“Success Is the Progressive Realization of a Worthy Ideal” -Earl Nightingale
When you start to look around, it is interesting to see all of the different types of people that are out in the world. I think this is such an amazing thing about people, the fact that we can be so different, yet deep down share so many of the same attributes, goals, problems and ambitions. With all of the access into people’s lives’ through online platforms and social media, especially those of the rich and famous, it can feel discouraging or at least intimidating when seeing how much accomplishment people are able attain in their life. Some people seem to have more hours in the day than the rest of us based on how much they are able to get done in a day. I know that I have struggled to get through my work day with spare time to do some laundry, make dinner, and try to squeeze in a little reading before going to bed and repeating this same sequence the next day. For me, this was the routine for my first year working as a full time Physical Therapist Assistant at an outpatient physical therapy clinic. I would wake up about an hour before going to work. I would give myself enough time to rush through a shower, possibly some breakfast or more likely MY COFFEE, then rush to work. When I came home, I would try to fit in a workout, make dinner, then, there I would find myself at the end of my day. After feeling more and more anxious about not making progress towards my personal goals outside of work, I decided to run a little thought experiment.
What if I woke up HOURS before I needed to be at work and started working on my personal goals first? Could this allow me to get more done in my day? Or, at least make sure that I don’t neglect the important things such as my daily movement practice and morning journaling. I thought this may also be a good way to establish a consistent Morning Routine that could take pressure off of me the rest of the day to be productive.
I decided to give this a shot and committed to myself that I would try 30 days of getting up at 5am during the week. I needed to be at work at either 9am or 10am, depending on the day and would therefore have multiple hours each morning to work on my personal goals. I would also force myself to stick to a bedtime of 9pm to allow for a full 8 hours of sleep. Because I am inherently lazy, (which is what my previous schedule had taught me), I figure, if I could stick to this schedule, it wouldn’t allow for my laziness to get in the way.
Or in other words, If I Designed a better schedule, I wouldn’t have to rely on my Discipline.
I’m not having to be discipline with limiting my sleep or burning the candle at both ends. Instead, I am just shifting my sleep time to start a little earlier and end a little earlier which allows me to have time when no one else is around, to take care of my own goals. I waste less evening time and therefore have more morning time to create opportunities.
At first, as in with any other change, getting up this early was uncomfortable. But, change is always uncomfortable, and once I was able to get through this stage of a few weeks, I began to almost immediately start to see the fruits of my labor. I am now over a year in, and continue to see the benefits of putting in the time for myself daily, before going to work and doing what I am paid for. It is too easy to get caught in complacency with life if you are not constantly working on getting better and improving yourself daily. I am much more consistent with my daily movement practice and exercise. I have been able to read and consume audiobooks at about 3-4x the rate as before, I also seem to have much less stress the rest of my day at work. I believe this is due to the fact that by the time I get home from work, all I really have to do is eat dinner and relax before going to sleep. Knowing that I have already accomplished so many of my goals for the day, allows me to be better at focusing on the task at hand and not thinking about other projects or commitments, as these are already taken care of.
Remember, it is important to know yourself and consider your personal strengths and weaknesses so that you can design around these to optimize the life that you want. Because I personally have a combination of the desire to accomplish and learn constantly but have daily lazy tendencies, I am constantly working on ways to design my time around my faults to create the ideal life for me that I desire. Life is a game of constant trial and error, adjust and pivot, and guess and checks. As each day provides new opportunities to learn and grow, I just do my best and try to get better with every attempt. And just as Earl Nightingale so cleverly points out that since “Success is the Progressive Realization of a Worthy Ideal”, as long as we are working towards our goal, we are successful.
Success Equals Progress
Author : Jordan Proudfoot
Here are my thoughts and insights into fitness and wellness to be the best you possible.