For exercise, I like to walk, not jog. Walking lets me multitask in that I get to do several things such as exercise, enjoy nature, listening to a podcast or an audiobook, thinking, reflecting, and generating ideas. Nothing invigorates me more than a good one hour walk at a park near where I live.
I walk the whole course except when I come to this hill (shown in the picture). I jog this part. I not only want to get my heart rate beating a little faster, but test my focus. I do this every day as a way to remind me that when you do something hard, you got to think it, plan it and then do it.
Here is what I do before I get closer to the bottom of the hill.
Keep the end goal in mind, which is to jog without stopping to the top stake located fifty feet past the top of the hill (on the left in the picture).
Steps I follow
1) Get control of the breathing
2) Get control of the pace
3) Keep the head down to focus on the next step and not look up. When I look up, I lose control of my pace, breath, and focus and really struggle. I used to stop when I did this.
4) Keep myself occupied by listening to a podcast or an audiobook.
5) Focus on one step at a time until I get to the top and then continue my walk. I take a breath to reflect and say I am now ready to climb different kinds of hills for the rest of the day.
This helps me better focus on whether I am working on a book, a speech, or a workshop.
When I get to the top, I feel good. I know it is not a big deal for joggers, but it is a big deal for me since I can't jog the whole course due to the pain in the metatarsal part of my left leg.
The jog up the hill reminds me that we are climbing hills every day and with some plan, thought and resolve, you can make it to the top and continue your journey till you come across another hill. With more jogging up the hill, it gets manageable but never any easier. And that is a good metaphor for to keep in mind when you take on a physical challenge.
The reason I am pointing this personal thing I do is that you can also take on some small physical challenge and use it as a way to motivate yourself to do something hard every day. If you can't walk or jog, then perhaps you can solve a puzzle, meditate or do yoga. Using a process to do one thing can help clear up how to tackle something hard in another area.
Jay Oza is a writer, speaker, executive coach. He makes people thrive on high stakes stage whether it's for a job interview, a sales presentation or an important speech. He is the author of the book Winning Speech Moments: How to Achieve Your Objective with Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere. Please download the speech checklist and the speech workbook to help you with your next high stakes speech.
You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-847-9877. Please contact him if you would like to attend his workshop on "Interviewing is the Most Important Skill for Success Today" to accelerate getting a good high-paying job and developing a critical skill for success.