Workout of the Day

Guest Post: How to Get Your Groove Back

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Nothing feels better than finally hitting your groove. For me, it’s when I’m on top of my to do list at work and at home, keeping my diet in check, and getting a work out in each day. Unfortunately, the weeks where I can keep this streak going are few and far between. It’s always amazing to me how easily and quickly a well-intentioned routine can be thrown out of balance. Like a grain of sand in a well-oiled machine, all it takes is one little thing to throw something off kilter, which in turn topples the whole delicately structured foundation of how to live your ideal life.

I say this with relatively few of life’s typical obligations, too. I don’t have kids, and my cat is pretty self-sufficient. Most of life’s demands have been placed upon me by my own doing, my own choice. And yet, I still struggle to string together days--let alone weeks--of a routine I would consider ideal. There’s always something getting in the way. Tonight, it was staying late at school for my students’ spring music concert. The day before that, I had a headache. Last week it was my birthday. The excuses (and plain and simple out-of-control factors) mount up faster than I can realign my focus.

What’s going on here? Why is it so hard to maintain what I feel is a healthy lifestyle? Why does life seem to be so determined to keep me from this goal?

I won’t pretend to have the answers, but I do have some theories about how to move forward.

First, I think it’s essential to understand what you can and can’t control. A lot of energy gets wasted on being frustrated or worried by things that are out of our control. Instead, that energy would be better suited to figuring out how to manage the things we can control around the things that we can’t. For instance, I can’t control the fact that there was a concert that I was required to attend tonight. I can control how my time is used around that, though, and direct it toward maintaining my goals.

However, this is easiest if I’ve taken the time to be intentional about what my priorities and goals actually are. We walk around in life with a lot of "should"s hounding us, but what are we really, truly willing to commit our time to? What do we want our ideal life to actually look like? It’s a lot easier to work toward a goal if you have a clearly defined vision of what it looks like.

Sometimes, though, I know what I want, and what I need to do to make it happen, but my lazy monkey brain gets in the way. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “I should do ______,” only to proceed to continue to sit on my butt and scroll aimlessly through my phone. Sometimes, we make intentions, but we don’t follow through.

If you can’t stay focused on your priorities, time to do some experimenting. Spend some time asking yourself: What is keeping you from your priority? What can you change? What can you try?
Usually, for me, it comes down to having too big a scope--biting off more than my brain can really chew. I’m learning more and more that the narrower and smaller my daily priority is, the easier it is to actually accomplish it.

I also find it extremely valuable to take the experimenter’s view on this whole process. Understand what factors you can control for, and what you can’t, and let that stuff go. Understand that sometimes your experiment won’t work, and that’s okay. It’s still data that you can use to move forward. It takes the pressure off of feeling the need to “get it right” every time, and puts the focus on the process of moving forward, of always fine-tuning, always looking for better ways to get things done.

That perspective is essential because the only constant in life is change. The most effective routine you can have is one that can bend flexibly to accommodate those changes, whether they’re grains of sand or ground-shifting earthquakes.

There are going to be some days (or weeks, or maybe months) where there’s too much you can’t control interfering with your routine. That’s okay. Work with what you’ve got, and keep moving forward. You get to try again each day.

- Joy Sprimont


5/12/17

  • Back squat - 3,3,3,3,3

  • “Death by Thruster”

    • On the first minute, perform one thruster (95/65)

    • On the second minute, perform two thrusters

    • Continue in this pattern until you cannot finish the designated reps in the allotted minute