10 Good Days by: Sam Cooper

10 Good Days

Quick guide to getting back on track

This winter I hit a rut. Not quite a horrible, depressing, apathetic rut. But none the less, I was not preforming as my best self. The Winter is always hard for me to muster and maintain motivation. The weather is cold, the sky is gray, the air is wet. Layers of ice grow strong around my car each night. The day is dark before I go to work, and dark again as I return from work. With days so short, it can easily feel like the day never even happened, so if I miss a workout today, well who will even notice? The day came and went in a flash so quickly, I hardly had time to think about a gym. In the midst of these cold, dark conditions I certainly have no thoughts or cares about beach weather or swimsuit season, thus the concern for taking a shirt off in public is slim to none. All elements which slowly lead to a change in lifestyle. A change not for the better.

All this compounded with a significant vitamin D deficiency (an extra bonus of living in Seattle)  leads me into an annual Winter rut.

Here is what an average Winter day can look like for me

Morning:

Sleep in. Who wants to wake up at 5 to scrape ice?

Drive to work. Sky is dark and grey, eerily comparable to my mood.

Afternoon. At work, feel tired, low energy, short on patience. The break room has cookies, so I eat a few. Maybe that will cheer me up?

After work I stay at work a little longer. Wasn’t very productive during my shift today, so time to catch up.

Evening. Leave work, the sun has set again. Even though its only 5’ o clock. Basically almost time for bed. Maybe a good movie will make the day better?

All in all, this is a very easy rut to fall into. The choices I made during the day are easy mistakes to make. And very common ones at that. A sedimentary lifestyle befell upon me gradually. But today I am tired of it. So here are my thoughts on how to spring back on track, and work to become a stronger version of myself again.

As Winter ends and Spring begins, I look for ways to make improvements. To find my groove again. I try to remember what strategies used to work for me in the past. Some years my tricks carry over seamlessly and I find my groove easily.

This year however, my old don’t work. Daily and weekly checklists don’t motivate me like they used to. Now I just feel unconfident because I wasn’t able to accomplish my goals. This is a specific personal example, however many of us know the awful feeling of failing with something I used to be good at.

I also think back to last summer when everything was “clicking” really well. I was in great shape, felt confident in myself, and possessed enough courage to inspire other people around me too. I compare all the work I would do in a good day vs how less often I workout in this Winter rut. Two works outs a day, with yoga or swimming thrown on top vs 2-3 workouts a week, which easily get replaced with other leisure activities.

I compare eating good, clean, unprocessed, often organic meals filled with fats, proteins, and proper carbs to keep my system fueled vs lots of PB&J’s, cookies, and instant microwave dinners.

Over time I have learned a few lessons about making lifestyles adjustments.

1 I cant go from a total rut, to in my perfect groove over night.

2 Trying to improve one component of my wellness often makes me feel like I am not doing enough, and my effort is therefore wasted. Some people do great with this strategy! If this works for you, then keep doing it. However, I have not had the same personal experience.

3 Trying to change all aspects of my health and wellness at once is hard! This year, it was not a realistic goal for myself.

So this season I try something new.

10 days.

10 good days is all I need. 10 good days and I can remember what being successful feels like.

What does a good day look like?

1. Workout. This is fundamental for me. Without a chance to get blood pumping and sweat dripping, I feel a mass of unorganized energy which gets transferred to the most available avenue. Often times my unused energy transfer into stress and worry full thoughts.

2. Eat well. This Winter I ate poorly. Here is what I noticed: lack of energy, consistently elevated hunger levels, bad skin with more break outs, poor sleep schedule, and overall less patience. Not to mention how slow I felt during a workout.

3. Sleep schedule. For me, I need to wake up early to feel successful. My work day doesn’t start until 8:30, so I feel like I am wasting time if im not out of bed being productive before I clock in. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man rich and wise.

It has been through my personal experience, with these three elements, all other aspects of my health and wellness fall into place exactly where they need to be.

So take 10 minutes, decide what success looks like for you, and go for it! For 10 days keep on your game no matter what. Set your alarm early, don’t even think about hitting snooze, prep the meals you need to keep fueled up, know what time you want to work out, and make it happen.

Your first few days will be tough, stay with your promise. Fight for your 10 days like your life depends on it! Because it does. Become the King/Queen of your Kingdom today. Acknowledge where you are in your health, wellness, strength, and fitness. Work to become better today.

-Sam