For those of you who know me well you know I live by the motto #StayReady, because as the old adage goes…. When you stay ready you don’t have to get ready. My parents instilled this idea within my sister and I from an early age and it’s something that just stuck. It was their mission in life to make sure that we were always prepared for whatever was to come our way. They knew, as adults, that life was full of challenges and obstacles that could potentially stand in the way of our dreams, if we allowed them to. So, they led by example teaching us that we could accomplish nearly anything with preparation and will.
Therefore, now that I am an adult, I’d like to think being ready for whatever life has in store for me helps me to live my best life. If part of living your best life includes stretching, growing, learning, and exploring beyond our normal boundaries, as we have so greatly discussed in the past month or two, then it’s only fair to take the time to discuss the importance of maintaining our newest routines or latest bits of knowledge in order to fully maximize our potential.
When we begin to maintain things in a neutral way we inadvertently train ourselves on how to build sustainable habits that help to propel us forward. Take for example my running trajectory. For a “runner”, your typical marathon training program usually starts 3 months out from your race date. A non-runner might not think 3 months is enough time to train for a marathon but if your body has the proper maintenance behind it this is likely more than enough time to get race ready. Although I typically only run one marathon per year, two tops, the idea is I am constantly training for life, committing to run 3- 4 times per week regardless if I have a race on the horizon or not. The difference between my marathon training schedule and life training or “maintenance” then depends on the specific distance or intensity I run on any given day, but the action of running remains the same. So when I make the decision to run a race and the time comes around to begin training, I provide myself with an increased advantage for success based on the fact that I’ve built and maintained a solid foundation over the course of time. So rather than starting from scratch which takes two or three times the amount of energy and preparation, I begin from a place of readiness that will carry me forward.
I was having a conversation the other day with a friend around this very concept and found it interesting how widely this idea can be, and is, adapted in so many aspects of our lives. If we take a moment to think about it, you probably already maintain quite a few elements in your life by way of your daily habits without even realizing it. For instance, designing meal prep for the week. Packing your gym bag the night before so all you have to do is grab it and go in the morning. Designating certain days of the week for cleaning/ laundry. Hiring a gardener or pool man to service your property every other week to avoid buildup. Servicing your car with an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles. The list could go on and on. The idea is doing what needs to be done to keep things from derailing and on track, no matter how big or small the task.
Looking at it from this perspective and seeing that you are already somewhat putting this idea into play, how much more effort do you think it would take to consciously implement this mindset into your entire way of life? Again, we’re back to the idea of giving purpose to all that we do so no action is an empty action.
Let’s face it, we don’t have time to waste on things that aren’t going to serve us if we are looking to live our best life.
So, when we say that we want to do something but can’t … is it really that we cannot do it, or is more so that we are just not ready?
This week I challenge you to reflect on the S.M.A.R.T. Goals you have set for yourself and ask what obstacles, if any, are you faced with? Once you’ve identified what the obstacles are ask yourself if you are currently doing anything that could help break down the barrier. If the answer is yes, your task is to figure a way to connect the dots between the two ideals so the action you’re currently taking better serves your purpose. If the answer is no, your task is to brainstorm and come up with a system of actions that will create a solid foundation for you to leverage success off of.
The biggest key here is to remember that just because a certain goal is reached doesn’t mean that the actions you took to get there should cease. Everything we do in life is interconnected and multifaceted. Continue to utilize your new habits and behaviors to grow even further because the stronger your foundation is the easier it is to reach success.