top of page

Speech of the Week: Wipe the slate clean

I would estimate that about 90% of people reference “accountability” when they have their initial consult with me.  What most of them really mean is “you make me workout and be consistent because I don’t feel like it myself,” or “use some sort of intense software and spit out a graph to make me hit my metrics or else it’s not real progress.”  So, that’s cool and all. 

I’ll be here for you.  We can do graphs if you want.  But the kind of accountability that actually moves you forward (physique, performance, etc) is the kind that happens in the mirror.  Get my drift?  I just hold up the mirror for you.    

And no, I’m not talking about being self-critical.  That kind of mirror-talk gets you nowhere.

Instead, I’m talking about applying a very simple technique. 

It’s called “Wipe the Slate Clean”

(It takes just a few minutes and this is my #1 go-to with all populations, beginners and advanced athletes alike.)  

The expectation is that everyone will get side-tracked.  That’s a given. 

It could look like:

-Missing a scheduled workout. 

-Eating much to much at a meal.  

-Generally eating poorly for a few days straight.  

-Going on a [insert vice here, x, y, z…] bender.     

-Acting completely selfishly and lashing out at friends or loved ones.  

-Anything that takes you in a direction that is not congruent with what you want.  

As you find yourself going off track (recognition is key) you will have the opportunity to say “Screw it” and dive even deeper into the hole, or you can stop, wipe the slate clean, and change course.   

Application begins when recognize that you’re off track.  Stop.  Take a deep breath (or two, or ten!).  Then verbally tell yourself: “it’s ok, that I missed….I’m going to take the next best step of…as soon as practical.”  Then actually practice taking that next step.  

It really is that simple.  Wipe the slate clean and don’t hold your “miss” against yourself.  .  Also, let’s be honest: most health and fitness actions aren’t complex moral issues (other than maybe being a good steward of your body and being a more responsible member of the community, but I digress).  You can simply stop and turn around without letting a cloud of guilt set in over your head. 

For example:

-Missed a scheduled workout?  Wipe the slate clean: what can you do now to move or get a shorter version in?  Then make your next scheduled workout.  No punishment burpees!

-Catch yourself stuffing yourself?  STOP.  That’s it.  Let your body digest and next time you actually feel hungry eat till just satisfied.  

-Had a bad week or a went on a bender?  Make arrangements to work out or eat better at the very next meal.  Don’t flagellate yourself with a “cleanse” or strict rules. 

-Act out badly?  If you can catch yourself: STOP.  Amend the situation as best as possible.  Next time that your “hot button” gets pushed, practice handling it better.

Wiping the slate clean isn’t a magic bullet that will fix all of your problems. 

But it is the primary tool that can help you stay accountable to yourself and making forward progress without settling for a long slump or slide.  And better yet, it helps you practice and build the skills of moving forward. 

Actual, permanent, life-improving progress is built on daily, imperfect actions that get better. 

“Practice makes progress!” 

2 views0 comments


bottom of page