This week we discussed:
- Gratitude, Planning And Balance
- Goals Vs Lifestyle
- Expectations, Failings, And Learning The Hard Way
Sunday 15th January 2017
Gratitude, Planning And Balance
Whilst looking through my daily diary recently I noticed something a little crazy, I’m currently on day 15 of what is looking to be my longest working stint yet… 35 straight days of work. My last full day off was the 31st December and my next one is looking to be on the 5th of February.
The last time I committed to a long working stint (27 days) I ended up having a breakdown in the middle of a shopping centre. I had pushed everything else aside or out of my life and solely focused on building my career.
Having experienced the consequences of burning out so recently, it dawned upon me that I was going to have to be diligent with checking in with myself every day to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen this time.
To do this, I’ve now put some simple but popular tools recommended by many of the entrepreneurs I admire and follow in place in my own daily life.
- Gratitude (Thank you Jamie Alderton)
I now have a message on my bathroom mirror which says ‘What are the 3 things that you are grateful for today?’ Why? Well, they say one of the easiest ways to adopt a new habit is to tack it onto an existing one… such as brushing your teeth.
By being reminded twice a day to take a moment to be consciously grateful, I’m able to set myself up with a positive mindset before my day starts and appreciate the day I just experienced before bed.
A few of the things I’ve been grateful for over the past 24 hours include:
- My Mum telling me how proud and impressed she is that I’m so willing to work this hard for what I want.
- A positive message I received from another person online regarding something I posted.
- 2 clients coming up to me after the classes I covered yesterday and telling me how lovely I looked and how the class I covered was the best cover one of the girls has ever had.
- The beautiful messages and thanks my friends have sent me for having everyone over and making such a nice spread for them to enjoy, especially knowing how little time I have.
- The care shown to me by 2 people I work with, one which took the time to check in to see if I was okay after a long day of work, and another took the time to remind me just how important making time for the people I care about is after I mentioned the length of my current working stint. (PS. If either of you read this, I’m truly thankful for your care and love. Knowing I have people such as you looking out for me really means the world to me).
- Planning (Thank you Dan Meredith)
I have an old-school calendar/diary which I write all my appointments in and colour code. This allows me to plan out my days, weeks and ensure I’m not double booking myself etc.
As much as I love my work, I’ve often found myself feeling like I never accomplish anything. Why? Because when it comes to all the things outside of my work, I just wing it.
So what I’m now doing is a weekly brain dump, and applying a scheduling system to it. At the end of the week, I take the time to sit down and write a list of things which I need/want to get done outside of my work shifts, PT clients and classes. I then take the list and rank everything on the list from 1-3, 1 being time sensitive things that only I can do, and 3 being things that can wait or be done by someone else. I then put up to 5 of the #1s into each day and commit to completing at least 3 of them. The remaining ones simply roll over into the next day.
This not only takes the stress away from being overwhelmed by an endless to-do list, but it helps me to really prioritise the things I need to do, the time I have and of course, enjoy the perk of crossing things off and the feeling of accomplishment as a result.
- Balance (Thank you Pat Divilly)
Working hard and nurturing a career I love is amazing and important to me, but so is having beautiful friendships and relationships with my family and partner.
I’m lucky to interact with people every single day in my field of work, but the downside of this is that all I want to do at the end of a long day is spend a little time on my own.
This however isn’t ideal when it comes to maintaining strong relationships which also need time, attention and care… something I’ve noticed a lot of entrepreneurs seem to learn the hard way, and something I’m personally terrified of.
As these relationships are something truly important to me, and something I pushed aside during my last working stint, I’ve decided to dedicate one of my diary colours to time spent with family/friends etc.
Every week, I now ensure that I allocate some time to quality time with the people closest to me.
This week I put aside my Saturday afternoon/evening (as I worked in the morning) to having my close friends over. With it now being a non-negotiable, I decided to push my personal training for the day into the late evening so I could have that quality time with the friends I care so deeply about. And guess what, seeing them totally left me re-energised, and I had a wonderful late night training session that evening and woke up smiling.
I hope that by making gratitude, planning and working towards having more balance in my life that I’ll not only manage to survive but thrive over the next 20 days, but I guess time will tell.
Wednesday 11th January 2017
Goals Vs Lifestyle
Our health, wealth, relationships, fitness etc are all reflections of the choices and lifestyle we choose to live.
Yet it’s not common to find ourselves blaming these choices for any shortcomings we may have in relations to the health, wealth, relationship etc. goals we set.
But how often do we really take a look at our goals, and question whether they truly reflect our values, the lifestyle choices we’re truly ready to make and whether how we realistically choose spend our time is really going to get us closer or further away from our goals?
Yes, there are always going to be habits, processes and choices we can change to help get us closer to our goals, but what if the bigger problem we’re overlooking is actually the goals we’re setting ourselves?
It’s surprisingly common for people to set themselves unrealistic goals, goals that don’t truly reflect their values and innermost wants.
Sometimes, we set ourselves goals based on how we think we should be living our lives, what we believe we should want and on the lifestyles we’re told are ideal.
What if the goals we end up setting for ourselves aren’t really a reflection of our values?
Are you really going to put real time, energy and effort towards something you don’t truly want?
At one of the gyms I’m based at, there is a guy who trains every day without fail and is extremely cautious about what he eats. As a result he is very muscular, very shredded, and very fit. He loves the way he looks and loves the structure of his lifestyle. Both his fitness goals and lifestyle choices fit hand in hand, and as a result he’s very successful and genuinely happy both accounts.
On the other hand, I come from a background of disordered eating, and the idea of following such rigid rules in respect to my diet and fitness regime no longer reflects the mindset and lifestyle I want to embrace. Training regularly (with some flexibility) and eating healthfully (most of the time) now reflect the goals I choose to set myself, as do my lifestyle choices.
I would have once spent hours looking in the mirror and hating myself for not being thin enough, or fit enough, or toned enough etc etc. I would over train, under-eat and punish myself when I thought I wasn’t meeting the impossible dietary or training goals I’d set for myself.
Having spent years working on changing this mentality and the many issues surrounding it, I now set myself goals which healthfully balance what I want to achieve with the lifestyle choices I’m realistically willing to make.
I now resist the temptation to set myself ridged black and white standards, as this is something I use to live by. This mentality and the lifestyle that came along with it did not reflect the person I truly wanted to be deep down inside, and as a result, I was never happy, no matter how skinny I got or how strictly I followed the lifestyle I told myself I needed to have.
I’ve now said goodbye to the idea of needing to look like a catwalk model, or needing to be shredded enough to be a fitness cover model to be happy and confident.
I now have goals which reflect the inner me, goals such as pushing the gym sled with 20kg on it 100 times in a row, re-strengthening my injured leg so it’s balanced with my other leg, and maintain a lean but what I personally deem to be sensible and achievable body shape for myself.
We all deserve to live truly fulfilling lives. Lives the fill us with true happiness and feelings of success.
So I ask you, are your goals and lifestyle choices moving closer to that beautiful place or further away?
If you answered yes, then keep doing what you’re doing. If not, then maybe it’s time to sit down with yourself and check in to see if the life you’re living and the life you want to live are truly a reflection of you. And if they’re not, then it’s time to adjust accordingly.
Tuesday 10th January 2017
Expectations, Failings, And Learning The Hard Way
Yesterday I found myself wanting to give up… but instead of giving up I decided to change course and learnt a valuable lesson in the end.
Yesterday I had to stand up in front of a group of people and do something I’d never done before and even though i hadn’t realised it yet, I had already set myself up for failure.
I had set an exceptionally high expectation of how amazing I was going to do, and convinced myself that I was going to do this by replicating another person.
And guess what… it didn’t going well.
Halfway through what I was doing, I could tell it wasn’t going well even though I was giving it all I had.
Why? Because I wasn’t being me. I wasn’t playing to my strengths. I was running myself ragged attempting to replicate another person rather than being myself and failing.
I was embarrassed, ashamed, overwhelmed and wanted to quit. I felt like a total loser, a total failure, and I was seconds from simply saying ‘f*ck it’ and giving up.
I thought that by trying to do what I had assumed those around me wanted that I’d make everyone happy, but instead, all I had managed was to frustrate myself and everyone else around me.
But instead of quitting, I momentarily excused myself from the situation and asked myself what I should do.
And the conclusion I stumbled upon was to do what I know best… in other words, stop trying to be someone that I’m not (as it clearly wasn’t working) and just be me. At least that way if I was going to fall flat on my face, it was going to be my face and not a sh*tty mask I’d tried to wear.
And you know what, it worked.
Not only did I survive, but the response to me doing what I new best was great.
So I dare say I learnt my lesson the hard way. I tried to be someone else and fell flat on my face. As it turns out, I’m not that great at trying to wear a hat that doesn’t quite fit me.
I guess in the end of the day I’d much rather people like or dislike me for me, rather than some phony wannabe version of someone else.
So today, I when I was faced with the same scenario, standing in front of another group of people and doing something I’d never done before, I didn’t even question myself… I just did me. And you know what, it went down a treat.