I was recently having a conversation with one of my clients and we were talking about establishing goals and the key steps of execution to get there.
We pinpointed that even regular life experiences can be considered as “goals” and striving to achieve even these “regular” goals are just as important as other, more extreme goals that we set for ourselves.
For example, she was having issues with sleeping and my first set of questions to her included: “What is your preparation for sleeping? What kind of routine have you created to prepare your body to get to a point of relaxation so you can fall asleep?”
She didn’t have a reply as her lifestyle has been to just work and concern herself with work-related items right up until it was time to sleep. It’s a practice that assumes the body itself knows it’s time to stop thinking, stop working, and stop problem-solving and to just be at peace and rest. That does work for some, but even then, it may be the result of exhaustion and not of a successful and healthy transition into another stage of the day, which is the resting stage.
Our bodies really enjoy routine, so much so that in the fitness arena we talk about muscle confusion. This practice challenges athletes to alter their workout routine in extreme ways and that prevents their muscles from getting used to a “normal” routine. Ignoring this practice can usher in a plateau effect that doesn’t allow the person to continue to push toward set goals. The body needs something to shake up the routine to continue to achieve results and hit those goals.
I pride myself on ending my professional responsibilities and work routine at 7:30 p.m. nightly. After 7:30 p.m. (unless I have an event), my workday is over. I am no longer a coach, a writer, or a problem-solver. Now I just become Justin and in that evening time, I allow myself to relax. I eat dinner, watch sports or some Netflix series and prepare myself for relaxation.
Preparation is so much more important than we give credit to it. Furthermore, it’s the preparation for things that we may feel don’t need it, that, in fact, may actually require the most.
For instance, for my married or long-term relationship folks, how important is intimacy? We understand that it may mean different things depending on who you ask but preparing for intimacy is something that is lacking in long-term relationships, and it can make all the difference. Ladies, let’s say your significant other runs you some bath water, puts a bath bomb in there, has dinner cooked (or even delivered) and after your bath, has your favorite drink waiting for you. Maybe it’s wine or a cocktail. It’s followed up by a nice massage. This type of intimacy allows you to feel relaxed, positive and maybe even a little frisky. The effort it took to create this evening for you is very much appreciated. It took time to create this moment for you and it brings your focus into the present. Enjoying the rest of your night with your other half becomes something that you value and turns up that desire and it is all the result of intentional preparation.
Being prepared is the easiest way to success. The old saying, “if you stay ready you don’t have to get ready,” is very true. When you truly prepare for something, it allows you to play through it in your mind and to see all the angles. You may not be able to predict everything, but you definitely have a one-up on the competition.
Athletes spend their lives preparing. Doctors spend years and years undertaking planned and rigorous training. High-level achievers do high-level things. If we spent more time to stop and think about how we can be better prepared for attaining our goals and desires, success wouldn’t seem so difficult.
Challenge yourself and challenge your habits. Create the plan and don’t just prepare for the goal, prepare for the plan. The more preparation time you spend getting ready for small achievements will help you when the lights are bright and you are on the spot. It’s all about the practice – practicing physically, mentally and emotionally.
So get out there and work. Get out there and practice. Ensure that you focus. And finally, remember that it’s not practice alone that leads to perfection – it’s perfect practice that leads to perfection. And perfection requires preparation. Prepare your perfection!