I reposted a quote that really resonated with me recently. It’s not so much a feel good as a harsh but true number that went something like this: A mistake repeated is no longer a mistake, it’s a decision.
It’s so true right?
The first time I leave the jar of nut butter in the fridge believing I won’t demolish it with a fork in a moment of procrastination or disappointment or just because I’m giving in to that nagging little “I deserve” voice… that first time when I genuinely believe I have the will power I will need to deny the nut butter calling, is a mistake.
The next time I take that same risk? It’s a decision.
It’s also a decision when you choose to skip training this morning because you’ll do it tonight instead… when really personal history tells you that won’t happen.
Or when you choose that extra wine tonight because you’ll then have zero till next week… when you know there’s a solid 97% chance you’ll be cheers’ing with shiraz faster than you can say sparkling-mineral-water-in-a-wine-glass-just-doesn’t-do-the-trick!
With that in mine I’ve just checked in on my top learnings from a couple of years ago, to see if I really have learnt or if I’m choosing those same old mistakes.
I’m going to give myself a 10/12 for these. The last couple were a work in progress when I wrote them and it seems they still are. If you find yourself choosing your same old mistakes than I hope this reminder list can help you decide to let them go for good. Or perhaps prompt you to write your list of learnings this year?
- Focus on the moment. This has always been vital in my role as a personal trainer. Recently I’ve really learnt the value of focus in every aspect of my life. From ditching multi-tasking to become more efficient. To giving the person I’m interacting with my complete attention. It’s rare to have someone’s 100% attention in our impatient & techie addicted society & yet such a simple, respectful approach to take.
Focus is so non-negotiable-ly vital to apply to your exercise and to your body gain goal in general that it was the subject of the very first Healthification show.
- Gratitude. Whether its in the form of consciously writing gratitude’s nightly or just being aware in the moment of every little thing you’re grateful for. Yes, sometimes it’s easier than other times to feel grateful. However on a normal Sydney day I genuinely feel gratitude for the delish omelette I start my day with – my committed at ‘stupid o’clock’ personal training clients – my colleagues and their unfailing ability to make me laugh & blush consecutively – my first hit of ‘liquid gold’ coffee… I could go on, this is all before 8am!
“What are 3 things you could feel grateful for right now?”
- Look for the positive in every situation.You will see that in the areas of your life in which you excel, this comes more naturally. In those other areas it’s simply a matter of reframing an initially rubbish situation to a more positive view. To consciously seek out and ask: “What can I learn from this?”
Yes, this may seem rather contrived to start, however it is a vastly more enjoyable approach to look for (and find!) the positive in every situation rather than the opposite.
- The ideal set up for your perfect day starts the night before.You will find the schedule that works best for you… This is mine.
=> Plan my day to come, in terms of #1 task and subsequent tasks with time allotted for each. (Yes I actually set a timer, usually for 30-45mins – to provide a helpful sense of urgency).
=> Prepare my breakfast omelette ingredients.
=> Know what exercise I’ll being doing tomorrow… and when.
=> Get to bed 7 hours before I need to get up.
- Know your priorities – big rocks – whatever you call them.
These are the activities that give you the highest return on time, energy and cash-o-la invested. It may be that an interruption free afternoon with your family is super important to your quality of life each week?
Or perhaps you prioritize weights before everything else?
Or most obviously those top 20% of actions you take in your job. If you’re looking for those top 20% of actions so far as your body gain goal I cover them in detail in the 049 show. However in short it’s:
ONE: Lift Heavy Weights Consistently.
TWO: Eat Primarily One Ingredient Foods.
moving onto learning #6…
- Stay true to core.
For me this means being absolutely clear on my primary focus in each area of life & not getting distracted by shiny objects. It’s why I say no to people who want me to put together a once off training program for their fitness goal. It’s not my specialty & it doesn’t get me closer to my goal.
It’s why the person that commits to one program will always get superior body gain results to the person who jumps on board with each ‘latest greatest’ weight loss trend.
- Be OK with not getting everything done!
You will never tick all the boxes – catch up – or get finished. There is always more and once you acknowledge that and develop the ability to get the most important stuff done first… well, then it becomes ok that there’s always stuff to do.
The goal is to move your list from overwhelming or exhausting to instead become energizing, exciting and ever evolving.
- Tackle your fear head on.
I seem to relearn this one. However I’m going to say I’ve got it nailed now. In my experience, fear is generally of the unknown. Once you find out what you’re up for – only then can you come up with a plan of attack… and take your first step. Doing nothing and burying your head in the sand will feed the fear. I’ve certainly been there – now I choose not to let fear freeze me, or control me.
A good question to ask yourself: “If I do nothing will it go away?” (generally that’s No!)
If your focus is locked and loaded on your goals it can be oh too easy to relegate fun to later… and later… And Later Again. The solution is 2-fold:
a). To be aware of those numerous little fun moments that are there for the enjoying every single day.
b). To actively MAKE the time for fun stuff, and if you’re anything like me this may even mean scheduling it. That’s better than missing out on it though right?
10. Be generous.
This does not need to be financial. It can also be with your time. I often catch myself racing away from a conversation with someone I like and respect because ‘I need to get some work done’ …discipline rocks, however it can be taken to a detrimental extreme.
As well as being generous with others sometimes it’s vital to slow down and be generous with you too. Most weeks I’ll remind myself of this as I’m tempted to cut short a work-out to ‘get some work done.’
11. Have an open heart.
So I mentioned the last couple were still a work in progress! I have so much respect for my friends and clients who are natural with this one… This year I’m going to model what they do, well at least the aspects that will fit resourcefully into my lifestyle. My point in including a huge ‘to work on’ for me is to share the value in modeling.
Whatever it is for YOU that you don’t yet do naturally, there will be someone you can learn from, to bit by bit model at your own pace so that in time you will get to enjoy the same results.
12. Be vulnerable.
As above this is a ‘to work on’ for me. Massively. The reason why I’m not yet awesome at it (OK, not yet even fairly ok at it!) is because I’ve attached negative connotations with being vulnerable.
Hence the reason for my inclusion in this list for you.
If you have negative connotations associated with, say exercise or eating ‘healthy’ then you’re fighting a loosing battle to do either. It will always be a struggle to consciously take an action which at a much more powerful unconscious level you have a conflict with or aversion to.
I used to see vulnerable as weak. I hate weak. Now I see vulnerable as strong. I love strong.
I could also see the ability to embrace venerability as a demonstration of self certainty. I LOVE self certainty.
How could you choose to view something you what to get better at that up until now you’ve attached negative connotations too?
Alright, over to you. To get actionable today: What did you learn in 2014 that you’re using to even better effect this year?
I’ll finish todays show with the quote that inspired it, attributed to Paulo Coelho “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it’s a decision”
If you liked this you’ll also like: A dozen 2012 learnings to dominate 2013.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.