FEEL Great, PLAY Great: Daily practices to show up at your best

by Justin Tsui

“Success isn’t owned. It’s leased, and rent is due EVERY DAY.” 
J.J. Watt 

If you are making the time to read this article, then I assume you are probably like me and you value personal growth. Over the last few years I have become more self-aware and learned that I feel my best when I am pushing myself to grow every day, especially with my health and wellness. Like any of you I have experienced times in my life when I have allowed “being busy” to take me away from my regular wellness habits. These are the times when I don’t sleep enough, I don’t move my body enough, and I eat too many processed and refined foods. All of these habits when combined together make me feel more tired, lethargic and sluggish which then makes me feel less energetic and focused. I know that when I feel like this it does not make me feel great and it often impacts how I show up as a husband and dad. Let’s just say this version of me isn’t winning any husband or dad of the year awards anytime soon. 

Over the last few years I have become increasingly aware of how much I need and crave daily “ME” time. To make sure that I get this time on a daily basis I now schedule it every morning, regardless of what is going on in my life. I don’t allow this time to impede on family time in the morning so I schedule it before anyone else is up and about. This also ensures that my time is the most focused and productive since I only have to worry about myself. It is definitely not easy to get up early every morning and yes there are some days where I would love to stay in my nice warm and comfortable bed. But I now know that doing this is necessary for me to show up as the greatest husband and dad I can be, it has essentially turned into a non-negotiable for me. 

If you type “morning routine” into Google you will get bombarded with over 200,000,000 search results on the topic. Let’s not complicate this practice and spend too much time trying to figure out how to get the most effective morning routine. Simply starting to take action and getting into the practice of making this a daily habit is where the power lies. By consistently investing this time and energy into yourself you will start to see and more importantly feel the positive benefits. As former U.S. President Harry Truman said “imperfect action is better than perfect inaction.” The power of this practice really comes down to a simple mindset shift that happens little by little. This shift happens when you follow through on the commitment to prioritize yourself first thing in the morning, regardless of what’s going on in your life. 

I know that after my daily “ME” time I feel more energetic and focused which makes me feel unstoppable like a real-life superhero. When I feel like this I am more likely to show up as the best husband for my wife and the best dad to my kids. As I think back to my days an athlete this actually makes total sense because whenever I FELT  great I usually PLAYED great.  

How can you start integrating daily “ME” time? 

Practice 1 – Gratitude

  • Start your day by writing down five things that you feel grateful for today.
  • Our minds can only think about one thing at a time. You can direct your focus onto all the great things in your life or you can focus on all the things we don’t like about our life. 
  • Our brain has a built-in negativity bias (this is the “caveman” part of our brain in action) so it has a tendency to pick our perceived “negatives” and the potential dangers in our lives. This has kept us safe and alive for thousands of years but is not always helpful in today’s modern age where we are not forced to run away from sabretooth tigers.  
  • To feel your best you need to train your brain to focus for all the amazing things in your life. 

Practice 2 – Silence

  • I am someone who is naturally wired to always want to be “doing” but I have learned that there is a power in learning to be still. 
  • Every morning I sit in silence and use this time to meditate. If you are a person of faith you can use this time to pray or if you simply just want to sit still then that’s great too. 
  • There is a misconception that meditation is about sitting in a field, turning off your thoughts and having some Zen-like existence where you never get frustrated, mad or angry. The real power of meditation is that it teaches you how to be more responsive and less reactive with your feelings and emotions.   
  • You learn to widen the space between the emotions you are feeling (which are very real) and your action (your response becomes more conscious and intentional). 

Practice 3 – Movement 

  • Emotions are just energy in motion. To feel your best you need to move your body on a daily basis because humans are designed to move. This is an opportunity to get the heart rate up, blood flowing and muscles warm-up. I rarely hear anyone say I really feel a lot worse after that movement. 
  • Humans are designed to move and it helps us feel great.
  • If you need a perspective shift get outside and into nature. There is something that happens to our minds when we get outside, breathe in fresh air, see the beauty of the outdoors. All of a sudden we are connected to our body and we slowly get outside of our heads. 

Here’s my challenge to each of you – make the commitment to start waking up 15 minutes earlier every day. Start your day by prioritizing time for the most important person in your life – you. You’ll slowly start to feel the amazing power that gets unleashed inside of you when you prioritize your wellness and this will then help you show up as the best partner and parent you can be.

If you’re not willing to invest the time then simply be honest with yourself and say that feeling my best is not a priority right now. At least you’ll remind yourself that YOU always have a choice on how YOU show up in the world.

How are YOU choosing to show up TODAY?

About the Author – Justin Tsui

Author

I recently left a successful 15-year teaching and coaching career to focus full-time on the Win Each Day community. I coach other men 💪 to PLAY at their highest potential in all areas of life 🚀. I’m committed to helping inspire and empower more men to create and cultivate the life of THEIR dreams.

Ways to connect:

  • Follows us on Instagram – @win_each_day

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