One of the things I struggle most with in life is an all or nothing attitude. From silly superficialities to deeper, more serious matters, I’ve always been the type that if I can’t do it all, I decide I’m just not going to do anything…and tomorrow, well tomorrow will be way different of course. Tomorrow I’ll get it all done like I should have today:
“I ate a piece of cake? Screw it, let me just finish the damn thing and start again tomorrow.” “Ugh, I didn’t do as many things or meet as many people as I’d planned to? Whatever, next year will be different.” “I only have an hour to work on stuff now? Well I can’t write my paper in an hour; I’ll just do it all this weekend.”
Slowly, I’m starting to realize that life isn’t about having it all. Life is about progress–chipping away at everything that needs chipping, day by day and little by little. Life is about being able to pick yourself up and get back on your feet even after a tiny slip up. It’s not about having it all–in fact, it’s essentially impossible to have “all” of anything.
If you go through life with an all or nothing attitude, you will end up with nothing.
Despite knowing this, however, I’ve continued for so long to keep acting with this attitude! Why did I do this? Well, I guess because it’s a hell of a lot harder to change something that’s been so long driven in me than to simply keep going as I am.
I’m posting this today because I was thinking that I’m like this even with things like blogging! I started off over a relatively work-free weekend with something like 7 blog posts, and when I realized I wasn’t going to be able to keep it up during the school week with work and classes…welp, there went blogging. I completely gave up. I told myself I would start again during the summer, when I didn’t have as much to do. And I went from three posts a day for two days, to two posts a day for one day, to one post a day for one day….pathetic. Well, it’s not summer yet (so close!!!), and I know that it’s unrealistic to expect myself to post every day, but here’s hoping that this post keeps me inspired to stick with it even if life gets busy.
There will always be 100 reasons not to do something.
My biggest “all or nothing” has always been with food. If I don’t make the greatest food choices for part of my day, you can bet that I’ve basically given up on the rest of the day, too. If I’ve gotten off the track I’d planned for a day, I completely give up for the rest of the day. I tell myself that it’s okay to eat whatever I want, because I’ve already started off badly and I might as well just start again tomorrow.
I’m embarrassed to even list what I ate yesterday. But I promised myself I’d be real on here, so here goes–(this is starting after dinner, mind you, when I got the craving for dessert and I was thinking to myself that I’d already ruined the day): pudding cup, Klondike bar, half of a biggg bag of white cheddar popcorn (9 servings total in the bag), and a Hershey’s chocolate bar. And please keep in mind that this was after dinner. So it wasn’t like I hadn’t already had plenty of food (and dessert) for the day. And I wish I were exaggerating with any of these eats.
It’s an awful cycle that I often find myself trapped in. Wanting to do something, trying to do something, starting to do something, slipping up (even just a little!), and taking about five steps backwards when I could have just taken one…And then it all begins again.
I decided, however, that that ends..um, right now. I’m aware that there will be setbacks and days where this negative thinking creeps back in, or even storms its way back in. I know I’ll mess up. I know that I’m human; I’m aware that I’m probably going to fail once or twice. And you know what?
That is absolutely okay. I have always been overly scared of failure–though I suppose that that’s a whole different can of worms–but failure is only human. It’s not the end of the world, or even the day, or even the moment. So why am I treating it as such?
Things I’m going to start remembering:
1. It’s okay to mess up. It’s okay, it’s normal, and you know what? It’s inevitable.
2. When I do mess up, then, or get off of the planned track, it’s not the end of world. In fact, in the big picture, it doesn’t even matter at all. I just have to move on and get right back on track.
3. It’s the little things that matter. The little changes that add up. “Simple daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results.”
4. It is much more effective to eat somewhat healthily and go to the gym 4-5 days a week than to go to the gym and eat super healthily for 2 days, and then spend the next 5 days on the couch stuffing my face with brownies and Doritos.
5. Life is way too short to skip doing what you love all the time in favor of a healthy lifestyle. Everything in moderation. Life’s too short to spend waiting around for the right moment to start something, because now isn’t a good time. It’s too short to spend your days worrying about what you did wrong, feeling guilty and unmotivated. Life is long enough, though, that you should take care of yourself the best you can. It’s long enough to both follow and live out your every dream and endeavor. It is long enough to look back on it and realize that you have truly lived.
Lots of love,