Ultra Mindset #6 – The 4:30 AM Rule


It’s been a very long time since I’ve written an article. Shortly before my hiatus, I was in the midst of a multi-part series on Travis Macy’s book, The Ultra Mindset. Mindset number six is entitled, the 4:30 AM rule. My initial reason to delay writing on this article was due to the fact that I myself wasn’t truly living it. Then life got in the way and the short planned hiatus quickly turned into an extended unplanned absence. Well, I’ve been living this principal through and through lately so there is no better time than now to ramp back up and tell people about it.

The principal at its core is simple: when you commit to something ahead of time and the alarm goes off, get up and take action. If waking up at 4:30 is the only choice you have to get a workout in and you are truly committed to getting that workout in, there is nothing to hold you back from carrying out that commitment. The 4:30 AM figure is just that – figurative. The alarm can be set for any time – 7 AM, 5 PM, Midnight – whenever. The important part to take away is that whenever that time comes around – follow through with the commitment.
Strava Segment Montage

Personally, as you can see from my montage of Strava activities above, several of my recent runs have started between 4:15 – 4:45 AM. I leave for work around 7:30 AM every day and get home around 6 PM. As a new father, I prefer to spend time with my wife and daughter when I get home in the evenings before putting the little one to bed, as she is usually just getting up as I head out the door in the mornings. If I factor in running, showering, shaving, and eating breakfast all before 7:30 AM, I’m not left with much choice other than to set the alarm for between 4:00 – 4:30 AM and just get my butt up and out of bed when it goes off.

Now I’m not perfect, nor do I ever claim to be. There have been times when I have gone to bed with the plan to wake up early and run but chose not to do so when the alarm goes off. In a moment of weakness, I made an excuse that I justified in my sleep deprived brain. But as I’ve said before, excuses aren’t excuses. I’m normally kicking myself later saying I wish I had just gotten out of bed and got the run in. Sounds like I need to realign my priorities and start asking myself, “Where’s the beef jerky?”

There will always be an excuse to not do something. More often than not that excuse will be that there isn’t enough time. If you truly want to commit to something, I’m a firm believer that you can always find a way to make time. Will it always be easy? Of course not. Will you have to sacrifice other things? Absolutely. The day is only so long. But, as Macy goes on to point out, the more you consistently follow through on your commitments, the easier it becomes to continue doing so.

So, will you find a way to implement the 4:30 AM rule in your life? Ask yourself what are you committed to and what will it take to follow through on that commitment. When push comes to shove, when the alarm goes off will you take action or hit the snooze?




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