When All Else Fails, Stop Trying So Hard.

Three-feet-from-gold

You know how many times you have to fail at something in order to be successful? I don’t know the exact number, as I’m sure it’s different for everyone. But let’s just agree that it’s probably a very high number. Most people just stop and give up at whatever it is they are shooting for because of numerous failures.

But what would happen if you just “sorta tried?”  Like a half-ass attempt? You’d probably get half-ass results. But wouldn’t that be better than NO results?

Here’s where I’m going with this argument:  What if people just stopped trying SO hard to be perfect all of the time with reaching their goal?

For some (relevant to this blog and myself) it’s always about diet. And eating and maintaining perfectly 100% of the time. I know this isn’t possible so I usually shoot for 90% of the time. But for others it could be their mission to find the perfect mate. Or for others, they really want to get a promotion at work. So we try and we work really really hard and we might have a good week or a good month or just a good day and what happens? We get zero results. We don’t lose an inch. We go on a ton of dates and find no matches. Our boss doesn’t notice all the overtime we put in. No change, nothing.

Now most people give up completely. Throwing in the towel after just a few attempts. Others might try again and and again and come up short again and again. But what if we just stopped trying SO hard. And we tried just a little bit? I’m talking minimal effort.

For the dieters – we aim for for even lower – 80% adherence. For the workaholics, we don’t stay at work until the wee hours of the morning. We just stay long enough to what MUST be done and nothing more. For the serial daters, we cancel our online dating profiles and just hang out with friends.

So see, once the pressure is off to be 100% all of the time, you can relax and let the process happen organically. The point is, you can’t possibly aim to be 100% perfect all of the time because something else in your life with lose attention and will fall apart – lack of sleep due to staying at work late, less money in the bank by going out on all these dates looking for Mr/Mrs Right, no social life because you can’t stick to your diet when you’re out with your friends.

When your energy is focused solely on this one goal, the rest of your priorities get a little lost and put aside. But when you step aside and relax a little bit, the pieces fall into place. This isn’t about giving up – it’s about giving just a PART of you to your goal and not your entire self. Just a piece of you. And when you start to get on a roll (losing an inch or two here, getting kudos from the boss once in awhile, having a few nice dates) you’ll be glad you never gave up completely.

Sometimes, all it takes is just a little bit of effort to make a noticeable change. It doesn’t have to be full steam ahead the entire time.

All About Mom

May 22nd, 1948 - March 10th, 2013
May 22nd, 1948 – March 10th, 2013

My Mom was my biggest fan. You can see how she commented on quite a few of my posts and was my photographer for my progress pics. She was very supportive of my endeavors and always found an opportunity to say “I’m so proud of you honey!”

Although I know she probably cringed as I became the Tupperware queen as I would leave some of my empty containers all around the kitchen, she did express to me many times how she loved that I cooked and prepared all my meals. “There’s my cooking daughter, cooking up a storm in there!” she would say.

These last few weeks of my mother’s life were especially difficult. She knew her health was deteriorating and although she said she was trying to remain positive, I think she knew something was terribly wrong. Instead of focusing on the negative feelings and the horrible things that happened, I’m trying to remind myself of all the good things that took place, especially these last three months. I can’t help but smile a little as I reflect on them today:

– I was able to make my Mom some delicious smoothies every morning, some of which she said “This is the BEST one yet!”

– When I would come home from the grocery store with food from my meal plan from my nutrition coach, she actually asked if she could eat some of it too.  It was such a joy to be able to cook for my Mom! The orange roughy I baked was her favorite by far.

– Wednesday night, just two days before she asked for hospice, she looked over at me and said “I’m tasting for something but I don’t know what…maybe some oatmeal. Do you have any oatmeal?”  DO I HAVE OATMEAL?!  I have a membership to Costco and stocked up on the stuff, I HAVE Oatmeal Mom! 🙂  She wanted butter, milk and some sugar in it.  I brought it over to her and apologized for not making it very “mushy” and instead it came out “watery.”  But she gobbled it up anyways.

-Thursday night she asked for oatmeal again.  “This time could you make it less watery?”  I whipped up the butteriest, milkiest, sugariest oatmeal anyone could ask for.  It was the last thing she ate.  I was honored to do it.

-She was able to celebrate Fat Tuesday and have a paczki with my Aunt just a couple weeks ago. She told my aunt it was “The best time I’ve ever had!”

Fat Tuesday with a Paczki!
Fat Tuesday with a Paczki!

-I drove her to my nephews basketball game a few days later which would be the last time she was out of the house.  And what a game! Triple Overtime and they won! 

– The last thing I said to her before she passed was reading to her from her own book, “A Grandma’s Book” that was given to my nephews.  It’s all about her.  I read an excerpt from her “Favorite Things.”  For those that didn’t know her, here are a few of them:

“I love my friends, I love my family, I love them more than life itself.  I love hummingbirds, I love CHOCOLATE.  Especially Lindt Truffles.  I love Tote Bags, I have about 20 of them!  …I love baking bread and giving it to my friends at holidays.  I love the smell of freshly cut grass.  I love when it’s thunderstorming outside and I’m safe and sound in my house.”

I know I’ve said it before but my Mom was simply the best that there ever was.  Her smile was the biggest, her heart was the largest, her love was the greatest.

October 17th 2012 - 42 Years of Marriage
October 17th 2012 – 42 Years of Marriage

I had toyed with the idea of throwing in the towel on this competition.  I even thought about giving up on eating healthy, on working out in general.  But after talking to my sister and a few other folks, it’s pretty obvious Mom would be PISSED if I gave up.  She’d especially feel guilty for being the REASON to give up. 

So I’m back on it today.  I started back on my meal plan a couple of days ago but today is the first full day of getting my habits back in line.  It’s rough…but it’s not nearly as rough as she had it.  I have to remind myself my Mom had quite a tumultuous 6 months.  I try to live each day for her now. I only hope I can be a reflection of what she was like.  I definitely have some big shoes to fill, I’m sure I will never fill them.  But I will try to live each day with that bright smile on my face. 

Love You Mom!

"Light The Night" Fundraiser for LLS
“Light The Night” Fundraiser for LLS