For the last month, I’ve started going for a walk in the morning with my girlfriend. It’s roughly the first thing I do in the morning. I don’t really like doing it. But I feel a pang if I don’t do it, and I dread waiting for it, so I just do it. But I’m not sure why.
A lot of people talk about the importance of getting up early and just starting to move. Ed Latimore, the physicist/boxer/philosopher was a big fan of that approach: just start moving. Tim Ferriss is a fan of cold shower first thing in the morning (he has some technical term for it, as always). And two of our nice new neighbors, Susan and Fred, they go for a walk every morning, even when it snows. They’re in their 60’s, so I feel like I’m being a baby if I don’t get out there too.
There are other frameworks the morning walk slots nicely into. Atomic Habits talks about habit stacking, which is training yourself to use the completion of one small habit to cue the next habit. And The Art of Learning teaches the concept of building your trigger, a set of habits to set up a relaxation state. After I walk, it’s time for a 10 minute yoga class. It’s the perfect morning pairing, and doing one ensures I do the other.
I don’t think there’s a single reason why I go for a walk. I think that’s why I do it. Success is overdetermined – you need lots of little inputs to get the desired output. So I’ll be doing more to make sure I have systems that are redundant, so I can run through the finish line, not just to the finish line.