The Pile

the pile | toddregoulinsky.com

Let me introduce you to a very important pile of clothing. Not because the clothes themselves are special (although I am partial to that Lettuce t-shirt), but what they represent.

I leave a similar pile of clothes in my bathroom almost every night before going to bed. Work out clothes on the top, and what I’m going to wear the rest of the day on the bottom. Nothing too special. But it represents a commitment I’m making to myself that the next day, I’ll wake up when my alarm goes off at 6am, feed the animals, and rather than falling back into bed, I’ll get my butt onto my exercise bike for a good sweat.

If I’m being honest, there’s some guilt involved. More times than I’d like to admit, the only thing keeping me from slipping back to bed was that pile of clothes staring back at me. And while it’s a little embarrassing to admit I’ve been semi-bullied by laundry, the end result is success.

But most of the time, the reason the pile works is the same as why some people wear the same “uniform” every day – the choice has already been made. I’m not deciding whether or not to work out in the morning because that was locked in the night before. Which is good, because I’m at my most weasely in the morning and will take any opportunity to avoid what I shouldn’t be avoiding.

Are there days when the pile fails me? Yes. Whether it’s a change in schedule or a bad night of sleep, there are times when I’ll skip the phys-ed portion of my morning and jump right into the day. But those are getting fewer and fewer. Not necessarily because of better sleeping habits (although that helps) or better control of my schedule (also a help), but because I’ve found that no matter what, I always feel better after getting myself moving in the morning.

So, if you happen to be looking for a hack to get your morning aimed in the right direction, may I humbly suggest a pile of clean clothes in a place where you can’t avoid them so they can stare directly into your soul? It’s a bit creepy at first, but you get used to it.

Note: Yes, for those wondering, this is an extra layer of preventional guilt that I’m layering on to make sure I keep my morning routine in order. Every little bit counts, right?