Quit Slashing Your Tires!
You’re probably wondering what the title of this blog post even means. But hear us out. Maybe you are needing some encouragement or even some tough love. Today we have a little of both to dish out.
A few days ago, I was meeting with one of my virtual training clients. Let’s call her Jane. Jane was feeling down on herself. She had lost about 7 lbs over the past month, but over the weekend she indulged more than she had anticipated due to her husband’s birthday. Jane felt tired and sluggish, and did not hit her water intake, veggie intake, or suggested exercise over the weekend.
Jane came to me feeling discouraged and defeated. I asked her why she thought the weekend turned out the way it had, and she told me that she tended to take an “all or nothing” approach. She couldn’t just eat a couple bites of cake; she wanted to eat the whole piece. And to her, that snowballed into deciding not to try at all with her other habits.
I asked Jane a thought-provoking question: if you get a flat tire, do you slash the other three? She sat there for a moment, and then realization washed over her. “I never thought of it that way before,” she said. “I always feel like if I don’t do everything I should be doing, then why even try?”
We discussed the power of simple and tiny habits. I did not chastise her for eating the cake of course; honestly I was glad she enjoyed it. But continuing other positive behaviors or habits even when one isn’t feasible at the time, allows us to strive towards success. Small helpful habits, such as drinking a half gallon of water per day, may seem trivial at the time. But maintaining positive habits yields more freedom in your life. You don’t have to think about them; you just do them automatically. Then you can free up the headspace to focus on other aspects of your life, like family, work, leisure, travel.
We had a breakthrough with Jane that day. She realized the power of small habits and how much success they could yield with consistency. We determined as a team that something is better than nothing; that even if she indulged more than she had planned to, she still was in control in other areas of her life. Find that healthy balance between enjoyment of life and goal-getting.
Life is far from perfect. We get that; we are human too. But why slash three other good tires when only one is temporarily flat? Keep up those small daily habits, even when one goes astray. You may find success is closer and within better reach than you first thought. Patch up your tire, brush yourself off, and get back in the car. Your journey is not over yet.
Jessica Corkin is a certified personal trainer at Begin Within. She holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and has spent the last seven years working in the fitness and wellness industry. When she is not virtually training clients, she enjoys strength training, running, being outdoors, and spending quality time with her husband and dog.
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