Monday, March 13, 2017

Entering the Fitness World

I'm not yet anywhere near approaching personal trainer status so I'm writing this from the perspective of someone who has a little knowledge about specific topics within the world of fitness, but not nearly enough to be called expert by any stretch of the imagination.  I guess I'm like any other hobbyist in that I don't know much but it's probably more than the general public.  I tell you this so you understand the perspective from which I'm gathering my ideas regarding today's topic; entering the fitness world (as a practitioner, not a trainer, just to be clear).  What do I mean by the, "fitness world"?  It can be anything from wanting to simply begin walking regularly, entering (or reentering) a gym, hiring a personal trainer/coach or anything outside or in between those examples.  The amount of questions most people have when beginning their journey is considerable and the answers can be confusing.  Hell, when you see some of the discussion/arguments between acknowledged experts (the real ones, not the self proclaimed InstaSnapFace bro-science "experts") you realize that science still doesn't have all the answers.  Perhaps you're now asking yourself, what chance do I have of achieving success if even experts don't have all the answers?  A great one.  Why? Because A.) Many of those questions are so deep within topics that anyone who's not literally an expert in that field is unlikely to ever concern themselves to that level, and B.)  Because those experts ARE out there working, discovering, creating, and finding new information all the time and sharing it with the world because many, if not most, have a strong desire to help others.        

Here are a few of the questions I asked myself when I started the first time and some which I asked in subsequent restarts thereafter.
1.) How and where do I even begin?  2.)  What are my actual goals 3.) How do I tell fact from fiction?

1.)  How and Where Do I Even Begin

Answer:  You've read this far, feel free to use it as your jumping off point. Now you have to think, potentially discuss, and make some decisions. What are your reasons for beginning? What health issues do you have?  How much time and money do you want to invest in your pursuit?  What do you like and not like? What kind of training are you interested in?  Do you need or want a trainer?  What obstacles can you see needing to overcome?  Are you going this alone or will you have a partner?  Do you have, want, or need a support system? (You may think, No, but I'll say having support is immensely positive. )  As you can see, there are a lot of questions to be asked when beginning, especially since this isn't even all of them.  Often, I think people just get a hair across their ass when they read, hear, or see something motivational and they begin like their hair's on fire and no plan.  In the beginning it's easy to rely on that fresh motivation to get you going but as times get tough and life happens, they fall off the rails never to return.  Much of that could have been avoided if they'd discussed, ironed out, and answered questions like the ones listed so they'd be prepared when the beginning momentum wears off and the real work and mental fortitude begins.  (And for those that don't know, if you think you feel good completing a workout that you were motivated to begin, wait until you complete a workout you didn't want to even start.  The mental and emotional lift from overcoming your own mind is AH-MAZING!)  

2.)  What Are My Actual Goals

Answer:  Clearly this one is personal and different for everyone.  Even partners and couples who begin their journey's together may have different ideas about what they want, and that's perfectly reasonable.  Team fitness journeys aren't necessarily about achieving the same goals as others, though they can be, but are instead about working with people who have the same drive to achieve their personal goals you do.  My wife and I have vastly different professional goals but we still lean on, support, and try to help one another when possible because we're on this journey together.  Write your goals down.  Track them.  Review them.  Discuss them.  Change them if need be but identify them clearly at all times.  Once they're created and you feel confident they're what you want, begin pursuing them with smaller goals.  Why do it that way?  Because psychologically you're more likely to continue when you have some success.  For example.  You begin weight training with a little cardio and decide all you need to track progress is your scale.  After a month, not only have you not lost any weight, you've gained four pounds.  Distress enters and you'll likely quit.  Now, same scenario but together with a scale you also have body fat and measurement goals.  The scale add's those four pounds but..BUT, your body fat % drops 1 percentage point, and you've lost 1" off your chest, and 3 inches off your waist.  Now you know your pants didn't just feel like they fit differently, they actually do.  These small victories give you the confidence and drive to keep on your journey.  The importance of that cannot be understated  .  Most people, myself included, don't quit things because they're actually too hard.  We do so because we perceive them to be.  By increasing the ability to achieve goals, we can change perceptions from negative to positive and that could potentially be the difference between stopping or continuing.  Between failure and achievement.  

3.)  How Do I Tell Fact From Fiction

Answer:  This is a hard one, one I've struggled with for years, and one that will continue to catch people within its net because a lot of people are assholes and have made marketing and sales pitches sound like reasonable science.  Not only that, they market by deception so you buy their products.  Plus, some of them have credentials that make it seem like they're someone to be listened to when in reality they're nothing more than snake oil salesmen.  Honestly, I still struggle mightily here, no bullshit, because I A.) have trust issues in life to begin with and, B.) because I've researched the topic enough to know how bad the industry really is. And I'm not even talking about the fitness industry specifically here because I don't have enough education to formulate a concise opinion there.  I'm talking the food and drug industries as a whole.  The people that you hear, read, and see information from daily.  Supplements are certainly a large industry and perhaps something I'll discuss at a later date when and if I feel educated enough to do so, but what I'm referring to here is trying to learn the basics of what to eat and drink.  Seems like it should be easy but when we're bombarded by no fat, low fat, medium fat, high fat, super high fat, eat this but not this, this is OK even though it has this but this isn't because it has this is a different form, ect, you're God damn right it gets confusing.  I'm lucky in that I have people to bounce questions and ideas off who have some understanding.  Most people don't and end up relying on information they get from the, "news" or "Dr's" they see on TV or some reality show.  A search on the internet may not lead you to the proper advice but instead to someone who was willing to pay a little more to Google ad space to have their site appear at the top of a search.

As you can tell I get it.  I know that struggle and I empathize.  So what can you do?  Honestly, set aside some time to do real research.  My above example only touched on the consumption side because as a beginner, you likely understand more about that than the techniques and training programs available but you'll need to look into that too.  My best advice here would be to look up reviews pertaining to trainers and nutrition experts and find one you think will fit (like any service, be sure you're comfortable with the person you hire) that can help you navigate many of these questions.  But if you can't for whatever reason, utilize your access to technology and educate yourself to get started.  Spend some time asking and answering questions.  Use your own common sense and if something doesn't sound right, review it because it may not be.  I have a post in progress where I'll share some pages and sites that I follow that I find value in but for now, if you're ready to start, fire up that technology and get to work.

These were my questions.  Yours could and likely will formulate others but whatever they are, try like hell to answer them before you begin if possible.  I say if possible, because maybe you really are stumped on something non-vital.  My advice would be to not delay your start if a question remains unanswered because that could grow into a huge stress that begins as no big deal and ends up holding you back from progressing. Similar to the grain of sand shutting down the large mechanical device example.  Understand that like lifts, you're unlikely to always be perfect but by laying out details out ahead of time you'll make it easier to navigate when times get tough or unexpected life events occur.  Entering the fitness world for me has absolutely been an enriching experience but I also understand that it isn't and hasn't been that way for everyone for a variety of reasons.  Here's hoping that your next experience is fantastic and you're presented the opportunity and benefits I have.    


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Confidence Conundrum

Confidence is an amazing thing.  One minute it's flowing like a mountain snow melt river and the next it's dried up like a scorched earth scene from a dystopian novel.  Your confidence can be high regarding one subject and low to non-existent for another.  You could be an all around confident person or perhaps the type who's confidence is only raised when feeling secure in knowledge of specific topics.  You can be over confident, which often leads to problems and failure or you can be under confident and unwilling to even try something foreign. Yes, confidence has time and time again proven itself difficult to understand and near impossible to master.  And nowhere was that more evident for myself than the previous week.

I'm going back to work outside the home.  It's exhilarating, exciting, nerve racking, and a whole host of other adjectives.  It's been roughly four years since I've worked a job outside the walls which I reside and I'm finding getting back on the horse more difficult than I'd imagined for a variety of reasons.  The need for a somewhat flexible schedule due to both my caregiver responsibilities as well as my desire to continue coaching are clearly obstacles to take into consideration and to be worked around.  That eliminates some potential opportunities off the top.  The fact that I haven't worked traditional employment for the past few years will clearly play a roll because there's no history of what I've learned and done recently.  And lest we forget, the way many things are done today are not the same as they were even a couple years ago.  While they likely existed when I was seeking employment prior, computer programs today search resume's and cover letter's for key words while it and other technology has limited the initial interactions potential employers and employees have with one another.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning the practice because I have no doubt it's been magnificent for companies and particularly recruiters and HR people because it saves a lot of time and resources, but it can make applying for jobs with those firms harder for good candidates who may not be as educated or versed in the, "art of applying for employment".

So why do I mention all this?  I do so because in the past week I've have a couple different experiences while attempting to gain employment and a vast swing in confidence was on display.  The first job I applied for a week ago was a coaching position I wasn't sure I'd get but I still felt good walking in.  I had a rough idea of what I wanted to say and even the couple curve balls fell within parameters I felt prepared to discuss. While I didn't end up getting that particular job, I think it had more to do with my lack of experience and I was actually extended the opportunity to apply for another position that will allow me to gain that knowledge in the future.  My limited experience, practice, and preparedness built my confidence to a point where I was able to present myself as who I am and that's absolutely important.  Unfortunately, that's not close to what happened yesterday.

Yesterday I put on nice clothes, nice shoes, and printed resume's and cover letters before heading to a local job fair.  Leaving the house, I felt pretty decent and ready to discuss with some of the 45 potential employers the opportunities they had available.  I felt good right up until the time I entered the parking lot when suddenly and without warning, my confidence decided keep going up the main rd instead of turning with me. My confidence dropped immensely while driving around in search of an empty parking spot.  Walking in, what little remained was looking for a way to exit and by the time I actually entered the room with all the employers, I'd basically relegated myself to feeling overwhelmed, unprepared, and basically incapable of displaying my best self.  The few employers I did speak to, there's no way I left a good impression. Frankly, if I left no impression at all it would make me feel better than what I'm thinking I left them with.  Leaving the floor half an hour later, I felt completely deflated and exhausted.  My confidence was shaken and I knew reevaluating, regrouping, and refocusing was going to be necessary.

And that's where today's post comes from.  This is a necessary part of the reevaluate, regroup, and refocus process for me.  Writing it down allows me to think deeply into the subject and make corrections as they arise.  In this case, sharing it is really the easy part because I'm pretty positive others have had their confidence shaken before as well.  I know what happened yesterday and going forward, acknowledging problems, will allow me to hopefully avoid the same pitfalls in the future.

Yesterday I lost my confidence but by acknowledging that my confidence was reduced it's allowing my confidence to increase so in the future I'll have more confidence and will be confident that my confidence will be there when I need it, confidently.  And thus, we have the confidence conundrum.

The Confidence Conundrum

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Social Media Break

A couple weeks ago I deactivated my Facebook account.  Some people were curious why and a couple even reached out asking me to rethink my decision because there, like here, I attempt to be both honest as well as positive when presenting idea's and opinions.  I'm not always successful and at times negativity will flow from brain to fingertips but in recent years it's become more and more a rarity that I allow it to happen. However, there came a point a couple weekends ago where I suddenly realized that the negativity from everyone else was getting to me in an unhealthy manner and it was not just affecting me but I also felt like it was leaching into my real life. Disturbed by the revelation it was clear there was only one course of action; an immediate break. That was nearly two weeks ago.

As I write this now, life without social media is getting easier and easier.  I won't lie, the first couple days were weird.  It has become readily apparent to me just how much I'd been using it.  For the first three days plus I kept picking up my phone without thinking about it simply to scan.  There was no app because I deleted it off my phone (and probably won't re-add it even after I reactivate) so I'd stare at my phone for a moment or load up ESPN or the news to see if anything had changed.  Of course, it hadn't because contrary to what our social media feeds tell us, actual news doesn't tend to change all the fast (except for the NBA trade deadline.  Information was coming out every few minutes, or so it seemed).  Now that I have some time away I'm not doing that nearly as much but what an awakening this has provided.  Life in general doesn't seem nearly as negative as it did.  I have no idea what's going on with a whole lot of people's lives which is unfortunate because I really do enjoy being able to keep up with people in such an easy format but I don't regret my decision.  On the contrary, not only am I unsure when I may reactivate, but earlier this week I was faced the possibility of needing to get back on for professional reasons and it actually stressed me out. Clearly, the break was more needed than I'd realized.

Social media allows many things.  It can make us believe our voice is bigger than it is or make us feel like our voice is too small to ever matter.   It can allow us to share our opinions, our positivity, our negativity.  It's proven over and over again that, "it's better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're an idiot than open it (or post to the world) and prove it."  It's allowed those we would not have otherwise known exist, to share profound thoughts, ideas, and education, while permitting others to use it as a mode of transmitting hate, ignorance, and stupidity.  It has created a means of proliferating information that I'm unsure humans were and are ready for at this time.  It's something I'd felt before but not nearly to the degree that I did a week ago.  That I had so much information available there was no way I could process everything and it was indeed beginning to slow me down; like an old computer who's memory has filled to the point where it still works, but even the simplest of tasks are slowed to the point of being nearly useless.

Learning the Old School Way
So now I'm on reset of sorts.  I find myself not only getting more accomplished but also feel like I'm actually learning more.  In the past two weeks I've read or finished reading 5 books, which both puts a good dent in my 25 book year end goal as well as providing some needed education without so many distractions.  I've read actual articles rather than simply skimming and reading comments (some of which I do miss because while comment sections can be the definition of hell, occasionally there are some great discussions that provide a wealth of information and "rabbit hole" links).  I've made some phone calls and talked with people rather than simply relying on text or messenger (which come to find out you don't lose just because you deactivate from FB.  Who knew?)  I've done a little writing but not enough but I'm still not as stressed as I could or perhaps should be because I've been using the time to accomplish actual tasks not simply scrolling.  No, thus far I do not regret my decision to unplug.

Eventually I'll get back on.  In reality, not only will I likely reactivate but I'm likely to add additional social media accounts because in order to achieve some future goals, it will be a business requirement.  However, what I'm seeing and hope that I can hold onto going forward is the separation from life and social media. Looking at the situation from 10,000 feet, so to speak, I can see that my overuse began years ago as a way to fill a void but while it may have seemed like I was connecting with people, over time it was actually having to opposite effect.  As I mentioned above, that is not to say that there are not positive things about social media because there absolutely are.  But if one is not careful, it can metastasize and without even realizing it, it's caused unforeseen damage.  I'm not saying a break is a necessity for everyone, but every so often take a moment to review your usage.  Think about whether it's positively impacting your life or whether it's become nothing more than a habit or addiction.  Like a diet, exercise regime, or household budget, reviewing and adjusting actions based on what you find never hurts and will be beneficial in the long run.              

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Last Witness

Did the title draw you in to check out this weeks post?  Yes?  Good, but I must apologize because the subject this week is much less ominous than the title may have led you to believe.  I had to get you here somehow though because I think what I'm going to discuss this week is amazing and something I'm unsure many of us are going to bare witness too for much longer.  What am I referring to?  The long term marriage.
You see, earlier this month my Mother and Father-in-Law celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary, which is something else and hard to beat!  However, yesterday my Grandparents celebrated number 57!  Yes, 57! Between my wife and I we've been fortunate enough to see 90 years of marriage between two couples. Talk about having an example set! How the hell could either of us ask for better than that?!  It's truly astounding not just that each couple has made it this far, but they've seemingly done it in entirely different manners.

Now, this post is not meant to be is some profound discussion on the history, moral issues, or legalities of marriage just so we're clear.  It's certainly a worthwhile discussion but not for today.  When I'm speaking of marriage in this article is pertains to the deep and long held beliefs of two specific couples who've worked and fought and upheld the idea that you don't leave one another simply because times get tough.  Cancer has been fought by both families, losses have been suffered, tough decisions have been made, tears have have been fought back and released, and yet when you talk to them, the laughs still flow freely and each couple seems as in love today as when they said their "I do's" so many years ago.  I have no doubt there were times when each couple felt up against it and the thought of doing something different crossed their minds, if even for a moment. But they didn't.  There's lessons and value in that the our following generations can learn from.    

Each couple has interesting and awesome histories that brought them to where they are today.  My in-laws raised 6 girls while moving both abroad and throughout the US.  They've succeeded and failed with jobs and businesses, fostered over 30 children, chased dreams for themselves and their children, and have probably developed more deep relationships in their lifetimes than I've actually met people.  I have no doubt that they had some tough times but their attitudes pertaining to life and by extension to one another is amazing.  In one way or another, each of their daughters, and as I'm attesting others whom they've come into contact with, have benefited from witnessing how they work together both as a married couple and more importantly as friends.  While others dread spending time with their in-laws (apparently); I wish I could see mine more often. Given that I'm not the biggest fan of people, that's saying something.  ;)

When it comes how their lives played out, the two couples couldn't be more different.  While my in-laws have been travelers in every sense of the word, my grandparents chose to spend the majority of their years in a single town and on a single plot of land.  (I say majority because there was some time where they lived elsewhere early in their married years.)  They were teenage parents who lived and worked day to day just to get by doing whatever work presented itself.  My grandmother raised her three children before deciding that she wanted to return both to college and then the workforce  (returning to college is something both these magnificent women have in common) while my grandfather spent his years doing a number of things, most of them very well and earning a reputation as hard worker (and hard head at times.  According to my wife it's a trait I share)  Things weren't always easy but in the hardest times they leaned on one another to get through. Again, lessons that can and should be passed along to us generations that are following.

While both couples have come to this point on their journey having traveled different roads, they absolutely share some similarities as well.  Both contain people who have stubborn sides.  Both couples love to laugh. Both are able to acknowledge that life often isn't sunshine and rainbows and neither has a whole lot of tolerance for bullshit.  They answer questions honestly both to each other and to others and they have a propensity for telling you what you need to hear not what you want to hear.  They'll help anyone once but if you screw them don't come around again and you'll be hard pressed to find four harder working people. They've passed down knowledge, wisdom, and virtues to the following generations while fully acknowledging that they made their own mistakes along the way and therefore others will too.  They worked and fought, and played, and learned through life together; as individuals who became part of a whole that was bigger than any could achieve alone.

Mates for Life
It's interesting that when you look at the backgrounds of my wife and I we almost match the relationships witnessed growing up. At the same time we both have a desire to bring elements of the other into our lives. Our aim is to learn from the mistakes while enhancing the best of what we've witnessed and been taught.  I'm not well traveled and have barely left Maine for vacations let alone lived elsewhere while my wife is finally setting down some roots after over 30 years of movement.  She's teaching me how to be comfortable in environments I'm unaccustomed to while I'm trying to extol to her the benefits of having and developing a solid home base.  It's a balancing act for the two of us to develop both a future where we can have what we want in a home while at the same time fitting in much more travel and is one of the many areas of our life together where we spent much time in discussion in an attempt to find solutions that will both benefit and keep one another happy.

Looking at both sets of couples, I see many things that I want and so does my wife.  We often talk about our desire to have the types of relationships we witnessed growing up.  I often joke with her that this is it for me. If we should divorce I'll never get married again.  It's funny but it's also the truth.  We both want the 50 year marriage.  Like the people we've learned from, her and I both took and take our vows seriously.  "For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and bad."  Each of us have an ideal we're trying to attain and the only way to achieve it is by taking our vows seriously.  And while life will seem more complicated than it needs to be at times and will actually be more complicated than we'd prefer at others, if we can continue to focus on the simple things, someday perhaps someone will write about being as inspired by our marriage as each of us have been about the ones we were fortunate enough to witness.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Completing the Un-Complete

I have no idea exactly what today's title means.  I have 8, yes 8, posts in varying stages of writing and editing and felt this afternoon that none of them are ready to share.  Some are because I'm having trouble completing the thoughts within, some are because there is research I must finish before hitting publish, and one is personal enough that I'm unsure whether I'm ready to share it yet.  The unfinished are the perfect examples both of procrastination as well as what sometimes happens to writers and wanna-be writers;  You have tremendous ideas so you sit down and get them out only to find that your brain is quite convoluted and your ideas don't have the type of order than anyone but yourself will be able to understand.  The time consuming part then isn't the getting the ideas out (though that does happen, hence the existence of the dreaded "writers block"), it's putting them in order, with connections and examples that the reader will be able to understand. Here's the problem though.  Too often, I don't go back and review and I don't complete the work.  And it's not just with writing either.  I have many projects in varying states of progress because I'll hit a patch that requires a bit more thought, research, time, ect and I put it aside in favor of something else I feel I can complete easier and/or in a more timely fashion.  It's absolutely a weakness I've identified.  And for damn sure it works it's way over to my fitness as well.

So what can I do to work on this?  Well, before beginning this post I worked on one of the others.  Writing this came about because I wanted to get something written and posted before the end of this week and after reviewing that one and the other seven, I decided I would not be able to complete any one of them in a satisfactory manner without spending more time than I possessed today.  I had to make a decision whether it was better to finish something or finish nothing.  Since you're reading this it's clear what I decided  I have a goal to write a post per week, or end up with at least 52 by the end of the year.  Falling too far behind would put me in peril of not reaching that goal.  What I mentioned above about sometimes moving on to things that are easier and faster to complete?  Living example and you didn't even have to wait for it.

Generally I feel like simply acknowledging a problem is the best way to begin rectifying it.  I know damn well I learned that somewhere and perhaps I should even be giving credit to that source but to do so would require research and the whole point of writing this was to be quick, to the point, and fast and of all terms used to describe what research is and can be, fast is not and should not be one of them. Now that I know what I am and am not doing I can work towards completing some of those projects.  I can finish the wiring in the basement.  I can get out and cut some more wood.  I can add Turkish Get-ups back into my program.  I can complete one or two of the unfinished posts.

And I can begin all those things tomorrow because I have these shiny projects to get done today..


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Current Physical Status

Since announcing the change of direction I've written a post regarding some life lessons, one on goal writing, and one on overcoming some issues but have done nothing specific pertaining to health, wellness, training, or anything along those lines.  A couple of the upcoming posts do discuss those topics but to do that without first presenting where things currently are would be a mistake at best and downright dumb at worst.

Where I started

As I mentioned in a prior post, I'm now on the backside of recovery from both back surgery and an injury occurred while working in the woods this past summer.  As of this morning my body weight is at 310, up 17lbs from my December 2015 pre-surgery weight of 293 (picture in shorts) and down from a high of 314 a few weeks ago.  I'm back to working out 3 days per week, have made some serious adjustments to my diet, added some walking in this week, and am spending more time working and on my feet in the past few months than I had in pretty much the entirety of the previous year.  To only have gained 17 lbs makes me pretty happy given my lack of physical activity and poor eating habits (some of which I actually do not even remember!)

Where do I want to go with this?  A year ago I wrote a goal body weight of  225.  That still holds true because I believe I'd be in ball park of being my best physical self.  I may add a body fat percentage in the future as well but I'm not there yet.  I want to be able to run a sub 7:00 minute mile, ruck 4 miles with a 35lb plus pack in under an hour and hit 400, 500, 600 on the bench, squat, and deadlift. Again, I may add something, in this case some sort of overhead pressing movement, but I'm not at a stage yet where I feel I can accurately gauge what that amount would be.  Currently I'm structuring my workouts to really focus on strengthening weak areas; namely my back, and increasing mobility.  I've taken the repeated advice I've seen and am sure to add in specific movements that I hate but understand are needed; bear crawls and Turkish get-ups for example.  I'm also working around the equipment I don't have in my home gym and probably getting close to needing to find somewhere to do a few things or investing in some more equipment. However, for now I'm making due and getting a proper sweat and soreness so I can't complain too much.
Squat rack needs some new parts and I'm
out of weights but thus far I've been adapting
as needed.

So there you have it; my starting point.  Well, kind of.  I was more than a few weeks into working out again before I sat down to "pen" this post but it's close enough I think.  Plus, I'm still well into obese so visual changes will continue to be illuminated.  I expect, and am hoping you, the reader, are interested seeing the not so positive moments as well because journey's rarely go smoothly and/or as expected and I believe it's important for you to see that as well. The reason I'm sharing my current pictures now (instead of waiting) and the reason I want you to see my failures as much as my successes is because all too often we get this picture of people who've made changes as superhero's who never had a down day.  Who didn't struggle and yet magically transformed. Sometimes that's done intentionally to sell a product but often it's because, understandably, it's scary to show our warts.  Inspiration can absolutely be had seeing someones before and afters but what can also happen, is if it doesn't happen as fast as we think it should or if there's a setback, we give up. I believe some of that can be attributed to not understanding that the journey will be long and arduous and won't be completed yesterday.  Yes, you can drop weight fast though extreme means and by following diets similar to specific athletes but it doesn't (and likely won't) mean you'll keep those changes long term.  Being mentally ready and working your mindset daily is just as important as following your dietary and workout plans.

And with that, my personal journey is underway..  


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Whoops, I Slipped

I've never written something short and to the point here but I think today might be the day.  I have 6 other posts I've begun and are in varying states of completion but rather than editing or otherwise finishing any of those today, I think this one has more value.  Why? Because it was only a couple weeks ago I laid out some ideas for goal setting and I'd already caught myself disregarding them and falling back into bad habits. No kidding.  As usual, it happened so fast I didn't even realize what I was doing until one day while attempting to complete a task, the light came on that I'd taken on so many things at once I was really neglecting them all. I almost missed a workout day last week, things I needed to complete I didn't (including a blog post), and while I felt like I was getting much done, when I sat down and really looked at things, I had accomplished a minimal amount.  On top of that my brain was fried because I was trying to learn too many new subjects and ideas at once.  Also, I won't lie, the whole election thing has worn on me too.  Not because of who was elected because I didn't like either candidate but what it's done to many people both around me and around the country.  When you're goal is to get yourself into a position to help others and you see so many people fighting, it can be taxing, no shit.

Anyways, the biggest hurdle was behind me.  I acknowledged what I was doing didn't fit with my plan.  So, what now? I had to take some time to consider once again what would best aid both my short and long term plans and devote my time to those things while putting others on the back burner.  There are some tasks that are necessary like working out, home maintenance, getting the family to appointments and family time, plowing the driveway and working on the house, that are ever present.  Those are fixed time consumers; that is, they are things we automatically build into our day and/or take precedence over other activities.  We all have those (though they're not all the same), it was the remainder of the time I wasn't utilizing properly.  I mentioned it to Shawna to verify my feeling was reality and she did just that so after some discussion and reevaluation, I began this week much clearer and with a much more defined plan of attack.  It wasn't that hard once I narrowed down the what and why's.  I'm an assistant football coach so insuring I'm continually learning about that subject is important to both myself, the other coaches, and the players.  I'm working on other training and teaching goals, so studying and learning anatomy is important (this can also aid the football coaching too but I'll tough on that down the road).  I need to take the next steps regarding my first novel.

There are a couple others not listed but I also had to put some ideas on the back burner.  I'm not going to take a business step right now that I want to get off the ground because I decided I'm neither in the position to make it viable nor do I have the time to devote currently.  It's not dead, it's just waiting for me to finish the foundation, which completion of my current goals will go a long way toward.  I'm not going forward currently with beginning my next novel.  I'm still writing ideas and taking my recorder with me so when inspiration hits I can save it for later, but while I'd like to have the time to devote to it, I've made the decision to focus on my other goals first.  Funny enough, when I sat down to consider this I realized that again, completion of my short term goals will aid this long term one.  Funny how that works isn't it?

So, short story a little longer than planned, if you fall off the goal wagon it's OK.  It's going to happen to most people somewhere along the line.  What I'm finding separates the successful from the unsuccessful is the ability to admit that you're no longer on your path and adjusting accordingly.  Sometime it'll be your fault, sometimes life but acknowledgement that what you're doing isn't working is the key.  Once you've crossed that threshold getting back on the path to improvement is just a reevaluation away.