Our habits and routines make us who we are. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You reap what you sow.”
If you sow bad habits, you will reap the outcome.
If you sow good habits, you will reap the benefits.
How you train each day, the habits you are sowing, will determine the person that you ultimately become.
An Example of Training for Life
“A Champion doesn’t become a champion in the ring, he’s merely recognized in the ring. His ‘becoming’ happens during his daily routine.” – Joe Louis
With over 25 consecutive wins, Joe Louis is remembered as one of the greatest heavyweight boxers ever. Every day, he had the same exact training routine. Early wake up, followed by an eight-mile run, quick shower, big breakfast, rowing in a heavy boat, afternoon nap, boxes with sparring partners, chill time listening to music, dinner, radio, and 10 PM bedtime.
Each day was a very similar routine. In addition to his routine, Joe had many healthy habits. He stayed away from sweets and starchy foods. He was always sure to get at least seven hours of good sleep. He was even sure to study academics, so that he was comfortable around journalists. The ring didn’t make him victorious, Joe Louis’ training is what developed him into a champion. Victory was won in the every day.
What are you training for?
Joe Louis knew exactly what he was training for – to be one of the best heavyweight champions of all time. He reached his goal by relentlessly pursuing healthy routines each day.
As men and leaders, we must know what we are training for. Keep the end in mind. If you know what you are working towards, you will be able to say “Yes” to the important things and “No” to the things that don’t matter.
What is your goal? Consider these questions and write it down.
- Are you training to be a strong leader in your home? Invest in your family.
- Are you training to make a difference in your workplace or to achieve a certain position? Make it happen. Take the class. Ace the interview.
- Are you training to be in top physical shape and live the healthiest life possible? Carve out time. Don’t eat junk. Get active.
- Are you training to be strong in your faith? Spend time in the Word. Find a mentor. Remember, iron sharpens iron.
What Needs to Go?
Louis didn’t win 25 consecutive championships by letting distractions into his life. Starches, sweets, and late nights had no place in his journey to victory.
On the road towards our own goals, there will be things that will need to go. As we continue to keep the end in mind, figure out what habits don’t contribute to your desired outcome.
With your goals in mind, make a list of distractions that have no place. Make a place to get rid of them.
- Is there a friend that needs to go? Is bad company corrupting who you desire to be? If you aren’t able to be a good influence, the friendship needs to go.
- Is there a food or habit that you need to kick? As you are training for physical health, get rid out the junk that pushes you back. Six beers doesn’t equal a six pack.
- Is there a job you need to leave in order to step into something greater? Comfort isn’t always the best option. Sometimes, we have to step out in faith.
- Is there a something else that you know has to go? Whatever that thing is that I didn’t mention, get rid of it. You know what it is.
Healthy Habits for Life
No doubt, Joe Louis’ habits are what helped him reach his goals. He woke up every day and trained with the end in sight. Joe was determined to be a champion. He had a goal and weeded out the bad in order to make time for the important.
As we do this in our own lives, there are some basic habits and routines that we can use to develop our own lifestyle training plan.
- Personal Development
Personal development is imperative in caring for your overall health. It is one of the greatest investments you can make in your own life. Read books, listen to podcasts, attend conferences, and find mentors that will help you develop spiritually, physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
- Family Time
Be sure to regularly add family time into your routine. Spending time connecting with and developing your own family is of utmost importance. Having a healthy family life is foundational in becoming a strong leader. Serve and love your wife. Spend time playing with your children. Set goals as a family.
- Physical Care
Spending time on your physical health in essential in creating healthy routines. Schedule out time for exercise. Join a cross-fit class or go outside and chop some wood. Whatever you need to do in order to spend time getting stronger physically, do it.
The same goes for what you put into your body. The old saying is, “You are what you eat.” Don’t eat tons of junk. You get one body, fill it with real foods that will fuel you in your journey to the ring.
- Career Development
You’ve got to make money somehow. Find something that you enjoy doing and get great at it. Don’t settle for being mediocre at your job. Get another degree. Read another book. Take another class. Work towards excellence.
These are just a few areas to think about as you develop your own plan. If we are going to live a life well lived, we need to have routines in place that help us reach our goals.
Joe Louis didn’t win his championships on accident. Every victory was won in the simple dedication of purposeful training.
Know what you are training for – your goal.
Figure out what needs to go – the distractions.
Be intentional in sowing healthy life habits. You become a champion in the day to day.