None of us need reminding about the importance of either daily connection with God or daily exercise. okay, so for some the former is not important, but for those of us who share a faith perspective, prayer is a vital element in our daily lives. So how come we struggle with both?
Time, discipline and motivation are probably the three mot common factors for our reason for not doing wither thing well. And they are interrelated. without the discipline we don't find the time, without the motivation we don't choose the discipline and we don't make the time, with the time we lose our motivation. So what can we do?
Probably the best first step in either area, prayer or exercise, is to stop beating ourselves up about why we don't do and start getting disciplined about what we can do. I have days when I lie in bed looking at the clock that ticks away on the wall opposite me trying to work out how much time I have before I need to get up. If I apply a bit if discipline, I just get up and get started. If there's time left over after I've done whatever I plan to do, then that's great. But I'd rather that than waste the time before I start. It doesn't always work, but it's what I aim to do.
The other key factor is to have a plan. Getting up and not knowing what your exercise plan is can be just as big a time waster as staying in bed. So get a plan. The same goes for prayer. Have a plan. Not too complicated, just a simple plan. How about praying for specific things on specific days or following a simple rule like the ACTS pattern. Keep it fresh by experimenting.
The same goes for exercise. If you're going to get any benefit from regular exercise, then it needs to be varied and changed from time to time. And keeping pushing, and keep getting back on the wagon when you fall off.
Write your plan down. Don't try to hold your plan in your head. You can't, unless it's the only thing you do and you have perfect recall of every detail. I have a card with a series of exercises written on it. it acts as a prompt. The same goes for prayer.
And if you really struggle with motivation and discipline, then seek out a fellow traveller. I wish I had an exercise partner as well as a prayer partner. I know I'd be more disciplined if I had one.