(This one’s for me. You all can just go on about your business. Unless, of course, you do this, too.)
I’m a dreamer. I like to think big. Always have. It’s a trait for which I have my mother to thank and it has taken me far in life: traveling the world, hosting radio shows, writing and publishing my own book. But sometimes this sky’s-the-limit thinking gets me in trouble. Sometimes my reach exceeds my grasp.
Case in point: My Gut Check eating plan. It’s a lovely plan and one that I got away from me a few weeks after I started it. Why? Lots of reasons: travel, moving, and the stress of getting my book done being some of them. But whether they are reasons or rationalizations is beside the point. The point is I paired that very ambitious plan with several other plans (I will exercise vigorously every day! I will drink 60 oz. of water every day! I will meditate every day!) and as I’ve always done when I try to tackle too many things at once, I got overwhelmed and did none of them very well.
So here’s my Self-Care Saturday advice for me (and if it applies, for you, too): Set goals that are realistic and attainable.
Realistic depends on outside forces. Attainable depends on you.
Become a world-famous novelist? Attainable … but not realistic. I could do the writing and make the calls and jump through the hoops but I can’t determine what publishers and the buying public will do.
Run a marathon? Realistic … but not attainable. At least not for me. Even when I was in great aerobic shape my joints couldn’t handle the pounding. I do not come from good running stock.
So, how could I make these goals more realistic and attainable?
If I want to write, I can write. I can even write a novel, giving myself a set time or a word-count requirement per day. For me, a life-long writer, that’s possible.
Run a marathon? Nah. But I can walk a 5K, then a 10K, then a half if I want to. I’ve even walked a marathon. Took me 8 hours and my feet looked like hamburger at the end, but I did it!
So, what I’ve resolved to do for now is to follow the lead of my friend Debbie, who has made some wonderful changes in her lifestyle and is looking fabulous. What’d she do? Phases. She focused on one aspect at a time. So that’s my plan for myself right now. One change at a time.
The current mode? Exercise. I’m committed to doing a minimum of 10,000 steps and 30 minutes of “very active” movement every day. It’s less stressful, it’s more realistic, and it’s attainable. After I’ve got this “down” I’ll move on to the next challenge.
How about you? Have you found it easier to make changes when the parameters are more modest? I’d love to hear your stories. The comments box is open and it’s hungry.