I want to give my life structure, but too much structure will make me want to self sabotage. You know what I mean?
As I look back on 2014, I realize just how much I have grown as a person. In most all aspects of my life, I’ve learned more about myself, became stronger, more poised and secure in myself, and have moved forward in my life journey. But still, I’m a lazy human who Facebook’s too much, watches too much Netflix, and sleeps in too much on my days off. I want to be more productive, but have no motivation.
But sometimes I think about said motivation and wonder- what kind of motivation is such that you can sustain it for your entire life, day in and day out, not matter what? Well, when I sit and think about it, it’s not really motivation at all. Instead I think it’s a vigor for life; an ability to remind yourself each day how precious life is. I mean, people say that life is a gift from God that we are blessed with each day and we should cherish that gift. But most of the time I wake up grumpy and forget the whole cherishing life thing.
Ugh, I’m really a messed up human.
I’m not trying to sound dramatic and I am getting a bit off topic. My point is that, although I’ve improved upon myself more than ever in 2014, it was a gruesome process because I spent the whole time mustering up daily motivation out of thin air to drag myself out of bed and get some stuff done each day. As the days past, I got more fatigued and frustrated with altruistic self because the motivation I was mustering eventually fell flat- without meaning.
I came up with a mantra awhile back based on certain words I associated my life’s priorities with: Be an intent free spirit. And, as each day passes, it means a little something more to me. Instead of turning into a robot and spending my days “getting stuff done” in the most mundane, materialistic way possible, I want to be remain the free spirit God created me to be and use the passion inside my heart to change the world and make it better with each day given to me by Him.
But that’s such a loaded wish, how do I keep the motivation to make it possible? I think it’s all about small habits that I form [the good kind] and small habits that I break [the bad kind] that will cause minor tweaks to be chiseled and for said “free spirit” to break free and be intentional to do the things God wants me to do. [Which, by the way, I’m almost certain is not spending half my life on social media or Netflix]
So, my goal for 2015 are to create positive habits in my life and, one by one, let those habits form and shape my soul into an even better version of myself. I’ll choose 1 habit per month to make and stick to.
Read 1hr per day [30min Bible 30min Of Choice]
Let’s see how this goes…
What are your goals for 2015?
Everything in Moderation… Including Moderation.
My nutrition teacher in college told us this version. He always said that, even though our diets should be the healthiest it could be 85% of the time, there are some times in our lives when a donut binge is just a necessity. I think it’s ridiculous of us to assume that it’s possible to never eat birthday cake ever again; it certainly would not be as fun a world if we didn’t partake in the occasional burger and fries.
I completely agree with this theory. I’m sure we’ve all said those last famous words to ourselves at one [or two or three] times in our lives: “After this weekend, I’m never going to eat/drink [insert vice food here] for the rest of my life.” Yeah, sure. Let’s talk in a few months when it’s your best friend’s birthday and she wants to try every single flavor of Oreos with her friends.
Moderation can be overrated sometimes. I think the real definition of healthy living is working hard and eating right, but also knowing when to take a lazy rest day and enjoy in some of life’s best gifts. (Like your grandma’s brownies) The problem comes when we do one of two things:
- we go overboard with our moderation in one direction or the other or,
- we don’t use food and exercise to nourish our bodies, and instead play the game of “calories in calories out”, justifying our eating habits with our crazy workout schedules.
Either way, it’s hard to understand what moderation is. Because of this, we run away from anything unhealthy- or we give up on our healthy-living goals and run straight into a family-sized bag of chips.
Attempting moderation can be such a daunting task. I think that’s why people come to health professionals, frustratingly begging us for just a simple workout plan and meal plan. “Just tell me what to do” they say. But it’s not that simple. I can only teach you how to be self-sufficient, and that comes with learning lessons yourself and putting them to practice.
Like moderation. And, honestly? I’m not a master at moderation. I go through a cycle of eating cruddy foods more than I should and then realize I’ve gained 5lbs and I am sleeping terribly and I should probably cut back on the Cheese-Its. But, deep in my mind, I know I’ll never completely give up junk food. That’d be too unrealistic. That’s not moderation.
Or is it? I mean, God did not intend for us to eat Twinkies and McDonalds for the rest of our lives. Maybe I should go completely raw, organic, unprocessed. It’s so hard to tell because our society is SO not like that, anymore. But, if we were to stick to eating the things God intended us to eat, I’m sure our lives would be so much better.
So, because I love to consolidate my thoughts in a list, here is what I think moderation is for me:
- I want to make sure each meal I eat is balanced and nourishes my body
- Putting dyes, artificial sweeteners, or GMOs in my body is probably not anywhere near moderation for me. Because they are addictive, and I tend to stress-eat, I need to stay away from them as much as humanly possible. I don’t think my life will be effected too much if I refuse to eat Skittles.
- Enjoy the foods in life that are associated with family/memories. For example, my grandma makes the BEST brownies and treats for mine and my siblings’ birthdays. I really want to enjoy the treats she makes. All homemade and made with love, my life is really enriched with her desserts because they are associated with great memories and time spent with my family.
- Giving up certain food groups forever is not moderation, for me. However, the types of foods I eat should always strive to be the best I can possible eat. That means staying away from processed foods, unless I’m somewhere where that is not possible.
I don’t know if these “moderation rules” will be applicable to you. But, I encourage you to really think about the healthy/ not-so-healthy things you have in your life and ask yourself,
- Do the pros out-weigh the cons?
- Do the foods you eat that aren’t the healthiest really enrich your life?
Take some time to do a little reflecting on how you’ve been treating your physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Moderation is all about doing what is right for you, and sometimes that means letting certain things slide. Other times, though, it means sticking to your morals even when tempted otherwise.
I hope this helps.
- What does moderation mean to you?
I just had to open up my window because I was looking at my closed blinds and I felt like I was in a prison. Do you ever feel that way? Like, even if you’re in the best situation that you could possibly think of in your life, you still feel like you’re going to suffocate?
Please, don’t be scared- I’m not depressed, Kevin and I are just going a little crazy lately and I think it’s starting to get to me.
[More crazy than normal]
I was talking to Kevin yesterday about hobbies. About having an outlet. So many people (especially those that we work with at our respective personal training jobs) use exercise as an outlet to keep their work/family life in balance. It makes sense and is obviously super healthy to use exercise as a hobby or a way to get out of yourself for an hour everyday.
But what do you do when exercise is your job? Both Kevin and I constantly talk about exercise programs, our clients issues, our own workouts and fitness goals, etc. We workout 6 days a week at the same places we spend 40+ hours a week. And, what’s worse, exercise is associated with our financial livelihood, making it really tough to enjoy when you’re trying to budget for your future and pay off debt. We start to feel trapped by exercise, wanting an escape. Because, while exercise gives us a life and we love the impact we make on peoples’ lives daily, when it consumes our whole lives it makes us go a little nuts.
My coworker posed the idea that, when we get out of the fitness industry, we might just let ourselves go. At first, I thought this idea was crazy. I mean, we are in the health industry because we are passionate about health- both our health and our clients’. But maybe, if we stay in this line of work for too long, dealing with meeting sales quotas and putting a monetary value on fitness, we might begin to resent its real value and chose to act out via sitting on the couch eating ice cream.
I think she might be onto something.
It’s so easy for our passions in life to get stifled by reality. For example, being a personal trainer means working in a sales environment. No matter if you work for a gym or for yourself, you are in sales. The tough thing about that is you basically end up selling yourself. People are investing in your knowledge for fitness and your exemplified truth of your personal success. I’m am fortunate enough to work for some great managers and coworkers who are genuinely passionate about helping people. (Trust me- this is hard to come by in the fitness industry. Most gyms are full of trainers who have seriously forgotten the reason why they got into the industry in the first place and, instead, are just trying to take people’s money) And yet still, even though I’ve found myself in probably one of the best fitness jobs ever, I still feel pressure to sell and thus, have begun to affiliate my success and the success of my clients with my monthly sales goals.
Gah, monthly sales goals. Kill me. I can’t get away from them, I swear. It’s no one’s fault- we don’t have clients if we can’t convince them that buying training from us will change their lives in many, many ways. It’s just the hard facts. The repercussions of said sales goals is that this girl looses sight on a lot of things. When success doesn’t come in this area of my job, I get all stressed and feel like a failure. I start to resent my job and exercise in one fail swoop and worry myself into a heart attack.
Not really- I haven’t had a heart attack.
So where does this leave us? (Like it or not, you’re in this predicament with me) I’m not exactly sure how to balance my work life and my exercise life. I’m also not sure how to go about the whole figuring-out-how-not-to-freak-out-about-making-money. Altruistically thinking, I could just focus on helping people and stop thinking about money. But, it’s always in my mind. How much more money do I need to make this month to hit my revenue goal? And then, once I do, it’ll be November 1st and I’ll have another revenue goal to hit. The cycle continues.
When Kevin and I were talking, we both had the realization that we need to explore our other passions- his being cooking and mine being writing and photography. We’ve both have let our jobs distract us from other joys in our lives. It’s easy to let our jobs distract us because, like most other people, we tend to use exercise as our hobby. Because we are around it all the time, it becomes who we are- making our jobs become who we are. So, if we don’t hit revenue or are unsuccessful in any aspect of said job, we associate our hearts and self-worth with that failure.
I can’t keep going like this.
I know I’m where I need to be at my job, I love it! But I’ve got to separate myself from the money, and do other things that don’t involve exercise. Such things can include:
- Writing- hello more blogging
- Photography- again hello more blogging
- Tanning/Beaching- this one is random, I know, but I love the beach and it makes me happy, so there.
I also am going to help Kevin with his love for cooking via creating posts/vlogs of him cooking his amazing meals. Like last night’s dinner, which we have a 72 extra servings of, which I am very happy about.
- Are you feeling stressed about finding a work/life balance?
- What do you do to de-stress and keep yourself sane, so as to not act on the urge to quit your job?