Daily Habit Practice
Matt Wilson (aka Dub) from Dub Strength and I will be doing more joint ventures. To start, first and foremost, we will helping you to develop strong mental practices. These will be daily weekday tasks (and one for the weekend) that will require some effort of mental fortitude but should only take 5 to 10 minutes. Like the body and our attempt to make it more resilient, we also want to stimulate the mind. By working these assignments into our daily practices we hope to formulate strong habits that make us better. The idea is to get at least one of these done, especially on the designated day but if you’re feeling industrious, please feel free to add more. Our goal for you (and ourselves) is continue to build quality habits that allow our “mental strength” or “capacity for adversity” to grow.
- Monday : Cold Shower (10-30 seconds, or more)
10 seconds of seemingly freezing cold water is amazing at building mental strength. To start, at the end of your normal shower, turn the dial back to cold (as cold as you can stand) for 10 seconds. Count out loud if you have to but be deliberate (i.e. One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, Three Mississippi, etc). I’ve progressed to being able to take full showers in nothing but cold water. I still enjoy the occassional hot shower but my morning showers will always at least end on cold.
- Tuesday: 10 minute walk or Park As Far Away As Possible (PAFAAP).
Get in those extra steps. When I was first recovering from cancer my daily exercise was a simple walk. I’d set a 5 minute timer when I stepped out my door. That way when the timer went off, I knew I needed to walk at least that far back to house. It’s not much but that’s the point of all this. The small stuff adds up to big reward.
- Wednesday: Meditate (3-5 minutes)
Surprisingly, just sitting distraction free for even three minutes can be tough. In our fast paced, email dinging, text receiving lives, we are constantly bombarded with distractions. By stopping to sit and concentrate on our body and our breathing we bring awareness to the present. There’s lot of resources out there for guided meditation. Either apps, Spotify, or YouTube. When in doubt just ask.
- Thursday: Box Breathing (3-5 minutes)
This piggybacks off of meditating. While meditating and box breathing are both distraction free, box breathing deals with strictly controlling the breathing where meditation lets the breathing come more natural. Box breathing is a 4 count inhalation, 4 count breath hold, 4 count exhalation, 4 count hold, repeat. As with mediation, there are lots of available and free resources out there.
- Friday: Gratitude Practice
Especially on Fridays, try to think of at least two things that you are grateful for. Initially this will be easy, but as you run down the list (try not to repeat the same thing each week) you’ll start to find that this is where the “practice” comes into play. Like meditation, this helps bring awareness to the present and some of the things that we are grateful for we wouldn’t have bothered to notice before. Something as simple as some sunshine after days of rain can be something to be grateful for. No matter the darkest days we will always have something that can bring a smile to our face. Write those things down.
- Weekend: what are you looking forward to
Gratitude practice is about the here and now. Excitement is geared towards the upcoming week. Instead of dreading Mondays write down one or two things that you have coming up that you can’t wait to get to. Dinner with friends, a night out with the significant other, testing a heavy deadlift. Dub said this really well on his blog, “The purpose of this is to look forward to the coming week/month/year and to keep in mind the events that give you purpose, pleasure, excitement, etc.”