It’s never all or nothing

Friday, December 18, 2020 - 17:45

ShannaNew Years is coming up, thank God for new beginnings, right?! While I personally love the energy behind new goals and the possibility of change, there is also a very big pitfall that so many people get caught in when trying to improve their health and fitness.

As a coach, I’ve seen it a million times, I’ve personally fallen victim to it. You’ve probably seen it or even been a victim too. It goes like this; Sally is so excited to eat healthy and get in shape in January. She found a program, joined a gym, created a sleep/recovery plan and even has the first week of meals planned out. January 1st hits and she nails it, checks down the board. January 2nd comes and Sally’s husband gets called to work a double, she’s left with the kids and no sitter so she can’t make it to the gym. Sally’s frustrated that she will miss a day of her plan but is determined to stay committed. That night the baby is up on and off teething, Sally oversleeps the next morning and doesn't have time to make her healthy breakfast she has planned, so she stops for fast food instead, already exhausted she goes for comfort food, fried breakfast tots  and a fancy coffee drink to “get her through” the morning. After work that day she’s too exhausted to make it into the gym so she skips thinking, “what's the point, I already blew my meals for the day and missed yesterday.” Defeated and tired she makes a frozen pizza for dinner that night and eats the rest of the Christmas cookies for dessert. She lays in bed that night thinking about what a failure she is and how she has no self control. The next morning she skips breakfast trying to make up for her poor choices the night before. By lunch she is starving and caves to ordering out with her co-workers vs eating the healthy meal she packed. After work she makes it to the gym but feels defeated again when she doesn’t have the energy to finish the workout she had planned for that day. Crying on the way home from the gym she determines that a “healthy lifestyle” is something that is for other people, not for people like her and she writes off her goals until “life settles” down. Maybe in the summer or when the baby is older or when her husband doesn’t work so many hours. Sally stops all efforts to change her lifestyle and goes back to her unhealthy habits.

Maybe this sounds familiar to you too? I’m almost in tears typing out this fictional story because I know the pain of this vicious cycle. Sally fell for the trap of ALL or Nothing mentality.  Because she couldn’t perfectly execute her plan, she threw in the towel and quit altogether. Let me tell you a little secret that will set you free; YOU ARE NOT PERFECT, I am not perfect, the world is not perfect, your schedule is not perfect. We know this yet we keep expecting ourselves to execute our new health and fitness plans perfectly. This sets us up to fail,  it is an impossible task. It is never all or nothing.

Here’s what I learned and something that I want to share with you as you set and execute new goals in 2021, just do what you can, where you are, with what you have. Shoot for 80% accuracy and keep moving forward. Expect to NOT be perfect. Do the next doable thing that you can. Sally couldn’t make it into the gym the night her Husband worked late, could she have gone for a walk or done an at home bodyweight workout? She couldn’t create more time that morning when she overslept to make a healthy breakfast, but could she have ordered something healthy and black coffee instead? Maybe she really couldn’t say NO to her co-workers but could she have ordered a small side and still ate her healthy meal with it? She didn’t have the energy to finish her workout she had planned, but could she scale back the weights and intensity and continue to do something instead of nothing?

Isn’t something always better than nothing? YES absolutely. Sally would have benefitted so much by doing just a little something than nothing at all. The truth is, we would all benefit more from our plans if we switched our mindset on this. Stop thinking all or nothing, start asking “what's one thing that I can do right now to make this situation better?” In almost every situation you find yourself in, there is at least one thing that you can do to move yourself forward. Find the next doable thing and do it. That is how you win the long game in 2021.

Lets imperfectly crush our goals this year. 

- Coach Shanna 

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