Rituals vs. Discipline

Do you ever wonder why coaching gurus tell you to work on your most important task in the morning? Did you ever ask yourself why Steve Jobs wore khaki pants and a black turtle neck shirt each day? Seemingly different questions, but totally related.

It's estimated that adults make over 35,000 decisions each day, while children make less than 3,000. And each decision from the time we wake until the time our head hits the pillow zaps just a little more energy. We're all hard wired with the ability to make "just so many" decisions in any one day until our energy bucket and decision making abilities are totally non-functional. As we wake up in the morning, we start making decisions regarding what to wear, what to eat, what will the kids wear/eat, what's the quickest route to work, and so on. And if you're not getting a great nights sleep, eating well, and exercising, those energy cells get zapped even quicker and you find yourself skipping your afternoon workout and cuddling up to Oprah and some Dorritos.

So back to Steve Jobs...yes, he simplified every decision he made throughout the day and developed "ROUTINES" that allowed him to keep his energy, decision making and creative juices at a peak level throughout the day.

The book "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg is probably the most in depth book on the power of habits and rituals. It details the science behind habit creation and the neurological pattern that governs any habit. I used the concepts to help me develop and sustain a workout routine. Each night I pretty much climb into bed with most of what I need to wear for my work out the next morning and place my tennis shoes close enough to my bed where theres no choice but to put them on. I side stepped the need to think about whether to work out, where to work out, are my workout clothes clean, and so on. The same concepts to create routine are used throughout the day leaving you with enough energy to make the tough and important decisions that you can't avoid.

Although I'm not advocating khaki pants and a black turtle neck, I am advocating that we discuss how to create and incorporate positive routines allowing you the the ability to keep your energy bucket full and getting the most out of each day!