From across the room a siren begins wailing at 7am snapping my eyes open, and propelling me across the room to swipe the sleep button and stop the screeching. About 10 alarms are set to go off in succession each minute from now if I don't turn them off, so with blurry eyes and heavy fingers, I quickly unlock my phone, disable the impending noise makers, and take a deep breath. I am not a morning person.
After carefully making my bed perfectly, I set to work whipping up four eggs atop corn tortillas, cooked in olive oil, and topped with avocado, tomatoes, cheese, and Cholula hot sauce - 1100 calories to start the day with a bang. I sit at my desk to eat my breakfast, watching one of the gems that I have bookmarked as a motivational video for Monday mornings. It might be a TED talk, a kiting video, or a montage of motivational quotes, but whatever it is, it has been carefully vetted to ensure that I finish up my eggs with a high level of stoke to take into the day. Finally, I throw on some music while I wash the dishes, to get pumped up for my morning gym session.
A few months ago, I realized that my weekend regatta participation (whether as a competitor or a coach) was throwing off my ability to get motivated, and get back into my weekly routine after driving back on Sunday nights. Every Friday, I would resolve to stick to my routines while I was away, and every weekend, I would loose my resolve, just in time to disrupt my weekly groove. To remedy the situation, I began planning a Monday morning routine to get me out of bed early, help me get a jump on my daily nutrition goals, and ensure that by 10am, I was walking out of the gym feeling good about my productivity.
When you find yourself routinely falling short in areas of your training or your life that you have identified as important, having a routine to help ease into the activity can be extremely helpful. On light air days, instead of just scrapping a practice, get in the habit of spending half and hour on the water doing something simple. You might work on linked tacks, rudder-out-of-the-water, or even just sitting next to a buoy for ten minutes without moving. You don't have to give up your whole afternoon just floating around in no wind, but try making a small commitment like twenty or thirty minutes before calling it off - who knows you might discover something interesting, and get inspired to spend another hour on the water!
Building processes like this is the key to good training, in the pursuit of mastery, whether it be in sailing, school, work, or elsewhere. For those of you who need a Monday morning routine, I am going to attempt to update this blog each Monday with a new article on routine, process, and training, to help get you pumped to start a productive week.