Do the Next Thing

New Year’s is rolling around, which means both looking back at the year that passed and making plans for the year to come.  And those resolutions…yikes!  We all want to eat more healthy food and less junk, exercise more…or just exercise at all, become more organized, improve time management…and the list goes on and on.  And for some, those resolutions will be completely shot by the end of the first week.  Why? 

It is simple.  Too much too fast is too overwhelming.  If you want to succeed, you just need to do the next thing. 

It was one of the best pieces of advice I received when I started Crossfit.  I wanted to be stronger, eat cleaner, and be a competitor within the next six weeks.  A little unrealistic?  Absolutely.  And those who were wiser said to me not to try to do everything at once because I would get freaked out and overwhelmed.  They were absolutely right. 

I simply needed to do the next thing.  Become very consistent with training. THEN stay hydrated.  THEN begin to eliminate grains from my diet by changing one meal at a time.  None of this happens overnight.  As I worked, I had to focus on doing the next thing.  One good decision led to another.  And all of the good decisions I made were never to be negated by one or two bad ones.  This allowed me to be human.  I love that; I am allowed to be imperfect. 

So if you are looking to make changes in your life, determine a realistic goal.  The heavy emphasis here is on realistic.  You will not lose 20 pounds in the next month, or clean the clutter out of your entire house and have everything properly filed in the next two weeks.  Be honest with yourself.  Then, break this down into a series of achievable steps.  If you want to become more organized with your time, start with something simple – perhaps finding an app that you will use and using it for a few days.  Then add from there.  Doing the next thing will help you build up to achieving your goal. 

Do not doom yourself with a list of resolutions that serve no purpose than to overwhelm you and make you feel as if you have in some way failed.  No good can come from that.  Choose ONE realistic thing to do at a time, do it well, and then add the next thing.  You CAN succeed with that. 

Just do the next thing.  Nothing more. 

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4 thoughts on “Do the Next Thing

  1. This is so true and well put! Everyone starting a new year’s resolution should be taught this. There is so much energy and hope in those few days that you wonder why some people don’t make it past the first month. They have good intentions, but don’t understand what a lifestyle change fully encompasses. I think a lot of this has to do with the unrealistic expectations you mentioned, as well as wanting instant gratification. Either will doom a person, but both will cause them to never try again.

    • Thanks! This time of year, I think it needs to be said early and often. It is very easy to get caught up in that results in 24 hours or less mentality, especially with the number of lose weight quick commercials. I am watching a TV show with my son and I think we have seen four in the past 15 minutes. All are promising immediate weight loss and happiness with no work at all. Really?? It saddens me because it is just so wrong. Anything worth doing is worth working for! So we’ll keep working – it is so worth it. :-). Keep going!!!

      • I know exactly what you mean. Those commercials will be running all the way until February. I wouldn’t mind weight loss commercials if they actually spoke about how hard it is and how long it can take for some people. There are so many lies, and even more naive people to believe them, out there and that’s unfortunate. Weight is such a personal thing that can be accompanied by deep, psychological issues and these companies take advantage of that. It’s quite sad.

      • It is. We just have to keep spreading the message that change is gradual, nothing comes immediately, and consistency is key.

        Keep up the consistent work! And keep spreading the message! 🙂

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