If you don’t what? You fill in the blank! You know where you’re dropping the ball, we all know.
If you don’t write, you won’t publish!
If you don’t eat properly, you won’t be nourished!
If you don’t lift heavy things, you won’t get stronger!
But we don’t wake up and greet the day and proclaim, “I’m not going to be creative today, I’m gonna eat poorly and I’ll avoid all physical activity!”
It is Not a Conscious Decision
We don’t say we will squander the day, but we morph in that direction throughout the day with every bad decision we make. Every decision is a fork in the road. Choose poorly and the destination looks nothing like what you had planned, by days end. Do that day after day, and week after week, and before you know it, you have paved a superhighway to a place you did not want to be.
I commented in an earlier post how distractions had kept me from being focused on my work. We all like to envision ourselves as free-spirits, fully capable of living life spontaneously, and getting what we want.
But the reality is if you truly want to be a free-spirit, you must prioritize what is most important, or nothing gets done. Nothing. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but freedom requires discipline.
If you have goals, you must build them into your schedule. Whether your goals are writing, meal prep, workouts, social time, or family time, you must prioritize them within your schedule. You are free to change things on the fly, if spontaneity suits you. But if you do it every day, you deceive yourself regarding what you claim is truly important to you.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” – Anonymous
Know when to Change – writing
I have had a couple sanctuaries for writing that have served me well. For 18 months I worked alone on a construction site, with my own office trailer. I had no running water, and heat and air conditioning were marginal. I seldom had visitors. Wow, did I write a lot during that time. I wrote well over 200 articles in 18 months (for a blog which I have since abandoned).
When I lost my trailer, I started writing in coffee shops. But soon I became a regular, and I ended up striking up acquaintances. Conversation and friendly banter became the norm. So I drove 10 miles in the other direction to a different shop. I was productive for a couple months until the same thing happened. The last productive writing session I had in a coffee shop, was in Gloucester, 50 miles from home. That’s a long way to go to get 500-800 words on paper.
Now most of my writing is done at home in a small alcove I’ve converted to my office. Today it is 94 degrees up there, so once again I must improvise to meet my goal.
Know when to Change – fitness
The same thing goes for fitness. I used to do CrossFit 5-6 days a week. I burned out and shifted to 3 days per week. Then I shifted my priority to Olympic lifting two days a week. My lifts got better, in regards to form. But my endurance and stamina, and overall strength decreased.
In 2016 I have found myself rowing 500-5000 meters a day, several days a week. I do strength training in my garage 2 mornings a week, and I still do Barbell Club (Olympic lifts). But, as I find I get comfortable in my movements, I tend to stick with what I know, and what I like. Can your spell C-O-M-P-L-A-C-E-N-C-Y?
I knew I lacked structure, so I am now re-integrating 3 days of CrossFit back into the mix. CrossFit will force me to revisit things I have avoided, like Pull-ups, Double-Unders, Running and more. Thanks Erika!
Your Goal Doesn’t Have to Change
Whether it’s writing, eating or training, we all come to a place where things stall. What worked successfully in the past, no longer works. Call it a Plateau, Stagnation, or Complacency. It doesn’t really matter what you label it. You must put it behind you and refocus your attention.
Take some time for yourself. Re-assess your goals. It is likely they are still valid. Keep your goals, but perhaps it is time to shake up your methods. Like my writing issues, change locations. Alter your environment.
If you’ve stalled in fitness, add a new element, or change your surroundings (go to a different class, or gym). Schedule a personal training session with your coach to identify where you need to focus your efforts. Tell your coach you need help mixing things up. Tweak your nutrition. Pay attention to your recovery.
Don’t allow your daily routine to atrophy, along with your dreams, aspirations and your strength. I’d love to hear if any of this resonates with you. If so, how did you overcome your malaise?