I don’t know about you, but when I get excited about something, I THINK BIG!!! I gather as much info as I can (in a very short time) and explode it 10x!!! I take a small garden plot and craft these grandiose dreams to turn it into a 100’x100’ lot OVERNIGHT. I start decluttering the house and expect it to turn into a Pinterest house by the END OF THE WEEK. I get pregnant and expect to have the same physical fitness after giving birth as I did before getting pregnant. In other words, I am an instant gratifier. I have no problem putting the work in to get the results, but I tend to expect the results to happen immediately.
Because I DREAM BIG without allowing the hard work and focus to grow over time, those dreams end up as over promised attempts to create something that would be a great reality for me and my family. I mean , honestly, shame on me for expecting something different. Success comes with hard work and focus. Yet, somehow I think I am the expectation and can make it happen faster than the laws of expectation show us.
I tend to get started with all these projects, get overwhelmed, put the brakes on, find a different route/plan because the original “is just not working” for me, and then start all over again. It seems to be a never-ending cycle of failure. Is it just me or somehow do we all seem to fail at managing our expectations?
Reality also is, I can choose to do something instead of nothing and that is where the 50% rule comes into play. By adapting this philosophy of giving what you have when you have it you will find easier and more FUN ways to fit more into your day.
Here are 4 ways that I have been applying the 50% rule to change my attitude, confidence, and lifestyle.
1) Cross out 50% of your list - Do you have a to-do list that seems a mile long and never gets shorter?. Well me too! I tend to overestimate the amount of work I can actually accomplish within a day, weekend, or even weekend. The same goes for my workouts.
When I was working (3) jobs, I only had my lunch hour to workout. With no trainer available, I paid for a 12-week program that was far above my abilities, but I wanted to challenge myself. I was confident I could figure it out. So I pushed through. It was tough and long!!! I couldn’t finish it with perfect practice and it left me feeling too sore to workout the next couple of days. I easily fell into that 1-2 workouts per week because I was overworking and pushing myself too hard. I had the motivation to succeed but again went too hard too fast and totally hindered my success.
I am not saying lower expectations, but rather look at what honestly can be accomplished this week. Do you have crying children? Major work deadlines? Unfinished project after project that seems to never end?
Immediate gratification can be a killer of our dreams. Big grandiose ideas have lots of moving parts, complexity, and an overwhelming sense of too much to do. We either don’t start or tend to try to fit the plans into a picture perfect framework where all the details line up just right. We design this great plan, buy the perfect outfit, the best alarm clock, order the right equipment, and wait for the first of the month. We do everything EXCEPT the most important thing and that is MOVE!!!
Change is scary. It exposes vulnerability and weakness. It opens up a ton of excuses of why we can not rather the CAN. Change is also EXTREMELY REWARDING! Before getting overwhelmed, take your plan and cut out 50%. Focus on increasing your intensity and perform the exercise with the 100% that you have to give.
If you are stressed out about finishing the workouts, cut it again. The point is to add consistency to your routine and know that you gave the 100% that you had at that moment rather than stressing out and not doing anything at all.
2) Hire accountability - If I haven’t said it yet, my youngest is 6 months old and teething. (EEK). I started working out again about 3 months ago. I hired my trainer for her expertise and accountability. Because of crying babies, sleepless nights, cold infections, etc, it took me over a month just to check off the consistency button. There were many nights where all three kids were up multiple times a night and as a result I would miss my 6 am scheduled training session. I felt terrible to leave my trainer hanging like that. But I just didn’t have it together every morning AND that is OKAY. Instead of saying this is never going to work, I focused on the mornings that I could make it and give it my all.
Reality is, I still miss a session here and there, I have my trainer plan for missed sessions by sending me at home workouts designed for continual progress. I trust that she can give me the guidance needed to succeed.
In addition to holding me accountable, she plans workouts tailored to my needs which means that I don’t have to overwhelm myself with various workouts online, exercise how to’s, or set myself up for failure with the “All or Nothing” mentality.
Bonus - remember that 12 week plan I bought years ago. Well I showed it to her and now she is editing that plan to meet MY needs and goals so that I can get back to the amazing shape I was once in.
3) Try the 2 minute rule. Nearly any habit can be scaled down into a two minute version. Pump out as many pushups, pullups, or squats in two minutes or work on movement patterns. Coach Josh created a great reference called the pillar squat. This movement is amazing to add into your pre or post workout, recovery, and stretch routine. This is a simple move that you can rinse and repeat multiple times throughout the day.
These movements are key to being able to exercise correctly and with heavy weights in the gym. Next time you sit down to watch a youtube video, take 2 minutes to pump out as many pillar squats as possible (or pushups or pullups) first. You will feel the difference by the end of the week.
On my off days, I add simple recovery movements like this into my daily routine. When I take a break from designing I get down and pump out pushups, anytime I go downstairs to change laundry I complete 1-3 pull ups, and work on pillar squats with my kids when we are cleaning/cooking dinner. I am not perfect. There are days when I don’t get downstairs at all. There are days where I only take a break to feed my children, but knowing that all I need to do is work in 2 minute breaks gives me the confidence and motivation to work on it.
4) Dive Deep - On yeah and that part where I said to cut 50% of your plan and cut it again if needed. You are probably thinking, WOW is it even worth it? Take that cut plan and go DEEP DEEP DEEP. I don’t mean ass to the grass squats, but rather practice how to perfect the exercise with slow tempo movements or even repeat the workout from start to finish.
Think about this. My gym warmup consists of:
10 air squats
For some people this is a full workout and that is great!! Know that where you are starting is exactly where you need to be. But if it is not and you need more, try to complete these 3 sets with no rest, or complete as many sets as possible in 15 minutes, or even rinse and repeat by completing 6 sets instead of only 3. The possibilities are endless.
Now adding all for into your week could be overwhelming. So instead, take it slow. Pick 1 idea and add it into your day immediately. If you start to see success immediately GREAT!!!! Take another idea and add it into your week. Whether you add one or all four, you are going to see and feel a difference in your week.
Looking forward to hearing how these work for you.