Socks, Shorts, 1, 2, 3, Swish!
Those of you who grew up IU basketball fans in the late 80’s know exactly who I am referencing with my opening statement. Steve Alford was an IU great. He was never the biggest or fastest guy on the court, but he dominated the college game during his time at IU. I remember attending a Steve Alford basketball camp (as a camper) and listening to Alford talk about his daily drills and workouts. His daily routine was insane, but it was this routine that ultimately made him special.
People who are the best at what they do are often like Alford. They have a specific routine that gets them in the right physical, mental, and emotional frames of mind to compete and to keep moving forward. These people don’t have to worry about how to succeed, they just trust in their set routine and execute. If you take the planning out of your daily equation, all you have left to do is rely on the routine of the job to push you forward.
I’m not sure why Steve Alford’s famous free throw routine popped into my head this week, but it was the right time for this message. This past month has provided many distractions that have gotten me away from some of the routines that I traditionally made part of my daily life. It is time to get back to doing those small things that keep me focused and moving forward for the people I serve.
Prayer, gratitude walks, reading, journalling, and exercise are five things I strive to make part of my daily routine. When I stray from these commitments, I notice my energy level, patience, along with many other aspects of my life, begin to decrease to my detriment. (This has happened far too often than I would like to admit in the past month.) These specific routines are the ones that get me in the right physical, mental, and emotional frame of mind to move forward. When they don’t happen, life becomes stagnant and all aspects of my life suffer. I know each item is small in itself, but it is what helps me get better, and feel better about each day.
I believe our routines need to focus on both outward and inward growth. Outward growth can help us be better at work and in our personal lives. It can make us better leaders, better friends, and better family members. Yet, too many times we forget about setting up routines that support inward growth. The routines that we can insert in our daily schedules to charge our own batteries everyday. I believe life is about service and selflessness, but we are no good to anyone around us if we do not first take care of ourselves.
So, here’s a question to consider: How is your own routine helping you move toward your life goals? Or maybe the question should be this: Is your routine helping you plan and achieve your life goals?
Maybe an even more important question: Are you willing to let go of the outcome and focus on daily routines, trusting that they will move you toward your life goals?
If you can answer yes to those questions, then trust the process, keep working and it will happen. It may not happen in your desired time frame, but try and let go of a limit on the amount of time to achieve any desired outcome and trust in the process of getting better.
Pay attention to your routines in the upcoming week. What routines are helping you move forward? What routines are keeping you where you are? What routines do you need to prioritize to take care of yourself in the business of life?
Ask yourself each day: Are my daily routines, tasks, and habits moving me to where I want to be? Your answer will tell you to stay the course or to make a change! The small things sometimes matter the most.
Keep learning, keep growing, keep sharing!