I’ve admittedly been in a rut recently. Being one who values constant progression towards better I was finding it hard to swallow the fact that everything has just seemed stagnant.
The goals I set for my movements really weren’t going anywhere. My eating was “off” and I didn’t feel like I was listening to my body. My business projects had really come to a standstill. Nothing has really gotten better or moved forward.
After some self reflection it didn’t seem like there were any red flags as to what was holding me back. Everything appeared normal from what I could tell, but there was still this resistance of some sort.
My first response was to wonder why.
Why have my movements not been progressing?
Why has my diet been off?
Why have are some of my projects at a standstill?
But instead of wondering why this was happening, which is what I usually do, I decided to act in a direction I felt I could move forward. Being that I teach and live holistic health to the best of my ability I knew that I could test one small change in any area that could effect change somewhere else.
So what was this change that brought about such huge positive consequences?
I eliminated coffee.
Wow, big let down I know. But the changes I have experienced have been nothing short of phenomenal… here’s why.
I love the ritual of a hot
something coffee first thing in the morning. Coffee was fitting because I get up early (typically around 5a) and it gets me going. But unfortunately it gets me going TOO MUCH, even though I brew it half caff!
I would drink one large mug with raw milk, cinnamon and a few other add-ins like coconut oil and call it breakfast. But in all reality I rarely felt great after. Being that coffee is essentially a one-way drug it would pump me up only to let me down. Come 9a I would have that low blood sugar feeling, you know, the one where you just feel like you need to sit down. This wasn’t ideal being that this time of morning is either really busy with clients or and is typically the best time of day for me to workout if available.
So I would choose to NOT workout and push it until later in the day. I did it, but it was never as good as it could have been. As a result I wasn’t really making much progress in the gym. As a result of that I didn’t feel the motivation to get in and lift or move again.
AND THEN THE CHANGE
Now I’ve known that coffee hasn’t worked for me for a while but was in denial. One huge lesson here was that even though I KNEW what needed to take place it was beyond my limits to really act on it… so I observed. (see Leo Babauta’s insert at the bottom on “the pause”)
But after hitting that bad, jittery feeling enough it was time to change something.
I decided to act. My ritual was still in place, but I substituted the coffee I used to consume with yerba mate. Here is what has happened since;
- My sleep has improved DRAMATICALLY! I always get large quantities of sleep but the quality is never there. Ever since I made this switch I have slept much more soundly without the 3a wake up and inability to sleep.
- My movements have gotten much better being that I feel the desire to workout in the a.m. again. As a matter of fact the day I made the change I actually worked out TWICE in the same day, morning and evening, being that I felt so amazing!
- My motivation to get projects completed has soared. I’ve been crunching away at my new info product “Blueprint For Fatloss” and am getting closer and closer to completion.
- My eating has felt much more intuitive and I feel like I’m moving in a better overall direction according to my goals.
This is NOT a knock on coffee. It benefits people making them better everyday and it’s not up for me to decide whether it works for you. However, if you’re wanting to test some potentially better ways to make your coffee work for you check out this video.
This IS a look into MY life and MY approach to change, and how one small change in one are can ripple effect to other changes in other areas.
Will I ever drink coffee again? Yes, of course. But for now tea is working just fine. I’ll keep coasting on this change until it’s time to tweak something else. It’s more insight for me that it’s not about making huge, drastic changes that are unrealistic or forceful but learning what is best for my body and what will allow me to move in the direction of better.
HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR OWN RUT
- Ask better questions. I no longer as “why” as it really doesn’t do much to help me change or make me better. Better questions based around potential action can bring about more awareness. Awareness can lead to better change.
- Realize that better is better. One small change towards improvement is better than none at all. Think about small ways you can make change.
- Relax. It’s easier to navigate our potential decisions when we are proactive instead of reactive. Relaxing allows us to be more proactive creating change that will pull us out of the abyss.
Start with these and your path to being unstuck will be short lived.
As I was writing this Leo Babauta’s post (The Pause) came across my screen. I thought it was fitting to share. See below
Copied from Zen Habits
“There is one little habit I’ve learned that has changed everything else in my life.
When we fail, it’s because we act on urges without thinking, without realizing it. We have the urge to eat junk, and we do it. We have the urge to check email instead of writing a chapter of our book, and so we open our inbox. We have an urge to smoke, to drink, to do drugs, to chew our nails, to play a Facebook game, to procrastinate, to skip a workout, to eat more fries, to criticize, to act in jealousy or anger, to be rude … and we act on that urge.
What if instead we learned to pause after each urge? What if we stopped, looked at that urge, paid close attention to what it feels like inside our bodies, but didn’t act?
The urge would no longer control us. We would be able to make conscious choices that might be healthier for us, help us be happier.
If we can pause, we create space. Space to breathe, to think, to be without acting.
The pause is the answer to so many of our problems. Such a small thing, and so powerful.
To develop the pause, notice your next urge. Is it an urge to go check something online? Or eat something you know isn’t healthy for you? Pay attention to the urge, learn as much as you can about it. If you act on it after the pause, that’s OK. Just notice it, and pause, and pay attention.
Do it again for the next urge, and the next. You will get good at it with practice, and you’ll have lots of opportunities to practice.
The urges won’t go away, but your ability to pause will get stronger. And when you have the pause, you have everything.”