How to eat an elephant.

A couple weeks ago I was in a fit bit challenge with 7 of my co-workers.  I thought we should make it interesting and put a little money on the work week hustle.  It’s a challenge that counts all of your steps from Monday to Friday, whoever has the most steps wins.  So all of us put in 20 bucks.  In my mind I just thought all I have to do is walk more than anyone else and I can win, easy enough.

I started the week strong, getting up at 5am with a one year old gives you a leg up on getting those steps in early.  During the day at work I’d walk anywhere I could.  Instead of sending an email, I’d walk to their desk.  At lunch time I’d walk around outside.  At night I’d go for more walks and then walk around my apartment till late into the night.

All week it was going great, I was ahead pretty much the whole time.  Then we got to Friday and one of the girls was really on my heels.  I was watching my app all day.  She’d start creeping up and I’d get walking, speed walking, then even a little running.  By the evening I was trying to figure out how I was going to go to sleep.  I’m usually in bed by 9 o’clock.  But I couldn’t stop now, I’d worked so hard all week.  I kept walking and walking and walking.  When I had walked a half marathon that day I was really starting to get tired and I just wanted to go to bed but now I really couldn’t give up  there were only a few hours left.  I kept going, circling my dining table about 4 million times.

And then around 10pm as I was walking in circles in my living room wearing pajamas and my runners I thought to myself, this is a low point for me.  I was glad I was finishing this goal I’d set out to do but why was THIS finally the goal I decided to finish.  It wasn’t the money.  Don’t get me wrong that was a motivator but it wasn’t exactly going to send me on a European vacation.  It really bothered me that of all of the ideas I have, the businesses I’d like to start, the books I want to read, the classes I want to take, the languages I want to learn, the projects around my house, why had I spent so many hours this week just walking so that I could win.  You might think it was for my health but the truth is that someone happened to give me their fit bit so I tried it out and joined my co-workers in their challenge.  I wasn’t on a get healthy kick.  So what was it about this challenge that made me want to finish?

I still had a couple of hours to keep walking so I had some time to think about this.  What I came to realize was that the reason this was doable was because it was simple and short term.  I had one task and one week to do it.  It didn’t get overcomplicated, I didn’t try and do 10 different other goals as well that week.  This was it, just walk and walk as much as I could.

I ended up walking nearly 17 miles that day and still didn’t win, I got beat by about 1500 steps but that really didn’t matter to me by the end.  I needed to figure out what was getting me to the goal line.

Figuring out that I really need to keep things simple and short term was the ticket.  So the next week I decided to finish a book I had been reading.  Again, I just had a week but all I had to do was read.  It felt good to accomplish it.  It was a small goal but the main thing was that I finished it.

I’m not looking to move mountains here I just want to stop getting overwhelmed by things and giving up or overthinking them and not even starting in the first place.

I’ve been wanting to re-do my closet for a few months now, actually I posted about it back in May and so far all I have done is get rid of the clothes I don’t wear anymore.

So this week I’m going to organize the clothes in my closet by color or by type of clothing.  Any advice or opinions on this would be great.  I’m not sure which one makes more sense.

A friend of mine always asks in overwhelming situations, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”

 

 

 


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