The problem that people sometimes have with getting started is just that...getting started.
They are all about the planning process. They get things in order, they prepare a plan, they get themselves all set up for success, and then...
It's like the lawn mower that sits dormant all winter. We get it out for the first mow in the spring (okay, I don't but my husband does), and it doesn't start right away usually. It takes one, two, three, or maybe more pulls before the engine fires up and it's ready to go.
Sometimes we are that way with goals. We are excited about the thought of them. We like the preparation that goes into how we are going to accomplish what we want to do.
Why do we stall out with actually starting?
It's because the prep work is not the risk. Getting started is the risk, because once we get started there is no turning back. And that can be scary.
Because we can have either a fear of failure or a fear of success.
If we fail, then what happens? We reflect on what didn't go well, regroup, and move forward. The key is to not look back or dwell on the failure. Learn from it, use it to our advantage, and move on. It does no good to hang on to failure. It just blocks us from success.
If we succeed, what happens? There is no ending when we succeed with a goal. It just gives us a chance to move on to the next one. It's a cycle. We complete one journey and it moves into the next one. Again, we have to use success to our advantage. Rather than resting on our laurels, move on to the next goal to accomplish.
The key is to not get bogged down in the preparation. Write down a deadline for the prep work. That deadline is the end of that piece and also serves as the date for getting started.
I realize that I'm at a huge advantage right now.
As a professional school counselor, I have the "summer off". As my friends remind me, I work for nine months. (What they don't realize is that I get paid for my nine months of work, but the pay is spread over 12 months, but that's a column for another time.)
In any event, this is my first week of summer vacation and I keep reminding myself to slow down. I looked at my list of things I want to complete over the summer, and I wanted to start everything all at once. I'm excited that I have the time to basically do what I want when I want to.
And then I reminded myself: slow down. There are still 24 hours in a day. That fact hasn't changed. What has changed is how I spend my days.
It's giving me a chance to get back on track with some personal development. For example, I had to use GPS, but I found my gym once again. I've been there three days so far this week, and the ceiling hasn't caved in. Yes, I had to reintroduce myself to my gym mates, who basically said, "Wow, you're back. It must be summer."
I let a few things get away from me during the school year, and the summer gives me a chance to rediscover, recalibrate, and rejuvenate. I can get back on track with areas that are important to me. Like I said, I'm at a distinct advantage.
While I get to spend the time putting positive habits back into their proper orbit, I also need to spend time making sure that I don't let them slip once the school year begins again.
When I slow down I gain perspective. I see things more clearly. I appreciate more. I take my time.
I need to remind myself to do daily what the picture above says: "Smile...Breathe...Slow down" (photo credit: mytherapist.ie).
At the risk of opening a can of worms, well...I'm just going to go ahead and rip the lid right off the can and see what happens.
The subject of women's gym attire has come up twice today, once in an article I read online and secondly at the gym where I work out.
The article was about a woman who was told at her gym in Ontario that her tank top was too revealing and she was basically told she couldn't wear it again. She needed to wear more modest attire. Her complaint was that other women wear the exact same type of tank, but the difference is that she has a bigger chest. She felt that it was unfair that she was being held to a different standard due to her chest size.
Now, I saw the pictures of the woman in her tank (not the picture I have shown in this blog), and it didn't offend me at all. However, who knows what was revealed when she actually worked out. I have no idea whether "the girls" were threatening to come out or not, but the picture as shown was not offensive at all in my opinion.
The second has to do with the gym where I work out. I'm a huge proponent in working out in what makes you feel comfortable and how you feel working out in it.
What bothers me is the double-standard that some women seem to have. They wear skin tight clothes that leave very little (or nothing at all) to the imagination. Then they get offended when men ogle them, not necessarily by saying anything to them but obviously by staring at them. They suddenly get uncomfortable and complain to the management about it.
I completely agree that everyone has a right to feel comfortable during their workouts. Honestly, there are a few guys that wear some pretty skin tight clothing as well. My first reaction is, "Whoa, really?" My second reaction is, "To each his own. If that's what he's comfortable wearing, then go for it."
When it comes down to it, if I'm offended by his clothing, then I'm obviously not focused on what I'm there to do, and that's to work out.
That's how I feel about these women who are offended. If you're at the gym to work out, then you're so focused on your workout that you don't even notice whether or not someone is looking at you. Think about your purpose in being at the gym.
I think there are some pretty impressive women at my gym who show off their bodies tastefully due to their hard work in and out of the gym. They are the ones who aren't offended. They are the ones that if they did get offended wouldn't have a problem putting the ogler (is that a word?) in his place if he stared a little too much or said something.
However, there is perhaps a bigger question here. Where is the line when it comes to gym attire? (Would you be offended if you saw a woman wearing what is in the picture accompanying this blog at your gym?)
Push is one of my words for this year. It propels me to move forward even on the days that I don't want to.
Like this morning for instance.
I opted to sleep in a little before meeting with one of my clients, and so I didn't get in an early morning walk.
By the time I got home, the stillness and humidity had settled in.
I am not a fan of humidity.
Now, I could have taken the route of walking for 30 minutes on the treadmill at the gym this afternoon. That's not the choice I made though. Instead, I chose to push through and go for my walk outside. I put on a podcast and set out on my journey.
Even though the temperature was in the mid-60's, I was sweating profusely (not glistening, mind you) when I was finished. However, I was also pleased with being persistent, pushing though, and having a sense of accomplishment.
I think many times we give up too often. We make excuses. We bargain with ourselves. We do this instead of working hard and just doing it. If we take the attitude of just doing it instead of wasting time with all the other stuff, we would already be done and moving on to something else.
I don't know if it was coincidence or not, but as I walked I listened to a Michael Hyatt encore podcast...on...wait for it...persistence. He went through six ways to be more persistent. I think the one that resonated with me the most was to change my self-image.
In other words, I want to do a better job at being a finisher. I have all these great ideas, and I think about starting them, but then I don't push through often enough. I think I'm too busy with "other stuff". The other stuff is a lot of time wasting instead of just jumping in to do it.
I'm challenging myself both professionally and personally over the next 90 days to push myself to do better and be better, and then I'm going to go on a quarterly retreat to celebrate what I did well, reflect on what I could have done better, and then plan for the next 90 days.
Would you benefit from something like this? If so, let me know in the comments.
Here's the thing about going outside to pull weeds: it's a love/hate relationship for me.
I hate pulling them, but I like what the area looks like when I'm done.
Case in point, today I went outside to start working on an area that will become our little oasis within the next two weeks. We have a patio space that we have never done anything with, and we have lived in our current house for eight years. Talk about being a little late to the party on this one!
I have a vision of what I want the area to look like and today it started with pulling weeds from the rock wall and from the lily of the valley that comes up every year. I feel really guilty about the fact that I let the area get over run by weeds. Unfortunately, much of the lily of the valley has been choked out from neglect.
In any event, I pulled weeds with gusto, and after 90 minutes of pulling, sweeping, and general cleaning, the area is ready for the next phase. The lily of the valley is pretty thinned out, but since I over bought on flowers this year, I'm going to pick up some planters, plant the flowers in them, and then place them in the sparse spots.
Next up will be seeing what I can do with the brick wall with the peeling paint. I would like to remove the paint if possible and just have the exposed brick, but we shall see what happens once I attack it. This could get a little messy...or a lot! Stay tuned!
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.