For me, even the thought of competing in an endurance event comes down to sacrifices and opportunity costs. I gave up my quest for perfection a long time ago but I would still like to give all the people and things in my life the attention that they want and deserve. Staying in shape is a commitment. I mean, even if you’re going to walk the dog around the block, you have to give up something else that you could be doing at that moment. Multi-tasking aside, it is difficult to do more than a couple of things at a time and do them well.
So many things pull at a soon to be working dad of four. Scheduling is a key component, yes. So too is being intentional about your workouts, practices, planning sessions and rest. But I think that having a set of foundational values to guide you is paramount.
Your foundational values are a key part of your personal mission statement. Dr. Steve Portenga, sports psychologist at Denver University, defines the make up of your mission statement as;
WHAT YOUR BEST LOOKS LIKE IN EVERYTHING YOU DO
PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
My foundational values spring from my love of Christ, who literally saved my life. My list looks like this;
- Faith/Love God
- Love Others
- Financial Security
Love God. Sounds a little subjective, right? Well, when you believe that God is the source of the beauty of nature and the intricate workings of our physiology it suggests that we look at the world and those that inhabit it with wonder and amazement. This value keeps me humble, loving nature, respectful of both persons and their experiences and helps me to love others.
One of the best things about playing sports, whether your 10 or 70 is the camaraderie that you build with other participants. The more you get out there and hang with others, the more compassionate, helpful and friendly you’ll be. We’re all in this together.
All other values get put on the shelf when we don’t have our health. Having this as a foundational value forces me to be proactive. I make a point of eating healthy and I’m at a point in my life where I can pretty much make it gourmet. Sesame encrusted ahi tuna anyone? Chia, strawberry, and lime, smoothie? Beet, apple and carrot juice freshly squeezed in the kitchen? That’s what I’m talking about. Health as a value also keeps me active. It’s my motivation today to finish this post and head out on a bike ride.
Why do it if you are not going to do it well? Excellence for excellence’s sake. This is not a value in which I compare myself to others as much as it is a value that drives me to be the best that I can be no matter what I am doing.
Who can focus on excellence or any other value when bill collectors are calling? Putting your financial house in order doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a multi-millionaire. It means you live within your means, you take care of your financial responsibilities and you’re not a burden on anyone else.
That’s the five foundational values that I use to guide my decision making each day. What about you? What would go on your list of five?