Happy Friday, LoW!
If you’ve been along the Wild ride with Dan and I for a bit, you know we encourage small changes over time. If you can stick to something for a long time (aka forever) the consistency pays off in a big way. We know that if you start too hard and fast, you are more likely to burnout due to fatigue, injury, illness, or just sheer frustration. That is a major reason why New Year’s resolutions tend to fail. People psych themselves up for a huge life change, and then after two weeks they realize it’s not sustainable, or life gets in the way and they fall off the wagon. Then the holidays roll around and once again they are determined to finally reach that goal and set another similar resolution. And the cycle continues, often for years or decades.
If that sounds like you, don’t worry, it’s also me! Once I hatch a plan, I often find that having a date set in the future turns into a free-for-all with my favorite junk foods because “I’ll start doing better soon.” It’s so easy to get into a mindset of “Oh well, this weekend is a lost cause, I’ll restart Monday.” It becomes a cycle to spend time weighing whether I was “good” or “bad" and re-live that cycle over and over.
Sometimes, you just find yourself in a major funk. Maybe you’ve been in this same cycle for five years. Maybe you are struggling with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Perhaps you are dealing with something even bigger. When those things happen, it can be beneficial to make the choice to rattle your own cage; to overturn the apple cart.
I’m not necessarily talking about Misogi-level commitments. This wouldn’t be something that is a once-a-year occurrence that you only have a 50/50 chance at succeeding in. Instead, this would be a big step that can shake things up and lead you to improved consistency. While I believe most of us understand that consistency is not only the key, but the only viable way, it can be a challenge when we don’t see or feel results. Trading fast food lunch for a lunchtime walk has a lot of benefits, but you see them over time rather than immediately. That is where doing something big can give you a boost. It doesn’t mean you drop the walk! It means you shake things up so you start feeling something again.
When you really need to get out of a funk, a big move can help you develop the consistency you know you need. For me, that big change is going to be a rock solid commitment to strength training. I have a lot of room to level-up both my Neon Buffalo training and rucking. I notice the most positive changes in both my body and mindset when I am training harder for strength and I need to get back to it.
It might not seem like a major move, but the point for me is a focused commitment to something I know I need and enjoy but don’t always maintain consistency with, often due to time. I do best with about 90 minutes a day of workout time, and it can be hard to squeeze that in unless I revolve the other parts of my day around it. So that will be my focus – to make strength training a non-negotiable.
The point isn’t to go hard and then fail out. It is to push myself to re-develop the discipline that I know I have but hasn’t been fully utilized recently and I’m definitely feeling the effects of letting it fall apart. It will help create that consistency so that I am working progressively towards my goals. Relentless Forward Progress, as as Bryon Powell says. Working from home, it’s easy for me to get too comfortable and I need to bump myself out of that comfort zone.
If you are feeling the funk, stuck in a rut, or struggling to land on your feet after recent disruptions, consider shaking things up by doing something big that allows you to develop the consistency you need to keep moving forward. It can be anything you want. Maybe you’d benefit from cleaning your pantry and fridge of all the processed stuff you don’t really want to eat and restocking with wild (whole) foods. Maybe you’ve been doing your workouts with the same 10 pound kettlebell for a year and you need to get something heavier. Maybe you need to reach out to a local group so you can get the in-person support you need to keep challenging yourself. Or maybe you have the space to improve your home gym.
Make the big move. It might feel a little anxiety-provoking and scary, but that is where we grow. Outside of our comfort zones. As we’ve moved out of the covid years, I think a lot of us feel different. We’ve landed in a weird, funky place where everything is too soft and easy and it feels kind of gross. That’s how I feel, anyways. Maybe it’s only me! When I’m not doing what I need to feel good, I feel gross, and I’ve realized that I need to take that bigger step. Come with me.
Do hard things.