I’m not sure what resolutions you have made for the new year but I do know the one you need to make if you haven’t done so already. This year I encourage you to take a daily Thank You Walk (or Run) — a walk/run of gratitude – for most high school players this really should be a run.
How does it work? You simply take a run... around the neighborhood, the warning track of your baseball field, on a treadmill or wherever and while running you think about all the things, big and small, that you are grateful for.
The research shows you can’t be stressed and thankful at the same time so when you combine gratitude with physical exercise, you give yourself a double boost of positive energy. You flood your brain and body with positive emotions and natural anti-depressants that uplift you rather than the stress hormones that drain and slowly kill you.
I started this a couple of years ago at the recommendation of Jon Gordon and although didn’t get to do it everyday – I was close. Then the next year I was closer to everyday and now, I will not miss one day - it makes a huge difference in my mindset, life and work. I have seen my wife, Natasha do this for more than 20 years and she always comes back in a much more positive, happy mood. The things that have come into my mind during these walks are incredible. But it’s not just ideas that come to you. You also find peace of mind, clarity, and strength to take on challenges in life, school and of course, baseball.
I’m confident that a daily Thank You Walk/Run will make you a better leader, student, teammate, son and person. Why is this important for a high school guy, you ask – soon - you will be making your college decision – the most important decision to this point in your life – you need to be thinking clear, understand who YOU are and what YOU want. It’s time to get into good habits - You can’t do that when you have all these other people (friends, coaches, parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, neighbors, parent’s friends, grandparents and anyone who can) – tell you what they think you should do. Remember this is YOUR decision, YOUR life and only YOU get the opportunity to live with YOUR decision.
Think of your mind like a garden. If you weed the negative and feed the positive for just one day it won’t do much. However, if you weed and feed your mind daily, think about how beautiful the garden will look in a week, then a month, then a year. Over a lifetime you will create a magnificent garden by feeding it support, nourishment and gratitude. Ten minutes a day is all it takes – my walk is 30-45 minutes because I have a lot that I am grateful for – but we all have ten minutes.
Stay Positive and have a great 2017!