When I was a kid I mostly followed my impulses. I was the kind of neighborhood kid who was usually up for anything, and could be counted on to say "yes" to adventures - whether we were searching for old bottles at the old dump, or swimming "marathons" up and down our local beach. We spent a lot of time exploring the streets and backyards of our small town barefoot or on our bikes, we would rarely plan beyond lunchtime.
I don't remember feeling a lot of time pressure - or, really, any pressure at all - but I did have a lot of energy and verve for life.
Now is different. Don't get me wrong - I like to think I am still up for anything... but I can't count on trusting my instincts and whim to motivate me to get out and play, explore, move my body and relax my mind. There's just no room. Now, the key to sustaining my energy and staying on track is the complete opposite. A daily plan.
It took me about twenty years to figure out that a plan beyond lunchtime is the key to sustaining the whole day. I struggled to accept that - in order to have the energy, enthusiasm and willingness to dive into life the way I want to - I have to create structure and predictability into every day.
AND every week. FOR EXAMPLE: Monday swim, Tuesday strength, Wednesday run, Thursday walk, Friday swim, Saturday rest, Sunday long run... etc. this is my ideal week and if I miss a session here or there, no foul... but to sustain the PATTERN. That’s the key.
A coach friend (Scott) told me that if you want to up your fitness and endurance game, you have to start with FREQUENCY: as in - get active every day.
That’s a game changer for most people.
So, my 5th-Decade-New-Norm is to create a rhythm to the days and weeks that thereby allows me to follow the impulses, when and if they show up.
Our lives are after all, in the broadest sense of the words, about fitness and endurance. And who doesn’t want to be able to run barefoot and explore in the sand dunes any time they feel the urge?