Well boo fucking hoo.
In my experience, life can be pretty complicated.
Although most of us have plenty to manage in our day-to-day lives—jobs, relationships, family, exercise, sleep, you name it—there are really only a few things we truly have control over.
I have reframed a lot of my life by identifying these variables and learning how to master them. And I think you can too. When times are hard I find it comforting and rewarding to revert back to the things I can control. I can control how often I train.
I don’t know about you, but I feel my best during and after I train. Exercising is a chance to just focus on my lifting and think about nothing. It’s simply ‘me time’. You don’t have to go to the gym every day, but we all ought to take 20 minutes out of our days, to get up and move.
Motion helps free your mind and body to better tap into your creative potential. I can control how I talk to myself. We all have a voice in our heads. That voice can often be critical and get in the way of our happiness and achievement. Try chatting to yourself with compassion, it’s hard to start with trust me!
For example, instead of telling yourself you’re not good enough, remind yourself that you are worthy of love and care, or that it’s okay to make slipups—one of my mantras is that ‘we fail forwards’. I can control what I put in my mouth.
Even though it might taste great, junk food will only make matters worse. It makes your brain and body slow and sad. Consuming too much sugar has been linked to all kinds of medical conditions (including metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease), not to mention mood swings and crashes that kill productivity.
Simple fixes like keeping chopped veggies or a satiating protein handy help us pick the healthier choice when we’re depleted and hungry rather than reaching for the closest snack. Think nutrient dense, single ingredients not processed crap.
I can control when I go to sleep/how much sleep I have. Sleep is critical for focus, concentration, job and academic performance, keeping your appetite under control, and a host of other positive health outcomes. In order to hack sleep, you have to set a routine.
Mine goes exactly like this – I have a green tea every evening around 9.15pm, go up to bed at 10pm and never take my mobile upstairs in the house, keeping all distractions out of the bedroom. I’m asleep by 10.30pm and I wake before 7.00am every day.
The body loves routine, treat it. I can ALWAYS be grateful for what I DO have. By practicing being grateful on a daily basis, your happiness and productivity will increase. Cultivating gratitude helps to train us to focus on hope, to remain inspired, and to be optimistic.
It also lends us the courage and resilience to persevere in the face of adversity and tuff times.
What are you grateful for today?
Life is unfair but I refuse to allow it to stop me being the best I can be and I encourage you to take the same stance. I will never accept that feeling average is ok and I will always believe in the process.
Coach (SC Vital Fitness)