what happens when you get off track?

what happens when you get off track?

Life happens. Work gets busy. Kids get sick. Family visits from out of town.

Sometimes the best laid plans go astray. It's what you do after they go astray that matters.

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Since we're shooting for "healthy", not for "healthiest", and since our goal is to be better six months from now than we are today, all you have to do to get back on track is to start making forward progress again today - even if it's just a little tiny bit. You don't have to commit yourself to perfection, and you don't have to change your lifestyle inside-out to get there. You just need to assess where you are today (accounting for what has caused you to lose your forward momentum), and then make today better than yesterday. That's the beauty of continuous improvement.

My three weeks of crazy

I'm having one of these moments now - not with fitness, but with my writing. In fact, if you scroll down the page you'll notice I've written very few posts so far this month. Instead, I got hit with a quadruple-whammy - mostly caused by me - which has wreaked havoc with my schedule.

1.) Things had been going so well here at Fitness Gazette that I decided to make an honest effort to spend more time meeting other people with similar interests on Google Plus. Big surprise - this took more time and energy than I expected it to.

2.) I had volunteered my time to two different groups, and both of them took an enormous amount of time from about mid-August through yesterday. I'm committed to both of these groups until February - March, but fortunately the hard work is now behind me. The rest of the fall shouldn't take more than a few minutes at a time for either group.

3.) People in my office have been taking vacation time, which has caused my workload to balloon. That means I've been working a little bit longer each day, with fewer breaks throughout the day.

4.) My wife has been taking classes and studying for exams to get her real estate license, which means I've picked up some extra "dad" time around the house in the evenings and weekends.

These four actions, each seemingly small and a regular part of life, have combined to throw me completely out of whack. I've managed to eat well and to exercise almost as much as I'd like to, but everything else has been chaos. Not enough sleep, too much stress, constantly feeling like I'm running full speed but not getting anywhere. I've only managed a couple blog posts in the last couple weeks, and I've all but abandoned Google Plus and Facebook.

The good news is I survived the storm.
  • My wife passed her exams last weekend. (she's as smart as she is beautiful!)
  • My two volunteer projects have both past their apex, separately but almost at the same time. Last night I was able to deliver a finished product which had taken lots of hours to put together.
  • Today the last of the missing colleagues returns to work, and we're back to full staff.

This experience has been frustrating, and stressful. I've been feeling helpless, as if all my hard work over the past six months was falling by the wayside while all I could do was watch.

But you know what - I've only been off the wagon for two weeks. And I'm climbing back on today. A couple weeks from now I'll be back into a groove, and six months from now it'll be just a minor blip. That's the power of the long term - the process of continuous improvement.

Feels good to be back. What are you doing today?

-Chris Butterworth