I like being impressive. Don’t you? I mean, who doesn’t like setting audacious goals and accomplishing something awesome?
No one doesn’t like that. Because challenging yourself and stretching your limits is exciting!
However, there is one side effect of this that tends to hold us back: a habit of living in extremes. My entire life I have been like this. I’m either all in or all out. I’m either exercising every day or sitting on the couch eating Oreos by the sleeve. I’m either hot or cold, on or off. There’s no in-between.
During a recent EntreLeadership conference, I spoke about making small changes to how we interact with our phones and technology in order to be more present for our families. Afterward an attendee came up to me and said, “I loved your talk! You’re so right! I just want to rip out every electronic device in my house!” I laughed at his enthusiasm because I could relate.
I always gravitate toward the extremes in my life—never resting in the safe middle of moderation. But the problem with this cycle is that when I’m on, I’m so on that it’s not sustainable. And when I’m off, I’m so off that I give up entirely.
We’ve trained ourselves to believe if we can’t do it all then we shouldn’t even try. A great example of this is trying to eat healthier. We’ve all eaten a huge cinnamon roll or half a box of doughnuts early in the day and concluded in our minds that we’ve already “messed up” so we should probably just gorge on pizza because the day is wasted. We throw in the towel and give up.
But if we want to maintain healthy and wise life choices for longer than a couple of weeks, we have to attempt something that’s neither exciting nor impressive: moderation. Some is always better than none.
I had a friend say a great line to me once: “A 20-minute walk is better than not going for a four-mile run.”
Good point. And today, I wanted to clean my entire house and write eight articles. I only got half of it cleaned and only managed to write three articles. This moderation thing is a daily struggle for many of us.
So if you’ve messed up your diet or don’t have time to go to the gym to get a “good workout,” that’s okay. Don’t give up. Make a better choice for the next meal and do a few pushups in your living room while watching TV. I’ll finish the laundry tomorrow and get the articles written one at a time, a little at a time. It’s not as impressive, but at the end of the day, some is always better than none.