When you wake up tomorrow morning, make note of of your state of mind. Do you wake up with a sense of urgency to get ready, make food, hurry, etc.? Do you rush around with creaky joints, checking your email, turning the coffee pot on? Does it feel as though the second your feet touch the ground, the day commences without any chance to pause?
This sense is prevalent in our competitive, achievement-based society. We want as many precious seconds of sleep as possible! Now imagine this scenario (as described in life coaching courses from Optimum Performance Training): “you wake up to a cold cabin, take the sheets off, your nose cold, you are fully clothed, you walk across the creaking boards, open the door to the living room, flick the match, start a fire, build it and feel the cabin warming, as you do the water has begun to boil, you dress, breathe a little, walk out onto the doorstep to the trees and lake covered with a light dew and smell the morning air and listen to the birds waking every other animal…the coffee pot is ready, you sip and enjoy as you limber up and move…and get prepped to train…”
Talk about a different mentality to approach the day. Ok, so a cabin may not be the most realistic option but it makes a point about the importance of our state of mind and preparing for the day properly. The game-changing practice I want to suggest is to begin enacting a morning routine. Figure out how much time it will take to get everything you need done in the morning without feeling rushed (tip: preparation the night before is key). Having time to sip your coffee (or tea!), open your Bible and move slowly from task to task will transfer into an overall sense of well-being for your training or whatever follows. Reducing the number of decisions you need to make by learning how to go on “autopilot” will conserve much needed energy. There is an excellent article called The Power of Routine that discusses the immense benefits.
“Routine sustains energy by reducing the time and effort that goes to making decisions. Everyone has a finite capacity for good decision-making and staying on your “A-game” before laziness, stress, and temptation kick in. In order to increase productivity and make positive moves throughout the entire day, you need to automate as much of your life as you can. While this sounds like a boring life, the opposite it true. When you automate the predictable things in your day it allows you to react to the unpredictable and really take control with flexibility and poise.”
You can be as precise as you want: write down a specific routine or ease into a pattern over the course of the next couple weeks. Be prepared for a more balanced state of mind, increased productivity and the ability to give even more at the gym!
“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” I Timothy 4:7-8