The brain works in mysterious ways sometimes, but there are some things that you can do very specifically to use habit to your advantage. Have you ever been in the mood not to do something (like go to the gym per se)
Many times setting specific habits or routines can get you into the right mindset to do the thing you need to do, even if it?s not desirable at that time.
For example, I LOVE to write. I really enjoy doing these blogs, and I really enjoy reading and studying to make myself better. Sometimes though, I can just stare at my computer blankly trying to think of what to write of next. I want to, but I find myself surfing the web, or Facebook, or rechecking my email for the umpteenth time. Why do I do this? Why can I not just sit down and do something I love to do?
It’s called mindset. In order to get in the right mindset, I have developed these habits:
Habit number 1: I specifically go to a place where I can focus on writing. If I sit at my kitchen table I’m too distracted. To battle this, I go to my upstairs office. Physically going to a place to accomplish a task makes me laser focus on that task. If you are having a problem doing something even if you love to do it, try physically going to a place where you focus on that task. If working out is your issues, LivLimitless anyone?
Habit number 2: I believe this is the most important thing….when I get to my office, I sit down and open my laptop, I put my headphones on and listen to Cello Suite #1 by Bach. I’m not sure why this became the song of choice that works. I think mainly it was because I love the Cello (did you know that the Cello is the instrument that has the timbre closest to the human voice?) .
I think secondly, because the day that Steve Jobs died (one of my all time heroes/ idols) on the Apple home page they played that song and showed a video tribute to him (yes my eyes puddled a little bit, don’t judge!) . Ever since then, that has been my go to when I start writing. I follow it up with some Chopin, but I don’t think that’s nearly as important. Until I turn on Bach I just stare at my computer blankly. Once the music plays in my ears, my brain instantly fills with ideas. It tells me that it’s time to write, and I feel energized and vibrant. That one habit allows me to get done what I need to do, and it’s very powerful.
In life and in your training, it’s important to develop specific habits that can get you in the mood to do what you need to do. If it’s training, try picking a song that will pump you up on your way to the gym. You are physically going to a place to accomplish a task and getting your mind set up and fired up to want to do it.
Many athletes do this, just take a look at Michael Phelps, while I’m sure he gets paid a ton of money now for the big goofy head phones he wears before the race, the fact of the matter is, he’s always listened to music before his race. I’m willing to bet, there’s a very specific playlist that is on his Ipod and it’s probably not on shuffle. That’s not by accident. It’s by design. There’s wisdom in that approach. The mind and habits are incredibly powerful. Take advantage and see how much better you can accomplish your tasks!