exercise · happy

Purposefully crafting your daily yeah moment

lalisI was looking at my daughter swinging on a tire last Sunday afternoon. She was playing. She was enjoying life, rejoicing in the moment. I heard her say “yohoo” several times.

Kids don’t have any concern about what’s next, no big responsibilities. I think this is the reason they are free to just enjoy and don’t worry. They can craft dozens of yeah moments in a day.

We as adults don’t swing as much anymore. We get dizzy faster, or at least I do. We are thinking about how much time we have left to go home to do stuff. I thought, well at least we should try to craft every day a precious moment, a yeah moment. They can come in randomly, but I think it needs to be purposefully planned.

 

The feeling of a yeah moment is like the sensation you experience when you hold your baby minutes after born, receive an award because of your achievement, or when you kiss someone for the first time after a long anticipation. Your heart beats faster. Dopamine levels go up. You face gets red. You cry.

It is hard to get events like this every day. But, what if there is an activity that we can often do and we can give ourselves a pad in the back for the job well done? So I sat down and jot ideas to craft a yeah moment:

  • Business: Succeeding in getting new members for my organization, getting more people compliant to OGC standards, giving great talk or giving a great class at UMBC.
  • Personal: Writing a blog post that can help a lot of people, sing a song, dance salsa, get into the mountains with my bike, and run.

You need to be thoughtful about this. And even before it happened think about the yeah moment. I went home after teaching yesterday night and while having the late dinner I said to myself: “Thank you God because you allow me to give a great class, students laughed, they were all able to install and run Python, they learned about Big Data and I finished on time. Yeah !”. Yes, I purposefully finish with a “Yeah”, felt happy, and took a zip of wine.

I also decided that I will write at least one blog post per week and run. I want to create as much yeah moments I can in a day. And, I have found I get a higher yeah moment when running.

I run around a beautiful small lake in Kentlands in Gaithersburg, MD. This is how it looks:

This is what I do:

  • Due to the fact that I am a Lion chronotype (which I discovered after I read the Power of When book) my best exercise is at 5 PM.  I can testify that it is working for me. After years of trying to do exercise first thing in the morning I changed my schedule.
  • I put Pandora, “Happy” station.
  • I start Runmeter. Being a data geek I track all my runs and bike rides. It is a free app and synchronizes with Strava. Strava is fun because it allows you to compare to others. I take it as benchmark app.
  • I run about a 5K at least 3 times per week. It is divided in segments approximately as follows
    • 0-1 miles: Happy warm up with happy music. Normal pace.
    • 1-1.5 miles:  Yeah sprint moments: I try to feel I’m a super athlete. Two to fours sprints (5-10 seconds) to speed as much as I can.  The music helps a ton. These sprints create several yeah moments.
    • 1.5 miles – 2 miles: Gratitude. I disconnect from headphones. I recap the day and give thanks to God about good things that happened during the day, e.g. people I had lunch with, people I have helped, great emails that I got, the great weather, etc.
    • 2-3 miles: Goals recap. I think about my goals and leave the ideas flow. I read my main goal from my phone (See previous post). Creativity pumps in crazy during this 5 minutes period  (ok 8-9 minutes period).
    • 3-3.5 miles. Happy music again. Warm Down.

A screenshot from the Strava app:

run-results

Final thought: Will be great to have a yeah moments tracker or a yeah diary.

 

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