How to not suck at Life #11

Life is crazy. Work is crazy. Summer is busy. Family/relationships change. If you don’t want to suck at life, you’ll need to learn to adapt to the craziness of life without it consuming you. Here are a few tips to help keep you on track but still flexible with the craziness of life.

#1 First Thing First. If it is important to you, you will find a way, otherwise you will find an excuse. Whatever your goals are, you need to work towards those first. As much as I would like to think that I have my whole day/week figured out, I know things can change by 10 AM. Ever have a “work emergency” happen and suddenly you need to stay late or go in early? How about an old friend calling you randomly saying they are only in town for a few hours and want to catch up? Whatever it may be, good or bad, the point is this: Life is crazy and can change in a moment. Take advantage of your morning and do what is most important to you as soon as that alarm goes off. I always (like, ALWAYS) do 20-30 minutes of jump rope in the morning. I don’t care where I am or what time I need to get going that day. I make sure I get my jump rope in. Not only does it help me wake up, but it helps having a constant in my life. Sure, I will still try and do some heavy lifting later in the day, but if something comes up, I’ll be ok. I already got some exercise in that day and will just adjust my eating accordingly. Find the one thing you want/need to do every day, and get crackin’ first thing!

#2 Don’t Worry About What You Can’t Control. Quit wasting time worrying about the 1,000,000 things that could, possibly, happen. Now, I am all about planning, and having back up plans, but don’t waste time and energy on the things you just can’t do anything about! For instance, recently I was scheduled for jury duty. Woot. It happened to fall on a Monday after a vacation I had scheduled (yeah, at least it wasn’t DURING the vacation!) and I knew I was already going to have to play “catch up” at work from my time off so the timing was horrible. What did I do? I did the best I could at work to manage my limited time that day in order to get the important stuff done right away. No, I didn’t get everything done, but I also didn’t freak out about it because I knew I couldn’t change jury duty. I didn’t waste time and energy thinking about how long it would take or anything like that. I made a quick plan to be as productive as possible at work, and then executed that plan. There are things in life you can’t control (like other people) and that’s ok. Make sure you are doing the best you can with what you can control (your actions, attitude, etc.) and embrace the suck.

#3 Go With The Flow, But Remember You Can Still Steer The Ship. Quite often I have people tell me that they have “fallen off track” on various goals (mostly fitness related) because their family plans keep changing, work keeps having parties, new relationships are forming, etc. Here’s the hard truth: Quit making excuses for your failures and try harder. “Going with the flow” doesn’t mean “abandon all plans and cut loose!” Just because there is a work party or family BBQ doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a reasonable diet and still have fun (unless your family literally force-feeds you beer, brats, and baked beans…but if that’s the case, maybe you should look for a new family) We are all in control of ourselves. Quit letting the fact that it is easier to give up than to stick to your plan become an excuse. Grow up, make choices like an adult, and move on.

#4 Things Aren’t As Important As People. This one is tough. Everyone wants to take care of “#1” first. But let me tell you, some of the most rewarding things in life come from being selfless and putting others first (like replacing someone’s roof! See my prior writings). Yes, it’s ok to have a set schedule, and yes, it’s ok to skip some parties because you have other goals that come first. But remember that the relationships you have on this earth are the most important. Skip the gym to help your Lady with some house projects. Lose a little sleep to go have a bonfire with friends. Don’t pack a lunch on Wednesday so you can go out with your Dad. Always keep your goals in mind, but don’t make short term goals more important that your long term relationships. Finding a balance can be tricky, but it is worth it. It’s (sometimes) better to eat a cookie with friends than to run alone.

Thanks for reading and, as always, DFQ!