Maybe You Just Don’t Want to…

Okay, so you tried. You tried doing The Thing, whatever your thing is, just once. Like we talked about last week. You and I were going to pick that one, most important thing, and do it no matter what. No exceptions. Anyone can do anything once, right? Do it once, celebrate and use that good feeling to build momentum. So you did your thing, you celebrated, but it just didn’t feel right. Or maybe no matter how much you promised yourself, and with the best of intentions, you just couldn’t bring yourself to get started. Have you considered that maybe you just don’t want to?

It is so easy to get caught up in our society’s idea that we must be everything, all the things. Top-shelf employees who have side hustles. Working towards entrepreneurship (because of course we all want to work for ourselves. Forbes list, here we come). We must be always available for our friends and families. Maybe you have kids who have a busy calendar full of activities. The school always needs something from you. You must have a rigorous fitness routine. I think we’re all supposed to be meditating now, too. And don’t forget hobbies and self-care. Make sure you’re enjoying nutritious, home-cooked meals every night. That house better be spotless. Can’t forget to document it all across multiple social media channels.

There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested  in doing something, you do it only when it's conven… | 40th quote, Sports  quotes, Words

Say it with me now: Fuck that noise. That’s all it is. Noise. It’s overwhelming and assumes a one-size fits all mentality. But you, wonderful soul, are unique. What about what YOU want? It’s your life after all. Maybe you are happy with your 9-5 and have no desire to climb the ladder. Your kids don’t do multiple activities and won’t eat vegetables? I think that’s awesome. I don’t particularly care for a rigorous fitness routine (aside from jiu jitsu) and my family doesn’t always eat nutritious meals. The laundry is generally behind. No one does it all, no matter what they or their social media channel(s) tell you. With so many to do items on the should-do list, how do we decide what is worthy of our most precious resource, our time?

Decide between what you’re interested in, and that to which you are committed. It does not make anyone a failure or lazy if they decide not to fill up all 24 hours with doing all the things. If you’re committed to something, it means you will get it done. It’s really important to you and you’d be sad not to do it. When something you’re committed to doesn’t get done, you know you had a good reason and you’re motivated to do better next time. If you’re interested, it might get done, might not. When the thing you’re interested in doesn’t get done, you wonder why you can’t do All The Things. Our friends Shame and Guilt start piping up in your head. I’m here to tell you to drop interested for committed.

Oprah Winfrey Quote: “I've learned that you can't have everything and do  everything at the same time.” (7 wallpapers) - Quotefancy

For me, I am committed to a minimum of 4 jiu jitsu classes per week. If that means the kids eat fast food once a week to make it happen, so be it. It’s important to me. Maybe you skip one family dinner a week to make sure your favourite Tuesday night run gets done. Playing guitar every day and starting a new running program? Much as I want it, I admit I’m solely interested, not really committed. If those things don’t get done, well that’s okay, maybe another time. It can be hard to accept, but not everything can be a priority all the time. So what are you committing to? What are you admitting to being only interested in? Drop me a line in the comments below, on social media (yes I have multiple channels, don’t judge me), or by email-I want to know!

Train the Quit Out of Yourself

So many times in my life, I have quit. On a hundred different days, in a hundred different ways, I’ve hesitated and held back, or said I would start tomorrow or just plain ol’ not started at all. There have been times where I haven’t given my best. I’m not all that proud of this fact. And I’m willing to bet that, if you’re anything like me, you’ve quit or hesitated or not started too. We all start out with the best of intentions. We all believe we’ll do the things we promise ourselves. So often it’s not even anything big or important, or even noticeable.

You know how it goes. Get excited, have a plan and envision the end goal. Of course you’re going to be a success. Maybe it’s a new habit like waking up early, new lifestyle (more vegetables?), or improving a skill or building a streak. My latest Big Goal was to log a 100 day streak of Portuguese practice on Duolingo. I’m still at zero days (sigh). Whatever it is, it gets off to a great start (assuming it gets started at all). We feel good and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this time it’s gonna stick. Because this time is different. This is the ONE. Until it isn’t. We broke that promise we made with ourselves because we are so used to doing it and now we’re back where we started. It’s almost automatic. The good news is that we can change. We CAN keep those promises to ourselves. How? Start small, very small:

-Make and keep the tiniest little promises to yourself. I’m talking ridiculously tiny. For example, if you are going to have a shower, say to yourself “I am going to have a shower” right before you hop in. Or if you’re about to put some laundry in the wash, say “I am going to do some laundry right now”. Do this for all the mundane things you do in a day. It teaches your brain that when a message is received, the action will follow. This makes a big difference!

-As humans we tend to overestimate we tend to over-estimate what we can do in a day. Instead of trying to tackle three or four tasks in a day (as I have been known to do), focus on just one and make it The One Thing That Gets Done that day. Warning: Your ego won’t like this and will try to convince you to do all the things because the ego believes all the things must be done in a certain way in a certain time frame (usually today). Lies. Do the One Thing, take your time and enjoy it.

-Self-compassion. We’re all so used to society’s current pace of push and grind. Just try harder and you’ll be successful, right? Well, if you’re like me, you’ve been hard on yourself for a long time. But what if you tried doing the opposite and accepted that each day, you had tried your best and that is was enough? A little counterintuitive, but at worst you’ll be in the same place you are now. Best case scenario means you drop shame and frustration and replace it with a bit of self-satisfaction and confidence.

Yes we all quit, in one form or another, frequently. It costs more than we know and holds us back. I’m determined to train the quit out of myself and conquer all the mountains. Lord knows I’ve gathered up enough strategies over the years and it’s time they get put to use. I’ll be sharing as many as I can think of in my upcoming posts. It’s my hope these strategies help you as well but if not,I hope I make you think about what is possible in your life. Comment below or email me and tell me what you think, I want to know. Here’s to Team No Quit and our collective potential!