Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A refreshing start ...

For many of us the New Year is a refreshing start.  An inspiring time where we feel like we can accomplish everything we set our minds to, and take a leap of faith we never imagined.

As the weeks wear on, and the shine of the New Year begins to dull from the dust of everyday life, many of us will think, "What happened? Where did I go wrong? Maybe my life is just too full for me to make the changes that I truly want to make?"   I think we've all been there.  Perhaps disappointed in our lack of commitment or determination or willpower.

Why does this happen for so many of us?

Possibly we come up with a bunch of stuff we'd really like to change … but we do it in a bubble.  In other words, we create goals and aspirations without considering our current environment (all the things around us), or current demands and stress, or the IMPACT our current patters hold over us. 

I've become an advocate for picking ONE THING to focus my energy and efforts on.  Sure, I have 27 things I want to do differently, be better at doing, change, and improve. 

Right now I'm working on an extra hour of sleep, and that's been hard enough. 

Funny, because it sounds simple enough on paper … a few weeks ago (in my bubble) when I decided I was going to get more sleep in 2014, it seemed like an easy no brainer. 

Truth be told, it's been awkward.  My old habits keep creeping in, and it's been a struggle.  I've failed to get an hour more of sleep every day thus far in the new year, except for one.  Frankly, it would be MUCH easier for me to go back to my old patterns … they are so ingrained, and "normal".  I can deal with less sleep, I've done it for years. 

But I'm going to push through this uncomfortable part of the journey.  I truly do want an extra hour of sleep, and know the benefits associated with it. 

I share this because it takes time to break an old habit, and to create a new pattern.  Even when we are acutely aware of the benefits associated with the new pattern.  It requires struggling with it.  Being uncomfortable with it.  Fumbling through it and messing up way more than succeeding, in the beginning. 

Anything worth having is worth doing poorly, at the beginning.  I know I will get better.  At some point, I'll look back and laugh at how a little goal of getting an extra hour of sleep threw me for a pretty big loop!  And it will all be worth it.

Now, if I tried to double that level of change by adding a second habit to change, I'm not sure I'd master both.  I might make a tiny progress in 2 areas, but I'm sure I'd go back to my old patterns soon enough.  Can you imagine trying to master 3 – 5 new things at the same time?

Focus on your MOST important area you want to make different or better in 2014. The thing that will make the biggest difference in your life this year.   Intensely focus on that.  Master it. 

Once it's part of who you are … then, and only then, move onto the next most important thing.

Here's what some of you are currently working on:

  • More sleep.
  • Moving from 4 – 5 days of exercise per week.
  • Eliminating "trigger foods" from your environment.
  • Cleaning the office once per week.
  • Reaching 10,000 steps per day.
  • Eating food (all but 2 meals per week) that you prepared.
  • Boundaries around social media and computer time.
  • 90% consumption of Fat Loss Foods.

What is your ONE habit or behavior?   

Struggle with it … fail more than you succeed for awhile … then get a little better at it … until the Power of Momentum kicks in and eventually you've MASTERED IT!

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins
NSCA-CPT, ACE

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