fitness · habits · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 7: Focus On What You CAN Do Today

Every time I start to write one of these Go Team! posts, I get worried that I have already said the same thing in a different form or that I am getting repetitive already. But then I remember how often I have to engage with certain ideas before they really take hold, especially when it comes to ideas around self-kindness, and I figure it is safe to approach the same concept from different directions while we learn to embrace it. So, some threads will appear again and again in these posts and I hope they help different people each time and/or they help the same people in different ways.

Often when we have goals or plans, we get so caught up in what we want/mean/plan to do that we forget that we are fallible human beings, trying to do the best we can with the resources we have available. We focus on following the plan, at all costs, and we feel like doing anything else is a complete failure.

You will be shocked to discover that I refuse to let us get mired in that kind of thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, I fall into that all-or-failure thinking trap, too, but I am learning to extract myself as quickly as possible by focusing on what I CAN do in a given moment instead of getting dragged down by what I can’t do.

And I invite you to consider the same approach.

When your plans for self-care, whether that is exercise, meditation, rest, or anything else, go awry, please don’t stay tangled in your ideas of how things should have gone, or how unfair it is.

It’s true. Things should have gone better for you. It is unfair. And if is definitely frustrating. You are doing your best to take good care of yourself and you just wanted to be able to check these few things off your list.

And if I had a magic wand, I would wave all of those things away and give you the space to follow your plans.

Since I haven’t figured out the whole magic thing yet, I’m hoping you can try this instead:

Choose to focus on what you CAN do today.

Obviously, please go ahead and give yourself time to acknowledge how frustrated you are first. I am not asking you to pretend that everything is fair. You don’t have to brightside yourself.

But, once you have acknowledged your frustration and your head has cleared a little, try to start looking for what feels possible right now. This isn’t about ignoring the problem or pretending that obstacles don’t exist, it’s about finding a focus that serves you best at the moment.

Focusing on what you CAN do puts you back in charge. It means you aren’t just being buffeted around by your annoyances. It helps you take action.

So, when you find yourself unable to follow through on your wellness plans on a given day, perhaps ask yourself these questions:

What is my energy level today? How much time do I have? What tools are available to me? How can I combine those factors to help myself expand toward my plans today?

Your plan for today doesn’t have to be huge. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking. It can be a placeholder for the plan you had or it can be something totally different. I just want you to be free from the constrictions of what you can’t do right now and open to the possibilities of what you can do.

By the way, if the answer to those questions is: I have no energy, no time, and no tools, that’s ok, too. Some days are just like that. You aren’t procrastinating, you aren’t avoiding, you are recognizing your capacity today. Decide that today you are taking a break from expanding towards that goal and consider that (always challenging) decision to be your effort for the day. Building a new habit is a slow and steady process and will involve twists, turns, stops, and starts as you figure things out. That’s not you getting lost, that’s you creating the map.

As always, here is your gold star for the day.

You matter.

Your efforts count.

I’m proud of your hard work.

A free-standing 3D gold star ornament, lit by the sun, sits on a wooden surface.
I love this geometric star. Lots of spaces for good things to happen in between all of those points. Image description: a 3D, multi pointed, gold star ornament on a wooden surface, a beam of sunshine is making the star glow and is casting a shadow on a dark surface behind. The star itself is made from lines of metal so each point on the star is actually the outline of a triangle. Photo credit: my son, J.

For the second year in a row, I’ll be posting a Go Team! message every day in January to encourage us as we build new habits or maintain existing ones. It’s cumbersome to try to include every possibility in every sentence so please assume that I am offering you kindness, understanding, and encouragement for your efforts right now. You matter, your needs matter, and your efforts count, no matter where you are applying them. You are doing the best you can, with the resources you have, in all kinds of difficult situations and I wish you ease. ⭐💚 PS – Some of the posts for this year may be similar to posts from last year but I think we can roll with it.

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