It’s a blizzard here in NYC so my day filled with working with my one on one clients has been put on hold. Which meant a great opportunity to say hi.
When my days get crazy with one-on-one clients, writing articles, and tweaking programs for my online coaching clients I have trouble getting everything I need to get done for me. There are certain things that keep me sane. My gym time, a little meditation, and journaling.
Journaling is something I have done on and off for a number of years. I always resisted it since my mom is a psychologist and always told me I should. So, naturally… (ok Mom, you were right).
A lot of times I get busy with life and let go of my journaling. I start to prioritize work or get home late and forget. After a number of days I start to realize that things feel off. I’m a little disorganized or have trouble focusing.
The Perfection Paradox
Part of why my journaling has become cumbersome in the past is my obsessiveness with perfection. I wanted to write in my journal and have it read like Kerouac’s diaries. It’s crippling when you try and try to make something perfect. You know why? Nothing will ever be perfect.
It used to destroy my training. If I tried to write the perfect program I would tinker with it until it was so complicated and convoluted I just gave up. If I missed one session I missed 3.
I weighed all of my food and counted calories and obsessed on being perfect until I cracked and binged on ice cream and pizza. Then the guilt of having failed made it worse and I repeated the same mistakes over and over.
I would work extra hours staying late and getting in early to make sure everything was just right. Until I had one bad review or someone questioned my work. It was like the world was coming down around me. If I wasn’t perfect I was a failure.
I was tired. And not just physically. Emotionally and existentially tired. I hated getting up in the morning. I started drinking way too much every night just to not have to think. Sleep was my favorite time because it was the only place I didn’t feel trapped with anxiety and worry.
And after 13 years I suffered complete burnout. Funny thing is, burning out was my moment of clarity.
The Universe Spoke
When I was forced to stop everything, it all made perfect sense. I realized that doing more or just trying to get a little bit better was holding me back. I needed a change.
I became ok with imperfection. I started living the 80/20 rule. If I did everything the way I desired for 80% of the time I found that I was more happy with my overall results. Because they became sustainable.
Now I never worry about my programming. You know why? I hire a Coach to do that for me. My nutrition is never a stress because I have developed a way of eating that allows me to enjoy the foods I like. And work? Well, it’s never work because I love what I do and I set up boundaries on when I work.
Start small. What I want you to try is to start a journal (I bought a tiny Moleskine to keep next to my bed) and if you already do, try to simplify it. Instead of rewriting War & Peace every day, I just want you to write down 3 things from your day that you are grateful for. Underneath that write 3 things that you wish to accomplish tomorrow.
I have been doing this for the last few months (shout out to Dan Trink for the FB post that pushed me). I have missed a day or two here and there but jumping back on the wagon is so much easier now. It no longer looks like an insurmountable task.
If you want change, real change I think I can help. It starts with your fitness. Where it goes from there is all up to you.
P.S.- I put a lot of my workout tips on my business page. If you like poorly shot videos from inside the YMCA in Brooklyn, it’s a must watch!