Friday, January 27, 2017

Ramblings: Buckets

Push through.
Make it happen.
Pain is weakness leaving the body.
You don’t care enough. If it’s important you will make time for it.
One of many phrases urging us to take it to the next level.
There's truth in these statements.  We tend to stop when we could dig deeper, push harder and take our lives to a new level.
But we aren’t tapping an infinite ocean of bad-assery.
It’s a bucket.
What’s more, it seems that people are given buckets of different size. Buckets empty more quickly with some activities compared to others, probably based on whether it’s perceived as an obligation, an overwhelming event, a challenge or an opportunity, whether it cuts into sleep…but I digress.
My point is there’s a limit.  Ignore that limit and you suffer.  Your friends suffer.  Your family suffers.  To a certain extent, the world suffers.
Based on nothing but my unqualified experience failing at goals, goals fail because in a moment of motivation (possibly linked to New Year's revelry) we underestimated how much these new activities would empty our buckets. Or maybe we became so accustomed to “making time” that we can't see the dry bottom of our bucket.
Give yourself a break.  If you didn’t make your goal yet, you’re not a failure. You don’t fail until you give up.
Do I think you can train yourself to have a bigger bucket?  Maybe. More likely, your perception changes.  Some activities move from draining the bucket to filling the bucket. Activities move from challenge to opportunity, allowing you to do more.  But you can’t re-frame everything. Saying the words “wow, what an opportunity!” does not magically change the fact that your boss's favorite communication style is yelling. Or that a new child needs love and attention 24/7. Watch that low tide line. Don’t dry out. 
What made the bucket empty so quickly? IMO, activities that 1) take away sleep, 2) increase stress about stuff that MUST be completed (work, pick up kids from school if you have them, etc) or 3) drain physical/emotional energy empty the bucket quickly.  Guess what?  If you chose to start working out and/or eating better, you chose resolutions that hit all 3 of those simultaneously.
How to fix it?  Look at what empties your bucket. Now, right now, could be a bad time. Or take a step back.  Pick one thing. Work on healthy eating, then workout out. Or vice versa. I would start with workouts, BTW.  No one can ruin the aerobic fitness gained on your morning run by forcing cookies on you in the afternoon. But that could ruin your weight loss.  This is a peeve of mine, again, I digress.
My point is: take care of yourself so you’re ready when the world needs you.  Or something like that. Don’t berate yourself based on your progress so far.  Think about how far you'll be because you didn't quit.

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