In a previous post, I spoke at length about banishing the All or Nothing Mindset. Today I want to explore this way of thinking a bit further, with more specifics. As I said previously, the All or Nothing Mindset often prevents us from getting started on a fitness program. This is especially true when weight loss is a primary goal. We all know that it takes a lot of work to lose excess weight/body fat. If you have an All or Nothing Mindset, it can deter you with a fear of commitment because you know yourself, you always need to over commit.. and right now, you just don’t have enough time or bandwidth to do everything it takes to reach your goals..…so why even try? Sound familiar? It’s such a shame. Ironically, many “non-starters” are the same people who are accomplished and dedicated at work, as a Mom or Dad, or as a community volunteer. They are the people we count on to do their best. Clearly, drive and self-motivation are not an issue for these people. So, why can’t some commit to exercise? I think it’s because they have over-committed in other areas of their lives, and have no room for the most important commitment of all- the commitment they make to themselves. When you are giving your “All” to everything else, there’s nothing left for you.
This is a place that can be very frustrating. You know you need to exercise, but it can seem overwhelming to try and decide how to begin. Unfortunately, when you do make the decision to begin, (because you are an All or Nothing person!!!) you choose a massive over-commitment, which you fail at within a month, proving you should’ve never even started. This can become a vicious circle and a huge self-esteem killer, especially for the over-achieving All or Nothing person.
But, what if you did it differently this time? What if rather than over-committing, you picked several easy to achieve, small, actions that move you forward in the right direction? Imagine how you’d feel if you achieved small goals, over and over? Pretty good, I bet. Maybe even successful enough to then add on, move forward faster! Maybe even successful enough to enjoy the journey, to stop over-focusing on weight loss as the only finish line!
This is where “Something Is Always Better Than Nothing” comes in. In order for this new plan to work, you have to adopt this mindset, rather than “All or Nothing”. Once you have, you can accept the small changes you make as “good enough”. And, good enough can be good enough…. for now. This does not mean that good enough is as far as you go with things, but, initially, at least it’s something. Over time, as successes build, you can increase commitment level. But you have to start somewhere.
Now that you know and accept that small doable actions lead to success, here are 5 suggestions for things you can do today and every day to start your fitness journey:
- Walk 15 minutes outdoors. You choose the time of day. Poor weather is no excuse.
- Eat a salad every day. This is not hard. You can get pre-made salads everywhere. Add a protein and some yummy other things. Use olive oil dressing.
- Do 3 sets of planks and 3 sets of supine bridges every day.
- Drink more water. Use sticky notes as reminders if necessary.
- Focus on getting more sleep. This is a harder task than the others, but maybe even more important. If you have sleep issues, take them very seriously.
I think we can all agree that these small steps are doable for everyone. Get started please.