Ironically, I kept putting off writing this article. I just didn’t have the energy or inspiration. Stamina to me means to keep pushing through obstacles until you achieve your goal. But I wasn’t even doing it myself.
Definition of Stamina:
According to the Collins English Dictionary, Stamina is the physical or mental energy needed to do a tiring activity for a long time. But also, resistance to fatigue, illness, hardship, etc.; endurance
Just like a dog, sometimes I get busier than I should be. It’s not fashionable to use the word should anymore, but I do know my limits. When I exceed them I don’t have stamina. When I exceed them I become overwhelmed and feel weak.
Dogs don’t know how to pace themselves. They keep going until they can’t. Our 9-year-old dog will tell us when he’s too tired. He simply plants his feet and refuses to walk anymore. But the very word stamina implies that you are saving yourself for something. You want to save your energy for some event or something in the future. This verse from a beautiful old song says it best.
‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation of peace for evermore;
till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest’.
This could apply to anyone awaiting the consummation of peace or anything else.
My typical strategy, however, is to pace myself. I know that if I run around to the beach and do shopping and gardening all day on Saturday I may be too tired to go out on Sunday. If I work to increase my endurance I might have enough energy for the next day. But it seems much safer to not try to take on too much all at once, although there are times when it is necessary. For instance, what if you are given a big project at work and it must be done by the end of the week. You will find a way to get it done, to finish the project and to do a good job at it, and in the process, your endurance and stamina are increased.
A Few Ways to Increase Stamina:
• Both endurance and strength exercises improve stamina but don’t overdo it
• Focus on the goal or end result
• You need to push yourself to improve
• You can’t last without adequate sleep
• Exercise and sleep are synergistic, improving each other
• Think positively
• Use visualization
• Manage your expectations
• Learn to delay gratification and let things go (4)
What do you tell yourself to make yourself able to work harder faster or smarter? I used to tell myself I can do anything that I have to do, meaning that I could work long hours if that’s what I had to do to make enough money to support myself and my son.
As I get older, I get more tired. I am currently working about 30 to 35 hours a week as well as other commitments and it seems like too much at times. I tell myself now I just have to work one day and that I have Tuesday off. Or I just have to work two or three more days and then I have two days off. But what do I do on my days off? Do I make them worth looking forward?
Giving yourself something to look forward to may just be the very best strategy for gaining stamina.