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Avoid Paralysis by Analysis

"Do what you can with what you have and who you are TODAY."

-Ben Bergeron

Chasing Excellence Podcast Episode 106: Behind the Scene of my TEDx Talk


Listening to my usual podcast rotation this morning I was stopped dead in my tracks by this quote. I listen to a lot of content from Ben Bergeron, Jason Khalipa, Gary Vaynerchuk, Aubrey Marcus, and other under the fitness/business/personal development scope. Some stuff sticks, some doesn't. But this was so timely I literally pulled my car over to write this down and take a few notes.


Between running classes, running the business side of the gym, being a dad and husband, it's been tough to squeeze in my own training every single week. Kids get sick, coaches need time off, special meetings and events happen, and they all take time away from my training. But that's what CrossFit is all about, right? The unknown and the unknowable, adapting to anything thrown at you, being prepared for anything... but applying that to my daily/weekly schedule proved that it was easier said than done.


I had fallen into what's often referred to as "paralysis by analysis." I would look at a workout, if I didn't have time to complete it or work at my usual intensity I would skip it. Same goes with the business, if I couldn't put out an incredibly polished piece of social media content, I wouldn't put anything out. Instead of getting SOMETHING done, I was getting NOTHING done.


We all make big New Years resolutions, but once we get back to our normal schedule it can be easy to give up because of the added stress or pressure of our new goals. Don't give up. Even if you can only make a small step toward your goal, make that small step. Over time those small steps will add up. Likewise, all of those choices to do nothing will add up and that goal will seem unattainable.


Some bits of advice to avoid Paralysis by Analysis:

  • If you're short on time, DO SOMETHING. Even if it's half the workout you initially wanted to do.

  • If you're trying to get to the gym 5 times a week and only make it 3 this week, that's still 3 more than if you had sat on your couch and watched garbage TV every night. Again, something is better than nothing.

  • If you're struggling with nutrition, find out why you're struggling. Is it too drastic of a change? Adjust the amount of change and keep going. Is it your environment? Sometimes the people and places you surround yourself with can create too much pressure and you end up caving. Lunch with co-workers, drinks and cheat meals every weekend, junk food at friendly gatherings. All these can sabotage your on your way to success. Consider changing your environment to better suite your new lifestyle and goals, or let those within your environment know about you goals and ask them for their support.

  • Remember that in most cases doing nothing at all isn't going to put you closer to your goal. In many cases it will actually set you back. Do something, anything, any kind of work that you put you in a better place than you were the day before.

Do what you can with what you have and who you are today. Use the time, the energy, and the resources that you have to make the best out of TODAY. Even if it's not your best work, if you don't hit the workout at max intensity, just get something accomplished. Inside and outside of the gym. Do this consistently over time and you'll be able to crush any goal you set your mind to.


***Update***

I just finished coaching a class with only two people. Rather than giving up because the gym wasn't packed like sardines, I coached the same way I would for these two members (actually giving them more attention than usual). Both of these members had very different lower body issues come up early in the workouts. Again, rather than calling it quits because they (or I) decided they weren't capable of completing the workout, we all decided on appropriate modifications to get a great workout in without any added risk. We all did what we could with what we had and who we were for that hour, and it was awesome!

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