Whenever I feel like exercise, I lie down until the feeling passes. – Robert Hutchens
Most often when leadership is discussed, exercise is not among the qualities associated with it. However, both PHYSICAL and MENTAL exercise are essential to leading well.
Rather than go through what you can do for mental and physical exercise, or what the benefits would be, I’m going to give you four actions that will translate to success with any exercise you take on. You might think this is cheating but with a 350 word limit I call it being creative.
First, you need a goal: What are you’re hoping to achieve? Goals can change as you accomplish them or realize they aren’t right for you at the moment. However, if there is no goal, you will not be able to structure for the right activities.
Secondly, you need a plan! What are you’re going to do? If you’re not sure what you’re going to do your work outs will be less than adequate. It is most likely that you will stop too soon, or waste the time you have to work out trying to think of what you’re going to do next. This is true also for mental exercise.
Thirdly, you need a way to track progress! Goals and plans are great, but we must have a way to track our progress, to make sure we’re on the right path to our goals. Andy Stanley says it this way, “Our actions, not our desires, get us to where we want to be.” (Just for effect, read that last quote again)
Lastly, you need a break! This break isn’t to stop and do nothing. This break is so that you can evaluate what you’ve done, why you’ve done it, and what would be good to do differently. How often you do this is dependent on you and your goals. If you know you tend to get side tracked you will want to stop and evaluate more often to check yourself and renew your sense of purpose.
Just so that you can’t say I didn’t give you any direction for exercises, two great sources to help guide your mental and physical exercise are:
The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry