The topic of transitions was introduced in an earlier post related to sports however this is an important subject that can be practiced in any area of our lives. Obviously one cannot be prepared for every transition in life and cannot practice each change as they would for a race, but can you mentally practice the steps you need in one area, such as sports, to train your mind to use that mentality in other areas of your life whether it be a different job, a new relationship or the suddenly quiet house when the kids have grown up and have left the nest.
As in sports, the aspects of time, effort, training and equipment are a part of each activity as we move through the day.
There will likely be many times during the day when your attitude and attention to detail may become distracted resulting in a mistake or accident. At these times it would be easy to judge yourself for doing something wrong or place blame on someone else for causing what happened.
The transition is the process of changing from one activity to another which includes thinking. Excelling in life is dependent not only on a daily routine but also on brain function. Any condition that affects the brain or nervous system can hinder your ability to do your best. When in a new situation your body responds to fear or stress which can trigger the brain into a fight-or-flight response. Fear, anxiety or upset causes a distracted mind just at the time when specific focus is necessary. Another important point is that during periods of fear and anxiety your body requires more energy which affects your performance later in the day.
Accidents can happen in these moments as your full attention is not on the transition movements. You can mis-handle or damage most anything you can get your hands on when distracted by a sudden movement. The good news is that you can introduce yourself to this new experience while you are setting up your transition area prior to the start of the day or activity. For example, let’s look how you can prepare for what you will wear the next day.
Sometime before going to bed gather the clothes that will have you feel great the next day. Place the clothes on the chair or bed and practice holding each piece of clothing to become familiar with how it feels. Practice putting on the shoes, shirt, glasses or tie in the order that will used to get ready for the next day. It is obvious that you have put on your shoes thousands of times so on the night before your work day do it consciously and purposefully. Intend to have this happen with similar ease the next morning. Hold it in your mind that this is the first time you have ever touched a pair of shoes or shirt
Practice lifting the shirt out of the closet being careful to notice the best placement for your hands to safely lift the hangar. Reading this you may laugh at how a shirt is safely lifted however it is not uncommon to have little room to move your feet as you may have a closet that could use some organizing. So be inspired to do some cleaning and organizing! Again, this is a new situation so when you are distracted or in a hurry time is lost making you late for work. Making an already bad situation worse is that you will not have time to eat breakfast and maybe drive too fast on the road.
When you are on a business trip or vacation practice opening the closet or clothes dresser drawers to become familiar with the movements in the unfamiliar area. Remember, even though you have changed in areas many times before it is important to recognize that you have never done this transition in this place before. It is a totally new experience for the mind and the body.
Learning transition awareness will give you a more calm mind. Practicing movements prior to the start of the day introduces your mind to the new environment and experience. Your mind will greet the new day with calmness and certainty which is then brought to the next experience of eating breakfast, driving the car or walking through the doors of your office.
Have a great day!