1% away from a vacation house
Picture a beautiful little cottage on a lake. Picture yourself drinking coffee on the dock while watching the birds near the water. Picture yourself at your goal weight, walking into a store and having all the outfit options, not just the ones that “cover things up.” Picture coming home from work with dinner prepped and time to relax. Picture yourself a year from now, actually having achieved some of your goals.
How do you want your life to look? What’s the one thing that you want?
For me, right now, I have a few things. I would like to lose the weight I gained over the last year. I would like to get back to running (I think,... the jury is still out on this one.) I would like to help my children a little bit more with their school finances. I would like to build more connections with people who share my goals. I want to continue to uplevel my business. And of course, at some point I want to take an amazing vacation.
These seem like big goals. Goals that I am not going to achieve today. Goals that are going to take massive action on my part if I actually want to achieve them.
And massive action seems intimidating.
After all, I have other things I need to do today. I need to bring my daughter to get her prom dress hemmed, I need to keep moving the laundry along, I need to bring my car to the shop since the alternator is done. I need to write this blog ahead of time since I am helping my sister move on Friday.
So there isn’t a lot of time (AKA mental energy) for massive action today.
But here’s the problem. This is not an unusual Saturday for me, and Sunday will have similar “obligations’. Then comes Monday-Friday with work and school and the cycle continues without progress on weight, fitness, finances, connections, business or vacation.
So if I don’t have the energy for massive action but I still want to uplevel my life, what do I do? What can you do?
Well obviously we could do small things, there’s plenty of time/energy for that. But as soon as I say that, 2 thoughts come up.
It’s not going to make a difference. (Walking isn’t going to move me toward my goal of running. Making a sandwich instead of getting takeout isn’t going to pay for college.)
It doesn’t really matter. (It doesn’t really matter if I don’t get my steps in today. It doesn’t matter if I have the package of chips my kids left in the car. It doesn’t really matter if I put off the blog to another day.)
Really, these are different versions of the same thought, and that thought leads to apathy.
Apathy is not the most motivating feeling to have,
and yet it is so easy to default to.
Did you know that apathy is actually a self-protective feeling? WHAT?!?!?
If we feel apathetic then we spare ourselves the self-judgement that comes with not moving forward with something that we say is important to us. If these things don’t matter then we don’t have to be mad at ourselves in the moment when we don’t do them. Unfortunately, this is not actually self-protective in the long run. The judgement catches up with us eventually, oftentimes right before New Year’s when we find ourselves making the same resolutions AGAIN or when we have somewhere to go and none of our clothes fit.
So what’s the solution?
Step 1: Acknowledge that today matters, not in a panicky way but in a “I got this”, motivational way. If today doesn’t matter, what does? Approach it from a place of excitement, not shame. What I do today doesn’t have to be hard. I can do 1% and celebrate the 1% that I do achieve.
Step 2: Accept that little actions are good enough. You may not see the impact until you reach a critical mass of little actions but stacking them up starting today will ultimately make a difference.
Step 3: Decide what little actions you are going to take today to move you toward your uplevel. What is something that will get you 1% closer to losing weight or improving your finances. Just do that. We tell ourselves it has to be really hard to be worthwhile.
That’s just a thought error, just ctrl-alt-delete that thought.
Step 4: Don’t clog up your brain with drama about all the things that will prevent your goal in the future or all the things that happened in the past to reinforce the impossibility of change. I hate to tell you but the only time we can actually control is right now. Today. Worry about tomorrow and its 1% up levels when the time comes.
Step 5: Decide what type of person you want to show up as today. I actually write it down in the morning, who I am going to be today. Compassionate? Determined? Calm? How do you need to show up to stay in the place of belief that your dreams are totally achievable by 1% upgrades made on a daily basis. Just focus on being that person
Don’t get stuck in the “it’s not good enough” energy. Ultimately the “it’s not good enough” energy translates into “I’m not good enough” energy,
and that won’t get you any of the places you want to go;
not to a cottage on a lake,
not to that clothing store you love,
not to a relaxing evening with a preplanned, pre prepped, dinner.
It will push you back to apathy every time so you don’t have to feel badly.
So the good news?
The little things matter.
Decide it's enough.
Let’s go get it, it doesn't have to be hard.
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