One of my 3DMJ athletes poured her concerns to me yet again about how she is disappointed with her incongruent dietary behaviors.
Basically, she views herself as an athlete, but is not always acting like an athlete when it comes to her nutritional decisions.
This was obviously frustrating her because progress was not being made as quickly as she would hope, but it was especially devastating because it caused an identity issue.
This incongruence is normal for many struggling dieters, especially those like herself who are very familiar with how to manipulate their intake, have bodyweight goals, but are not necessarily preparing for a competition at the moment.
But lucky for us, this athlete is also very much in love with her gym time and her training. This made my coaching advice much easier to find, as I could use her athletic identity as a potential solution.
The attempted mind ninja-ing went something like this…
“Why do you find it so easy to treat your workouts like an athlete, but not your nutritional intake? Why do we tackle every gym session with positivity and vigor, but not every meal? If you love being an athlete, why do you not handle this extremely vital aspect of that lifestyle with the same respect as your training regimen?”
This was definitely not a scolding or a beat down, but 100% percent out of positivity and love. The purpose of these questions was to see what we could do to encourage behaviors and decisions which align her with the goals and perceived identity a bit better.
Because I can’t handle every thought that my clients have and I am not a mind-reader, sometimes my most effective interactions with athletes are just like this —where I simply probe a bit for them to look inward and they in turn come up with really great solutions and strategies on their own.
And as soon as I sent off this particular client report, I immediately realized this exact same exercise should be put to use in certain areas of my own life. It was obvious to me I had to take the time to flip the script on myself.
WHERE AM I GOOD, AND WHERE AM I BAD?
What are the things I’m really good at, and where else am I struggling?
What seems so simple and effortless, and how can I mimic those types of actions in other places where I am not as successful?
For me, the forever “good vs. bad” in my gut is always “sports vs. business”.
When it comes to being an athlete, I almost always feel in control. There is a plan, I do my job, and progress happens over time. It’s not always linear, and not every day is perfect, but I trust it and it trusts me. Me and my sports just work together, and it’s how we’ve always been.
My professional life is never this simple.
Not that my businesses are doing poorly, but more that I am constantly stressed about how it’s all going and if I’m doing the right thing. And it’s been this way for years.
On any given day, if you told me to write an exhaustive list of all the ideas, thoughts, must-do items, could-do items, would-be-cool-to-do items, I could go on for hours. For whatever reason, I simply cannot silence the chatter of endless opportunities that I could potentially be tackling if only I had the time.
But what troubles me even more, is, how will I ever get this elusive time?
I mean all the emails, social media posts, staff conversations, athlete calls, blog posts and podcast interviews that keep me so flooded, how will I ever get a chance to execute on any of my super cool ideas that are haunting me to get attention?
And even then, if somehow this magical stretch of time appeared, which idea to start on first? Which second? Can I do them at the same time? Which matters more? Do I go for money? Or go for my preferences? Or keep ideating until I find a good mix of both?
Then when I pick an idea, will it take care of my staff? How do they fit in? Would the 3DMJ guys approve of this idea? Could I still be a part of the team? What would my athletes think?
Yep. This is how crazy it is all the time in my head. Every day.
It really blows my mind how crystal clear I can be about my training, my nutrition, my relationship with my boyfriend, and my coaching calls with my athletes. All of that stuff just clicks.
But with my never-ending stress ball that is “business” or rather “my life’s work”, I really gotta get a grip. Sure, this grip is more sound every year, but it’s still a long way from chill and confident, which is how I feel when it comes to athletics.
PICKING OUT THE PRODUCTIVE
Since that fateful athlete report where I gave my client the advice of transferring her successful behaviors (training) over to places where she struggles (nutrition), I am committing to doing the same examination for myself.
Here are some of the larger differences I have identified within my own “good vs. bad” areas of life.
1. In sports, I have picked one competitive goal and give it everything I’ve got.
In business, I have three which are forever being juggled: my personal brand, 3D Muscle Journey, and The Muscle & Strength Pyramids. And within each of those, there are anywhere from 5 to 40 different duties that I must personally handle each month.
2. In sports, I have a coach that I 100% trust with my progress. If I am having problems or questions, I go to him.
In business, I work within a lot of teams. There are about 10 people who I work very closely with on a daily basis. And within a few of those teams, I am the “leader” per se in certain areas of operation. I also have a small team of athletes who look to me for guidance as well.
3. In sports, there are no decisions to be made. I look at my training log for the day, and do exactly what is listed on it.
In business, I have to change plans almost daily. I may start the day wanting to complete A, B, and C, then finish the day having done X, B, Y, and M. Emergencies pop up. Flexibility and pliability are exercised often, if not daily.
4. In sports, I am religious. I have very specific routines, meals, habits, warm-ups, stretches, places, and times of day at which everything occurs. I can easily get into machine mode and block everything else out.
In business, even though I plan ahead, consistency is scarce. I work on my businesses in some way 6 to 7 days a week, but always in a reactive manner. As mentioned above, things change constantly. If any certain day has a to-do list that I accidentally made too long or some task takes longer than estimated, it then bleeds to the next day and starts a string of overloaded lists for the rest of the week. At which point, I spend the entire weekend, most weekends, trying to make up for it.
5., 6, and so on are written in a notebook here at my home that I will continue to observe an build upon. But I think you guys get the picture here
IT’S STRATEGY, NOT SORROW
Now to be clear on the purpose of the article, I am not complaining about the work I do or the jobs I have. I think my current problems are much better than last years, which are much better than the year’s before, and so on. I also know that I have chosen this lifestyle and the issues it brings, so I cannot be upset of how I let things get a little too crazy for myself sometimes. (Ok, almost all of the time.)
But this was simply an exercise in objective conclusions, which left me with some evidence on how I can improve my strategies going forth. I gave the main 3 observable differences above, but ended up with 9 total, progressively getting more detailed and nuanced further down the list.
Some are easier fixes than others, and some are actually damn near impossible to change, but I will do my best to make the shifts where I can.
So I think I’ll just leave you all with one more tiny nudge to do the same for yourself if you find this exercise useful…
What are you great at? And what is not so great?
How do you handle these areas of your life differently? And what skills can you transfer from the good to the bad?