I often say that the secret to a great life is to figure out how to have a great day, then just repeat that.
Nothing is more important to me than my relationship with God, and I know that the quality of my day is going to be a direct reflection of how it starts. If I start my day with God – if I read my Bible, pray, and meditate – then my day WILL be better.
I am also committed to my body, and I am learning the importance of beginning my day with an 8-10 minute workout. I perform a high intensity interval workout that consists of 16 intervals. Each interval includes 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest (this is called a Tabata.)
My intervals consist of a variety of exercises, all of which can be performed in my office, living room, or bedroom. Examples of exercises include: running in place, jumping jacks, kettlebell swings, jumping rope, squats, push ups, etc.
So, why have I found that it’s better for me to do this before I have my special time with God? Isn’t it more appropriate to put God first? Doesn’t 1 Timothy 4:8 say, “Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future.”
Our success is found in our routine. It probably doesn’t matter what order we do our routine, as long as we have a routine that feeds our mind, body and spirit. My morning workout is only 8 minutes and I find that I go into my time of scripture reading, prayer, and meditation much more focused when my blood is pumping, my heart is racing, and my body is more oxygenated. I enjoy a rush of endorphins (feel-good chemicals) which allow me to focus more clearly on my time with God.
I also find that I often skip my workout when I have my quite time first. It seems that after I read, pray, and worship, that I check e-mail, get on Facebook, and my workout gets skipped.
Here’s another thing: have you ever read Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy? The basic premise of the book is that if you have a list of things to accomplish, do the most unpleasant things first to get them out of the way. I’m not going to lie, I’d rather read than exercise.
By the way, my 8-minute workout in the morning is not typically my only workout of the day. I often do something more significant later in the day, but if my day goes haywire and I’m not able to do anything else, at least I got my 8 minutes in.
I’m open to your feedback. What works for you?