Many who know me are well aware of my penchant to approach most of the things in my life with an “all-or-nothing” mentality. There is just something so exciting about jumping in to a new project or a new diet or a new exercise program with everything that you have. However, I’m learning that I need to temper my all-or-nothing attitude a bit or I end up with nothing every time. For instance, if I’m in workout mode and I’ve got it in my head that I have to work out three hours a day or it’s just not good enough, a day with a difficult schedule may find me with an hour available but opting to do “nothing” because I couldn’t get the full three hours in. More often than not that will turn into days or weeks of doing nothing and the ultimate demise of my enthusiasm for the workout. The better option would be to work out the hour that is available and remain consistent in doing something.
This is a trait that I do not like. I want to change it and have wanted to change it for quite some time now with no success. Recently, however, I think I have stumbled upon a plan of attack that just might work for me. My friend Kellie and I decided about 5 weeks ago that we would attempt to work some good habits into our lives a little at a time. They didn’t have to be weight, exercise, or food centric—just something that we wanted to improve on in our personal lives. The plan was to take everything in two-week segments and add on to them something new every two weeks. After twenty weeks we will hopefully have incorporated 10 improvements into our lives. Thus, Phase-Ten (like the game) was born.
My goal for my first two-week stint was to consume one green smoothie six days per week. I didn’t do so great. I think I had one green smoothie the whole time. Usually, this would put me into the “nothing” side of my all-or-nothing personality and I would have given up. However, I am still trudging on.
My second two weeks, my goal was to get adequate sleep in addition to the one green smoothie per day. I did a bit better, but not perfect.
In prep for the third round of two-week goals, I decided to analyze the first four weeks. I had trouble with the smoothies. Why? Most likely because it requires getting the blender out, having some fruit prepped (I like pineapple and oranges in mine which require a little more time than just throwing some frozen fruit in), and required clean-up. I was struggling to get up in the morning (the decided time for the green smoothie) and I just never made time. It was a frustration to me. So—the purpose of the green smoothie is to get more fruits and vegetables into my diet in a form that I enjoy. For the third installment, my goal is to improve on phases one and two. Now—no green smoothies required. I just have to eat 5 fruits per day. So far I’m three days in and going strong. I think this will work. And, if I want a green smoothie for in the morning, I make it the night before. It’s not quite as smooth as fresh made, but it works in a pinch and I have more time to sleep.
Adequate sleep is a goal that is simply too loosey-goosey. My new goal is to be in bed by 10:30 (lights out) every night and out of bed by 7:00 a.m. This is a lot of sleep, but if I listen to my body I can tell that I need that much sleep right now. The past two years have been hard on me physically. I let myself get really run down. My vitamin D levels were down to 10. I caught every cold/flu bug that came anywhere near me, and I just plain haven’t felt well. I know that getting more quality sleep has been helpful. So far, I’ve had two of three good nights for this. Eventually, I would like to buy one of the alarm clocks that uses light to wake you up. I think that would help me a lot.
It doesn’t seem like much, but I’m amazed that I’ve been able to set my all-or-nothing personality aside, evaluate what wasn’t working, and tweak it so that it is working. I am SO EXCITED about this! I feel hopeful for the first time in months (maybe even years) that I will be able to accomplish my goals. I may not reach them as quickly as the “all” part of my personality would like, but I do believe I have kicked Mr. “nothing” right out of the equation and I feel great about that!