I spent a season of my life training at Aegis Team Crossfit. It benefited me a lot, and I recommend the coaches there.
The biggest lesson I learned was the lesson of the warm up.
The lesson of the warm up. Basically, at Crossfit they begin with a vigorous batch of 10 or so exercises that you know how to do. Some are fairly easy (like PVC Passthroughs). Some are more challenging, like plate overhead walking lunges.The point, though, was that we dial in. The 10 minutes or so of time we spent warming up leaves the outside world behind, and we move our head into what’s happening at the gym.
At the end of it, we went from self-congratulatory BS (hey, we’re here), to eagerness to pick up what’s next (what can we do.) That emotional journey works really well in either large or small groups. The work that the rest of the group is doing also helps a lot.
The lesson learned isn’t obvious. Warming up marks a deliberate spiritual journey from one place to another. That applies to your life.
Hal Elrod’s book THE MIRACLE MORNING is the perfect way to warm up for your day. Issac Stegman shared this with me some time ago. I loved it when I read it but I “fell off the wagon,” after I got sick in March of this year.
I saw it before Issac recommended it, but I blew it off for whatever reason. I picked it back up a couple of months ago, and it’s worked wonders for me. I’ll give you the broad strokes of the process:
We control our days by controlling our time. We know we need to be at our best, and an entire day is made up of 16 waking hours. What if we spent one of those hours, preparing our minds, and our bodies to have a great day?
Before you “check email” or social media, you have a few moments to identify yourself and remind yourself who you are. To visualize what you’re going to get. To get a mini workout in & to dial in what you want to be when you grow up. To get out of your head and read a little bit.
Then you process your emotions – an underrated tactic – via journaling. That’s the gist of the warm up. I’ll respect Hal and not say too much because I want people reading this to buy the book.
The Benefits Of A Morning Warmup
First, I’m naturally a “scoffer”. It takes some doing to get me back into the miracle morning habit and discipline. My inner monologue sometimes trolls the world. I was – and am – skeptical.
But to be skeptical doesn’t mean anything bad. It just means we need proof it’s working.
So, this year, I had more adversity than ever. In the past, I’ve always covered everything with new sales, but I got to the point in my life where I had to create a better delivery system. New sales wouldn’t help when our delivery system was broken.
The breakdowns in my business caused friction, broken relationships, and I was ultimately betrayed by a former friend. Loads of ugliness both financially and emotionally.
On the days that I did Miracle Morning (roughly half) I lived peacefully and I advanced the ball by doing my core tasks (prospecting, writing, proposing). Those core tasks solve my problems. On the days that I didn’t, things fell apart.
I was centered and fluid and “in flow” on the days when I behaved correctly.
Habits Matter When You Have a Mountain To Climb
The biggest excuse we have for not beginning our healthy habit is that we have a mountain to climb. We’re behind, we’re about to miss quota. Something is wrong in our lives so we simply don’t have time for that.
We’ll get to “optimization” someday. Right now we have to worry about (whatever problem we have). Except that, that’s a ruse. We won’t be effective in our dealing with (whatever problem we have) unless we control our days.
On the weeks that I did the Miracle Morning routine, I closed more, prospected more, and lived closer to flow. On the weeks when I didn’t, I usually simply fought to tread water.
It’s during my season of adversity – especially – when we need to be circumspect and we need to build good habits. When things are going well, it’s a simple matter to just roll on.
Warming up – spending an hour on your mind and body first thing – is a core habit we should build. It will allow you to act in a way that’s closer to the “right” version of who you are. If things are messed up, you’ll be able to get a 30,000-foot view and figure out how to fix it. A few minutes a day is meaningful because things didn’t get messed up in a day.
What about you?