The paralyzing power of feeling overwhelmed and the NEGATIVE affect it has on your life.
We start a new career path or business, or maybe a new training and dieting program and because we are excited and motivated our intention is to do as MUCH as we can.
We want to do it all now and strike whilst our motivation and energy is highest. We feel we can take on the world, We want to be at our end goal NOW…
But because of this do we actually end up biting off more than we can chew or taking on more than we can handle?
We try so hard to do it ALL, that we end up doing nothing and become paralyzed with feeling overwhelmed.
We try to do everything on our new diet, following the plan 100%, buy all the recommend supplements, the healthy foods, cooking clean meals, avoiding social events, cutting back on alcohol, sugar etc.
However after a few weeks we realise that we just can’t keep this pace so we end up stopping. Or we adjust the diet to fit and end up doing less and less until we eventually go back to eating how we did before we started.
Let’s say the goal is to get in shape so we hit the gym 5-6 x per week, every week. Doing classes, HIIT training, cardio, weights, core work etc…We try and fit it all in but we get tired, burned out, we miss sessions and then get peed off. The more this happens the higher our chances are of stopping. We started out by doing more exercise than we can physically and mentally handle and the only way forward is to do less. The problem with doing ‘less’ is we can feel like we’re failing.
Maybe we start doing a sport and we try to progress quickly because we want to get good at it sooner rather than later. We try and develop the fitness, the strength, the skills and knowledge that go with the sport, But its a long process. We end up realising that their’s soooo much to it that we haven’t got time to fit it in. So we either continue to feel overwhelmed and underprepared in the sport, feeling like we aren’t good enough…Or we quit.
Maybe we start a new career or open a new business, we start doing everything, reading and learning everything. Going onto courses, building our skills, marketing, getting new clients, networking, branding, tax returns., accounts, sales, employment, trying to get ahead, putting more hours in…The list goes on.
We dive in the deep end and try and swim. We try and keep pace but realise that we are doing everything, and none of it to the standard needed to create a successful business or a flying career. We realise we can’t keep this pace so we feel stressed, burned out, anxious. We start to procrastinate on tasks, decisions, things don’t move forward as quickly as we’d like. So we start to panic, get frustrated and stress ourselves out.
We’re not growing the business at the rate we want. We’re spending almost every waking minute consumed by the business/career. Over time we’ll spend year upon year driving everyone close to us away and all we’ll have is a business/job that you LIVE to work for, becoming a slave to it. And every waking day is just a series of stresses and overwhelm.
In most of these situations feeling OVERWHELMED is the core of it all. This sometimes can become so intense that we end up procrastinating. And this means we end up doing NOTHING…Which makes us feel MORE overwhelmed and stressed… So the cycle continues.
Why does this happen?
Because as humans and we already have a full plate in our lives. We’re already doing and juggling so much, especially in the modern world where we WANT to have it all.
HOWEVER we only have so much time, energy and mental space for so many things (Work, Family, Fitness, Fun, Sport, Eating, Sleeping, Social time, Down Time, Personal development)…especially if we want to have everything that life offers.
So what SHOULD we do?
The key is to take small BUT consistent swings at life, or put differently just take one step at a time…aka Swing Singles.
The aim is to do JUST ONE THING, OR TAKE THAT ONE STEP that moves you closer to your goal/s. And ONLY one thing until this becomes a permanent part of your daily routine…
Then once we’ve done that we can focus on the next step WHILST continuing to do step 1.
+ If you want to improve your nutrition then change ONE eating habit. For example eat a healthy breakfast 6 days per week for 4 weeks. This ingrains the HABIT. Just do ONE thing. Leave everything else until you can consistently eat a healthy breakfast. Don’t worry about lunch, dinner, snacks etc. Don’t worry about gluten and sugar content right now. Just nail down 1 meal. Get that right first and THEN move on.
+ If you want to improve your fitness and you DON’T exercise right now, then start with doing 10minutes of exercise 3 x per week. If you do exercise then just increase what you do by 10%. So if you run 5miles 3 x per week then run 5.5miles. Avoid trying to add in 1-2 more sessions per week, or trying to go 5 x per week. You’re got to do things that are manageable. Start small then build up.
+ If you want to grow your business choose 1 AREA to work on and do this consistently for 4 weeks. If it’s sales that could be make 1 phone call to a perceptive client 5 days per week for 4 weeks. Then do 2 per day and so now. Ingrain the habit of ‘DOING’ into your schedule.
It sounds so simple…And it is in theory.
What makes this strategy work is YOUR doing something that will have a positive affect on the area of life you wish to improve. Doing something that is manageable and then ‘doing it’ over and over again (swinging singles) until it brings results.
Results aren’t achieved by hitting a ‘home run’ every once in a while or trying to keep hitting them over and over even when you keep missing. This one hit wonder mentality and trying to do it ALL in one go, is what’s leaving you feeling more overwhelmed because you continue to miss the long term results.
The key is to keep hitting that ball for a single. Then move to base one, then hit it for another single and you move to base 2 etc etc. I’m using a Baseball metaphor to describe Swing Singles…But I think it fits really well.
Most people try this all or nothing approach. It’s all in at 100%. But then after 3-4 weeks or so motivation drops and every week they end up doing less, 90%, 80%, 70% etc. Until they end up doing ZERO…Sound familiar?
However when you swing singles the approach is to do 10% this week, then 20% next month, then 30% and so on. We continue to move forward and do MORE…Not do less.
Once you have that one habit ingrained into you and your DAILY routine for about a 28day time period…Then start the next habit, swing that next single. And repeat the process…This strategy works.
Swing singles everyday and that is when the magic happens.
Remember you are human, your not a robot. You can’t keep doing more and more, you’ll burn out, get overwhelmed, stressed and frustrated…Then you’ll quit.
Flip this on its head, do less now. Start small and build upon these habits over time.
The art of swinging singles is the secret to LONG TERM success.