fitness · habits · motivation · self care

Go Team! January 23: When your some is your all

On January 23 last year, my Go Team! post advised you to Give it your some. I was reminding us all that the process of building a habit will include some hard days and some easy ones and days when showing up is pretty much all that we can manage. In last year’s post, I was suggesting that you can’t always ‘give it your all’ and that it is perfectly ok to ‘give it your some.’

Today, I want to expand on that a bit and maybe help us further let go of the idea that only epic sessions that push us to our limits can count toward our practice.

SPOILER: All your efforts count. If someone says otherwise, send them to me for a chat.

This might get a little convoluted. Perhaps you should tie a rope around your waist before venturing in.

What if your some IS your all?

It seems to me that ‘giving it your all’ means that you pour as much energy as you possibly can into the project in front of you right now.

But, if you think about it, your ‘all’ will depend on a lot of factors and it will look different every day.

When you take everything into account, other priorities, how tired you are, whether you are injured, your schedule for the day, your mental energy, what you have eaten, how much time you spent on Zoom, your emotional health, today’s ‘all’ might vary wildly from yesterday’s ‘all.’

If today you have a teaspoon of energy to sprinkle on your practice and tomorrow you have a cupful of energy to pour into it, you are still giving it your all both times.

Maybe neither of those is your average effort, your usual ‘all’, but if you are pouring in all the energy you can spare, then you can’t give any more than that.*

On any given day, ‘giving it your some’ might actually be ‘giving it your all’ even if it is a different level of ‘all’ than yesterday.

And I don’t want you to be hard on yourself about that. Having varying capacity and energy levels has nothing to do with not trying hard enough or not being committed to your practice – those variances only mean that you are human with a human body and a human brain. (Sorry if that dashes your cyborg hopes or superhero dreams, Team.)

Meanwhile, phoning it in can build momentum, too

Now, you might be asking yourself ‘What about those days when I’m not giving it my all? Those times when I *could* do more but I just don’t want to?’

You’ll be shocked to discover that I think it’s ok to phone it in sometimes, too.

Showing up for yourself, going through a half-assed version of your practice, and then going back to your day is still doing your practice.

You might not see a lot of results from that specific session but you are still creating room for your practice in your life. You are still reminding your body and your brain that this activity is part of your schedule, that it is something that you want to include in your day-to-day. And besides, results take time, you won’t see a big change from any one session, no matter how hard your worked.

Every single practice session helps you build momentum whether you showed up full of energy or full of a desire to get this over with. A phoned-in session is still a session.

Today’s Invitation

Today, I’m inviting you to remember that you don’t have to put in an epic effort every day.

(In fact, if you *did* put in an epic effort every day, it wouldn’t be epic, it would be your ordinary effort and you’d have to take things up a notch in order to be epic. Improvement over time is great but seeking to be epic every day is a trap)

Establishing a habit does not depend on wringing every last drop out of every session.

Habit building depends on doing what you can, when you can – pushing hard some days, giving a solid efforts on others, showing up even when you feel meh about the whole thing, and, of course, resting when you need to. All of those types of effort are part of the cycle of building a new habit and they all count.

Your effort today – no matter where it falls on the scale of epic-ness – counts and I offer these gold stars in celebration of your hard work.

A drawing of of a vase of stars. The stars are on stems, like flowers. The drawing is resting against a black pencil case on a piece of cardboard.
I love the idea of being able to keep a vase of gold stars. I haven’t done it quite yet but I did keep a jar of a string of star lights on my desk for a while. Image Description: A drawing of a pink vase of gold stars sitting on a purple table. The stars are on stems, like flowers would be. The drawing is resting on a piece of cardboard and leaning against a black mesh pencil case.

*I’d also like to add that a lot of people who shout at you from ads and screens about giving it your all and putting in epic efforts and trying to shame you about whether you are working hard enough are not doing everything that you are doing in a day. A lot of those people might be bragging about their exercise efforts but they aren’t picking up their own sweaty towel, putting it in the laundry, taking a shower and then washing the tub, making their own lunch and cleaning up after, and balancing their family and work responsibilities on top of all that. If you had people to take care of all the other details of your life, you could make every exercise session epic, too.

About the Go Team! posts

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. β­πŸ’š PS – Some of the posts for this year may be similar to posts from last year but I think we can roll with it.