21 Day Fix Extreme

Progression, Regression, and [Not] Getting Caught Up - 4 Steps to Move Forward

Monday, June 29, 2015

Catching up is impossible
Getting caught up - it's a nice idea, right?  If I can just do this one thing... do an extra workout, clean an extra room, finish this one project, publish an extra blog post...  If I can just do THAT, then I can catch up. 

But I read something last week.  It's not encouraging (at least at first glance), but I'm convinced it is absolutely true.

No matter what, you absolutely cannot ever get caught up.

I have found myself in that place over the last few months.  A place of being simultaneously swamped and exhausted.  A place of discontent and the inability to see my way out of it.  And the desire for control in any way I could get it - which meant an intense desire to catch up with life and prove that I could do it all.  It wouldn't be that hard - I would just have to do one more ________ each day, week, etc.  And the more behind I got, the more I *needed* to catch up.  More pressure, less results, and eventually I just became so demoralized that I effectively just dropped everything for a time.

The truth that I couldn't realize at the time was I can't reclaim lost time.  I can't make up for it.  I can't create more of it. 

You are always progressing or regressing.  There's no such thing as stagnancyAnd something else I've just recently realized? 

I can't just "quit."  What happens if you quit?  Well, speaking from my own personal experience, you stop caring so much about what passes your lips.  You stop valuing fitness as highly as you ought.  You lose some hard-earned muscle mass. 

In other words, if I'm not going forward, I most definitely am going backward.  Is the same true for you?  If I were a betting woman, I'd bet it was.

So how do you reverse the current?  How do you change the regression into progression?

I am not an expert, and I can't say I have this mastered by any means, but I do know some practical steps that help me.   Are you finding yourself in the same kind of situation that I have over the last several months?  I hope the following suggestions work just as well for you as I know they do for me.  Will you join me in putting them into practice?

4 Steps to Move Forward

1.  Find accountability.  Find someone you trust; get plugged into a group.  Whatever you do, just check in regularly.  Personally, I need to know that someone cares enough to know how I'm doing - really.  Having someone check in with you and checking in with him/her gives you a reason to move forward:  someone KNOWS.  And truly, knowledge is power.

2.  Know your circumstances - and your limitations.  For example, when I'm honest with myself (as I finally am now), I know that my current situation and struggles are not about to let up anytime soon.  In fact, in some ways, those struggles may intensify over the coming months.  I have to be realistic in my expectations and my goals, if only to protect myself from the mounting guilt of not being "caught up."  In other words, don't give up on your lofty goals, but - instead - keep what's going on in mind when you make them.

3.  Get back to basics.  Chances are, you know what works and what has to happen.  I know I do!  So get back there.  Start over, if you have to.  Get back into fitness, into eating right.  Take small steps in the right direction.  Even small steps over time can compound into big change.

4.  Take some time to work on you.  Something I have realized over the last few years is just how important personal development is.  Sometimes you have to grow into progress, into your dreams.  How can you grow without the insight and wisdom from others before you?  Sure, you can go to the "School of Hard Knocks," but you won't get very far very quickly - and in truth, you would be wasting valuable time.  Take it from someone who has been where you are and has made it to where you want to be.  They probably have a trick or two (or ten!) to teach you.  Take their lessons, and grow.

So here's to giving up on catching up.  Here's to moving forward.  Lesson learned here, how about you?

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