Holy cow. I can’t tell you how many goals, how many Mondays, how many months, how many weeks or even years I was stuck in that all or nothing thinking. It will drive you mad, and it can potentially cost you the most amazing life that is right around the corner.
I don’t know when exactly I shed this all or nothing mentally, but that ish has left the building, it has dropped the mic (bad performance) and we are done with it. We have divorced, there is no alimony on either side, and the by-products of this former relationship I am using to better the current state.
In all seriousness though, I too wish I could be more black and white.
Okay, ONLY eat this, but NEVER this.
Run EVERY SINGLE DAY, and never miss a day.
ALWAYS tell my husband I love him so so so much, and never argue or fight or even pick a fight.
ALWAYS 200 dials a day, ALWAYS 200 quality emails a day, ALWAYS be reading…
Clean the bathroom EVERY Friday, ALWAYS drink 1 gallon of water a day.
And these rules upon rules upon rules are and can be exhausting! And if all didn’t happen according to plan, you find the nearest vice, and just go hard.
Time to N’Sync this thinking like bye bye bye! We have to shed that all or nothing weak life strategy, because it’s anything BUT!
At first you want to deny it, like, “Oh no, I’m SUPER easy going, and I can totally be okay if I don’t get it ALL done.” And then you find yourself secretly eating a whole cake or bag of chocolate covered pretzels like “I can’t believe I can’t get my 30 item to do list each day!” I’ll start again on MONDAY! (Because Mondays are supposedly magic for willpower and productivity! Not.)
We use that ALL OR NOTHING thinking and then subsequent failure, and it gives birth to everything we don’t want. It may not be poor food. It might be drugs, it might be wine, it might be anger, it might be anything and everything you are trying to get very far away from.
And so – how do we break up? How do we separate? How do we move on, and never allow that thinking to catch us again?
1 – Just move on. Literally – just move on. Just quickly move on as if nothing happened and it’s all good. Don’t DIVE into your vice, and cause more pain or errors. Just ooops, okay, no big deal, let’s move on. If you had a glass of wine and promised yourself you wouldn’t – don’t go for bottle #2, just get right into some nice and cold water, and move on.
2 – Physically separate from vice. Let’s say you promised yourself you would never ever ever ever text someone again, and boom, here ya go – you did. Instead of diving deep into a whole THING, and if you are dating or have a crushing relationship with someone, you know what that means: you must physically separate. Perhaps drop your phone off with a friend, or the car, or other room, and just give it space. Go to sleep, go for a walk, read a book in the library – but just give yourself physical space, and even better: TIME.
3 – Make errors and practice getting right back on track – asap. For instance, if you get invited to a rad children’s birthday party, and you promised yourself you are ONLY sticking to the veggie tray – and you are feeling pretty solid about this – go for the veggies, and then have something off plan. Let’s say that slice of pizza looks pretty divine or that heavenly hot-dog wrapped in bacon. Have the pizza or h-dog, recognize it’s off plan, and know that things are still fine, and then go back to the veggies and water, as if it’s NO BIG DEAL.
4 – Stop torturing yourself. Stop evaluating yourself at every turn. I used to be amazed and intrigued and quite jealous of people who just went about their life, and never really thought much of many of the choices they made. Like “OMG, that doesn’t make them feel xyz?” Usually MEN are or appear really good at this like, they are just COOL and CALM and PEACEFUL regardless of what happens or regardless of what they do. Be like this. Be like – “Okay, sure okay, I’m not perfect, but life still goes on, and my choice is: 1 – torture self, or 2 – don’t torture self.” Choose 2.
5 – Have so much damn fun. You know what I regret most about my former all or nothing mentally. Is that I didn’t freaken enjoy myself enough. Holy cow, it was fun! Life is fun, and my life was fun. But always for me – it was about my rules and not sticking hard enough to them. But I never did anything that caused perm damage or hurt myself immensely, or hurt anyone at all. It was just life and living and eating and having a good time! Yet, I ruined the fun and the memories by being way too freaken hard on myself! Like, chill the f out mamacita, and enjoy it!
6 – Get rid of the rules, the plan, the to do list. Just end it. Just drop it off in your very expensive garbage bin. (Have you seen the prices for these bad boys lately?) Ironically enough, once I just started asking myself: What do I want to do today, or what do I need to get done today, I started intuitively – doing everything I needed to do. I wasn’t setting up unrealistic goals or rules – but instead – just went with the flow! When I wake up – depending if it’s 6am or 630, I have either 30 minutes or 10 minutes for a work out. As soon as I’m done either – I’m thrilled! If I wake up at 7am, I get to do something at noon and go for even a bit longer! How cool is that?
So what, so you didn’t read a great book in a month – move on. So what, you haven’t worked out according to the plan. So what, you didn’t make a list of all you are grateful for. So what, you just can’t seem to get back on the wagon, and digging a hole further in the ground – is way more time consuming and mentally draining, than using any of the above to just get on with it!
I noticed my all or nothing self torture has gone away, because when I do everything I need to each day – I’m pretty happy. And then there are days when I can’t seem to get much done, and I’m pretty happy as well. I have less planned, but I get more done. If I can’t run M-F, and only on W, I do sprints the other days. If I can’t get in a 20 minute workout, I’m pretty thrilled with a 10 minute one. If I eat 10 of the 20 super-foods on my to daily to-eat list, I’m celebrating. If it’s 5, or if it’s all 20 – I’m celebrating too!
So have fun, relax, and enjoy it all! Sometimes it is really a day you did it all, you accomplished it all, you got it done, the day was solid.
And other days have fun, relax and enjoy it all too! Even if your all feels more like a NO.
The POWER is in our minds, and we make ourselves and our lives feel good NOT by what we get done, but how good we feel about what does get done, regardless of the amount or success! Time to celebrate life lovers!