Many of us are waiting for the “perfect time” with our health, nutrition and fitness. But this all-or-nothing thinking – as in: “If I don’t do this perfectly, then it’s terrible!” – we rarely get “everything”. Usually it gets us “nothing”.
Are you waiting for the ‘perfect time’ to eat better, work out or finally get in shape?
Are you postponing that dream trip, or a new project, or the skill you wanted to learn?
If so, some of these sentences may appear familiar to you:
If I get another job.
When it is less busy.
If I find a training partner.
If I find the right equipment.
When I feel less uncomfortable in the gym.
When I lose 20 pounds.
If I get the right training routine.
When my fridge is full of the right food.
Tomorrow. Next week. Never.
Human beings always wait for the perfect time. But why?
For many it’s great distraction and justification. It helps us to avoid the real – and risky – work of doing.
For others, perfectionism and avoidance serve as a powerful armor against potential shame, criticism, and failure.
“I could keep ___ but ___” protects us from pain.
Unfortunately, it is also what keeps us from growing, thriving and being who we know we have the potential to be.
That is why all-or-nothing thinking“If I don’t do this perfectly, it’s worthless.”we rarely get ‘all of us’.
We usually get ‘nothing’.
There is no perfect time. That will never be.
Of course, there may be a magical moment in your fitness journey where the universe comes together … and you wear your favorite t-shirt … plus your extra comfortable sneakers … and that song you love comes up … and your body is full of exuberant, bubbling energy … and your favorite fitness equipment is free (in fact, the gym is empty today, hurray!) … and you throw out a set of ten repetitions as if the angels are pushing the bar lift you up.
But that magic moment will be one of the countless other, less magical moments that form your real life.
Indeed, if we are talking about a moment like, say, about ten seconds, it means that you have somewhere between 2,398,377,600 to 2,556,165,600 potential moments in your life.
Which means that a perfect moment is a very, very, very small part of the whole thing.
Yes, celebrate that perfect moment when it comes. But yes, don’t wait for that.
Take your moments. Make your moments.
Just so you know nobody will give you moments. You have to take moments.
Hunt them down. Chase them. Let them happen.
Scratch and insert moments from other times. Break down small flakes of moments from the monolith of your day. Use your teeth if you have to – bite your mouth full of those moments.
You hold the chisel and the pickaxe. You are the miner of your moments.
This naturally frustrates us.
The don’t have to so we think. The moments of everyone else just come to them. Everyone has enough time. Enough money. Enough motivation. Enough information.
But it is in this way. For everyone.
This is how it is, with moments. Moments resist expectations as water is resistant to oil penetration.
However, there is a perfect moment. There is actually always a perfect moment.
That perfect moment is now.
Here. Today. The living, breathing time span that you have in this precise second.
Because that’s all you’ve ever had: right now.
Just start. At the beginning.
Here’s another secret. You don’t really have to work to come to the next moment.
All you have to do is start.
And then moments will keep moving, just like moments.
The one moment will be stacked on top of each other and before you know it, you have arrived at your destination.
“But I can not!” You say. “I can’t start! That’s the problem, you see!”
No, that’s not it. If you can’t start, just jump too far ahead.
You don’t start. You try to start somewhere in an imaginary center.
Suppose you choose to start reading about nutrition.
That can be a good start – if it keeps you at the next moment.
But it’s not a good start if it keeps you in your seat, clicks through a haze of blogs and charts and plans and testimonials until it’s time for enlightenment and you haven’t made any good food choices today.
So maybe you shouldn’t start reading.
It should be something else, like walking to the fridge and picking out a shiny fresh apple and eating it.
Or make a shopping list and place it next to your car keys for tomorrow.
Or read a menu from the restaurant that you are going to visit and choose the salad option in advance.
Starting means initiating action. Starting means making some choice. This is how you know it is a real start.
Starting is when you drop the coin into a pinball machine, not when you stand there looking at all the machines in the arcade and deciding which to play.
Starting is when you lift one foot and put it in front of the other, not when you stand there debating which way to take or wonder if you should have worn other shoes.
For some people, starting should be an even smaller promotion. Starting can simply lift the foot. Or move their weight to one leg.
You may need to place the first foot in front of the second foot. What is good.
As long as something moves, that’s a start.
Continue. Embrace resistance.
Many people who are just starting out believe they are failing because they feel resistance.
That’s because broccoli tastes bitter when they first try it, and because they accidentally overcook it, they just can’t eat vegetables.
That is because they forget the printed list of exercises on the kitchen table, they cannot train when they go to the gym.
That is because their legs hurt during the climb, they are not ready to climb that hill.
No. That is how it sometimes feels.
Beginning will often feel like resistance, at least in the beginning. Like the gears of the brain.
Give it time. Resist the urge to press pause. Continue. It will eventually change numbers.
To remember: You don’t have to fight the resistance of the entire trip.
You only have to push through the resistance of the first few moments.
Get support. For now.
In order for a rocket to leave the earth, it has to fire extra hard against gravity. It needs a boost.
To get a heavy train moving, it may need an additional engine.
We can start ourselves – and keep moving -. But it certainly helps if someone gives us a push or a push.
Someone who can talk to us about our delay and perfection. About our information cruises and waffles.
Someone who can take us out of our all-or-nothing trance with a gentle push and reminder.
For a while we can even attach ourselves to someone or something else, such as the extra engine hanging on our front. As we continue, we can release superfluous cars that we realize are weighing on us. We are becoming lighter, slimmer and more mobile.
Ultimately we no longer need that extra engine. Our train now floats perfectly well. The landscape fades past the windows and we embark on a great adventure.
But we had to start in the beginning.
What to do now:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition
If you are still “waiting for the perfect time”, try these tips to help you stop feeling stuck and take action.
1. Review your expectations.
Recognize that there is no perfect time and there will never be one.
There is only now.
2. Free up time even if it is imperfect.
Nobody will give you that time. You have to take it. Give yourself permission to make yourself – and your fitness and health goals – a priority.
Find the time you need in your schedule. Don’t have time for a one-hour training? No problem. How much time do you have? 20 minutes? 10 minutes? Work with what you have.
Do not expect things to go perfectly. Anticipate strategies instead. Ask yourself:
- What probably stands in the way of what I hope to achieve?
- What can I do today to help me keep going when I’m confronted with those obstacles?
Instead of waiting for things to “slow down,” you are starting to make something happen in the midst of chaos.
3. Just start.
If you are stuck, just do something. Something.
Find the smallest possible thing you can do now, in the next 5 minutes, and do it. Now you have started!
In PN Coaching we focus on finding “5-minute actions”. Instead of coming up with the biggest, biggest schedule, think about what you can do in just 5 minutes to help yourself – even a tiny bit – toward your goals. Then go do it.
Remember: action is a ‘voice’ for a different, healthier and fitter life. Vote early, vote often.
4. Expect resistance.
It’s normal. Push through it. Resistance does not mean that this does not work. It just means you started.
You only have to endure this moment. This starting time will be the most difficult. Fortunately it won’t take long.
5. Get support.
Let go of the concept of the lonely hero. Start building your support systems instead.
Whether it’s a friend or family member, training buddy or coach, find someone to fire your booster rockets until you can fly alone.
Do you want help to become the healthiest, strongest and strongest version of you?
Most people know that exercising regularly, eating well, sleeping and stress management are important to look better and feel better. Yet they need help in applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.
That is why we work closely with Precision Nutrition Coaching customers to help them lose fat, get stronger, and improve their health… no matter what challenges they face.
That is why we also work with health, fitness and wellness professionals (through our Level 1 and Level 2 certification programs) to teach them how coach their own customers by the same challenges.
Interested in Precision Nutrition Coaching? Join the presale list; you save up to 54% and secure a place 24 hours early.
We will open places in our next Precision Nutrition Coaching on Wednesday, January 15, 2020.
If you are interested in coaching and want to know more, I recommend you to participate in our presale list below. If you are on the list, you have two special benefits.
- You pay less than everyone else. At Precision Nutrition we reward the most interested and motivated people because they always make the best customers. Join the presale list and you save up to 54% on the general public price, the lowest price we’ve ever offered.
- You are more likely to get a place. To give customers the personal care and attention they deserve, we only open the program twice a year. The last time we opened the registration, we were sold out within minutes. By becoming a member of the presale list you get the opportunity to register for everyone 24 hours a day, which increases your chances of coming in.
If you are ready to change your body and your life with the help of the best coaches in the world, this is your chance.
(Note: if your health and fitness have already been resolved, but you want to help others, check out our Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification program).