Why messy starts trump clean slates…

So this is high season for parties and get togethers which means overeating and over drinking can become a trend.

By December, the free for all’s mount, weight gain appears, and fat loss anxiety begins to peak.

I have learned, through much trial and error, that the fastest way to remedy any stress is to plan less and just take action!

I regain focus this way.

I feel in my power.

So even if one decision doesn’t make my problem go away, I’ve at least put myself in the drivers seat, I’m moving forward, and that feels damn good.

For that reason, and many others, I take issue with the Clean Slate philosophy that wants and even requires the absence of real life commitments and just plain fun and games in order to begin…

“I’ll start after Thanksgiving…”

“After vacation…”

“After my birthday…”

and the most famous (with “I’ll start Monday at a close second)… “After the New Year’s…”

You see, the Clean Slate policy is STAGNANT and, in fact, takes on the appearance of plain ‘ol procrastination.

In order to execute the Clean Slate you must:
📌 wait and wait and wait for the perfect time where there are big gaps in your schedule so that nothing can throw you off course.
📌 plan on paper and spreadsheets and Pinterest for the perfect execution so that every curve ball (so you think) has been visualized, accounted for, and strategized for.  
📌 gather… no really HOARD… information as if knowledge of scientific facts is what’s been stopping you from living this flawlessly healthy way of life!!!  (Except “Knowledge does not translate into action!”)

Alas, the big day, the big week, the big month comes and somewhere along the way something goes wrong…

  • Someone decides to throw a killer BCS party and you are so going to act like you were back in college…
  • The company needs you after all on that damn trip next weekend to D.C…
  • Both the kids get sick and oh, no! you can’t make it to the gym to get your workout in…
  • You’re in a hurry and forget 1/2 of the ingredients to your super fancy, gluten free, fat free, pancakes.. so what’s for breakfast now?

In the Clean Slate philosophy you usually just take the “L,” quit, and wait again…

You wait for that next big surge of motivation and plan out another, new, bigger, and badder Clean Slate.

More waiting for the perfect Monday,

More planning for the perfect game plan, and

More gathering of information

Before taking major action!!  It’s frustrating and fruitless.

So here’s what I want you to do instead… get comfortable with the MESSY START!

📌 WORK with your present, including the unpredictable chaos!

It’s failing that gives you the feedback you need to find what you’re strong at, what you’re weak at, and what you’re willing to take on based on what’s currently on your plate.

There’s plenty to be gained by starting right now EVEN if there’s a big party on Friday night and you are already committed to just doing it big.

📌 PRACTICE your game plan without the expectation of constant wins.

I don’t care how many spread sheets you draw up or how many Pinterest boards you create, you are going to have to get comfortable with making adjustments on the fly.

You’ll get some of those decisions right and you’ll get several wrong too, but if you’re walking into this process knowing it’s about finding the gaps and learning to fill them in on the way, failures don’t seem so do or die, so win or lose.

They’re literally part of plan anyways.

📌 TEST out how and if information is relevant to you.

I don’t care what book told you to do what, what listicle told you to eat this and not that.  No one knows your body, your schedule, your budget, your likes and dislikes better than you.

Food and nutrition information is meaningless unless you make it in context to your life and your body!!

Read… but THINK critically!

Be open to the idea that the article/book can be wrong for you but right for others and vice versa.  Experiment, observe, learn.

Your Take Away:

I get the appeal of The Clean Slate.  I do see certain benefits to it.  There’s certainty, predictability, and security built in.  Those are basic human needs.  We love to feel like we’re in total control.

But then, in the end… we never really are.  Those who sink and those who swim are oftentimes the one who can think on their feet, stray from plan, come up w/ a plan B, or not feel defeated by the first sign of trouble.

Don’t stay stuck

The changes you want to create have to fit into this super messy thing called REAL EFFING LIFE!

Waiting for or spending loads of time creating utopian circumstances won’t show you what to tweak, add, take away, or move around to create a new routine or break old habits.

We need the hiccups and the failures to tell us what our next move should be.

It’s not about the things we can do and change without travel, holidays, sick kids, or fun parties.

It’s what we can accomplish in conjunction with the messiness of life.

You see, WE NEED THE MESS to get real answers and not false hope!



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