhamdulillah, I’m already somewhat awake. So, in order to stop myself from going back to bed after prayer, I make my bed as soon as I wake up.
  • I try to keep my bedroom and bathroom as clean as possible, because in my eyes, a clean and organized environment is a sign of success. When clutter builds up, it not only clutters your surroundings, but it clutters your mind as well.

Keeping little things like that in order makes you feel more inclined to get to the gym, because it reminds you of your goals and inspires you towards reaching those goals.

This mentality of focusing on your drive first and foremost is something that can be applied to pretty much any and everything in your life. I just feel my biggest struggle right now is building the drive to get in shape, so I keep pushing myself to remind myself how badly I want this change.

I have to push myself. I have to motivate myself. Unless I’ve reached my goal, I haven’t done enough. Keep moving!

Here’s the current picture I’m using as motivation to get up and work out (it’s from the upcoming movie “The Wolverine” based on one of my favourite characters):