If you reference My Monthly Goals for 2018, you’ll see that eating clean and working out are my goals this month. After almost two weeks I’m finding myself right on track with my meal plans, workout plans, schedule plans, etc. <<pageant wave>>
One thought I had this week on the topic of people looking to act on some sort of self improvement, whether it be getting in shape or otherwise, is the mental state or stories we tell ourselves (see also: my undergraduate degree is in psychology) that land us in our current states.
I think a lot of us have these stories we tell ourselves (I shared mine when I wrote Lies I Tell Myself that Stop Me From Working Out) that paralyze us from making any sort of progress. We all have our version of these stories or lies. Some of us go so far as to justify why we should ease into improvements too. Those look something like “well, I’m just going to try to eat healthier at lunch, I’m not changing my overall diet . . . you know, baby steps.”
Anyone that says “baby steps” to me when they define their plan for success or improvement make me cringe because I translate that to an excuse or trick they’re playing on themselves as to why they can’t go all in on a commitment to something. Because how easy will it be when you don’t do the thing you were trying to do and someone calls you out on it — you can simply say, “well, I’m just easing into it.”
I understand that I am, as is my family, the all or nothing type(s). I also understand (and hope you do too) that I am a 3 (also known as “The Achiever”) on the Enneagram test. So my view is often of the “what can I achieve next” point of view which may be dramatically different than others’ views. But when I reflect on what a half-a$$ effort gets ya . . . I’ve always been told, you get half-a$$ results.
A mindset that I’d ask you to consider over the lies you’re telling yourself and justifications on “baby steps” is: “I’m better than this.” This isn’t meant to be an entitled statement or used as “I’m better than them” (referring to any other individual or groups), it’s meant to be an empowered statement and reflection on your own potential.
Are you always running late for things? You’re better than that. Are you eating crappy food every time you get the chance? You are better than that! Are you spending your money frivolously and not managing your finances well? Say what?! You’re so much better than that. Is your car and house a mess? You’re definitely way better than that. Are you talking to people poorly and in a way that your mom would ground you if she heard you? Yup, you better be better than that! Are you not really studying for that class you’re enrolled in? Get it together cause you’re better than that or you wouldn’t be in the class.
I’m not saying one should be perfect in all areas in all seasons of their life. But I am saying, if you’re in a slump and need a little pep talk, you can try the tactic I use which is to say to myself “I’m so much better than this.” Your potential for great things is through the roof, but sometimes we just stir around in this place of being complacent and just . . . I don’t even know . . . just . . . blah. We’re giving C- efforts in a class we should be teaching. We just go through motions, make up excuses, claim to do “baby steps,” and then start over the next week, month, year, never.
Whatever you’re bringing your 50-75% effort on right now in life — health, passions, relationships, commitments, service, cleaning, your business, your art, your presence with family and friends — whatever it is . . . be your best. You’re WAY better than 50%. Way better. You may have just forgotten that you are.