Enthusiastic. Passionate. Driven.

These are the words that come to mind when I get caught up in that overwhelming desire/need to want to/try to ‘do it all.’

I go through a list of classes being offered at the gym and I think – yup, I want to try them all.

I look at different eating plans – Whole Life Challenge, Whole 30, Paleo, The Gracie Diet, the The Dolce Diet, Weight Watchers and I think, yup, I want to try them all.

I look up different recipes in my cookbooks or online and I think – yup, I want to try them all.

Mixed martial arts means a mix of different martial arts, and guess what – yup, I want to try them all.

I browse through books at a bookstore and think to myself – yup, I want to buy/read them all!

The desire to want to ‘do it all’ is not necessarily a bad thing … and the words ‘enthusiastic,’ ‘passionate,’ ‘driven’ are definitely positive ones. They are good traits to have. However, when you find yourself trying to schedule 30-hours worth of events and tasks into a 24-hour day, the result can be disappointing and it can get frustrating real fast. For me, that’s when things sometimes head towards a downward spiral. I think, It’s not working for me. I can’t do it. Why bother trying. I might as well stop.

Picking yourself up from that point can be difficult, particularly if you don’t have a plan. However, when getting back to the drawing board and formulating this new plan, it’s important that you don’t fall into that same trap of wanting to do too much at once. There comes a point where you really do need to find a balance between what you want to do and what you can realistically do. Being able to reign in that desire to try to fit every single thing into your day takes a certain amount of discipline, a lot of patience, and a good dose of trust in your ability to fully invest yourself in the few things that you will choose to do.

When I sat down to write my goals for the month I found myself trying to do too much. I knew all the things I wanted to do, but were they realistic? Would I be able to accomplish them? Or was I setting myself up for failure/disappointment/frustration? I decided to keep it simple and work on actually accomplishing the things I set out to do versus doing things halfheartedly or not giving 100%

I think this strategy translates well into participating in the Whole Life Challenge. When you read through the rules and the different posts and comments giving advice and suggestions and thinking about all the categories you need to fulfill it can get overwhelming, but keeping it simple – both in terms of your mindset towards the challenge as well as your actual action can be very beneficial. Even if you’re not doing the Whole Life Challenge, here a some of the habits I try to maintain to help me stay on track.

  1. Set your goal.
    • For goal setting, I love the SMART acronym – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound.
    • Write your goal(s) down.
    • Post your goal(s) somewhere you can see it everyday.
  2. Set aside planning time.
    • I have often gotten carried away with planning – spending way too many hours trying to come up with the perfect plan and ending up not giving myself enough time for action!
    • You need time to plan your weekly meals, do your grocery shopping, and prep your food.
    • You also need time to evaluate and reflect on your progress (whether it’s daily, weekly, or whatever time period you set for yourself).
  3. Set your alarms. Lately, I have been using alarms/timers for everything. I have been setting time blocks to portion off my time for tasks I need to accomplish through the day. Knowing that I have a specific block of time to get something done helps me stay on task and focus {e.g. 1 1/2 hours blocked off for research; 20 minutes blocked off for tidying/organizing; 45 minutes blocked off for meal prep}. Setting reminders to do certain things that I know I want to accomplish that day helps too. I’m hoping to eventually ween off the alarms/reminders and have everything fall into a smooth routine, but until then, my alarm is my friend!

Reminders

 

It really all goes back to trying not to do too much at once. This is true even when it comes to planning my meals and workouts. My meals are super simple (a portion of protein, some carbs, and a bit of fat). Eating fresh and natural means you actually get to enjoy the tastes of the foods themselves instead of all the other masking ingredients. I definitely think of food as fuel, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy what I eat. I guess it’s about simplifying my taste (without compromising any flavor). In terms of workouts, just because I want to strengthen my back doesn’t mean I have to do every single type of back exercise out there. That doesn’t make any sense. Instead, since I don’t have a lot of time to spare, I choose the most effective ones and incorporate them into my routine. I want to make sure that the workouts I do are effective and enjoyable.

I think that once you get used to doing things simply, you can start to adapt, modify, and supplement your plan. However, taking on too much too soon is risky.

That being said, the bottom line is you know best. You know what drives you. You know exactly how much you can take on. You’ve got to listen to your body and be honest with yourself when evaluating how you are progressing towards your goal. Some people can do everything all the time — that’s great for them. Don’t use others as your measuring stick. This is your life — work towards how and who you want to be … and enjoy the process!

WLC Sep15 Goals