Adjust Your Dials
Written by Charissa Sutliff

Have you ever thought that if you miss some workouts, eat the wrong things, or skip the homework, you fail? That unless you are 100% sticking to the perfect plan that you might as well quit? That it’s not good enough if you’re only training 3 days per week and you have a few meals that aren’t on plan so you’ll just pause and you’ll get back to eating healthy, training, when life slows down?

The truth is that there is no perfect time. Life never slows down. The truth is that in the context of real human life, where life has competing commitments, we are all just doing the best we can with what we have. And guess what! We can still make progress! Even just 10% consistency will yield results and progress.

The next time you want to press pause or tell yourself that small efforts aren’t good enough here are some tips for helping you shift your mindset from all or nothing to something is better than nothing. Always something!

The point is to keep going even if it feels weird, awkward, half hearted. Something is always better than nothing. Just keep swimming!

Adjust your dials

Think of your fitness, training, and nutrition in terms of volume dials that you can turn up or down. Like I mentioned, even 10% effort done consistently will result in progress over time. In the context of training, nutrition, and fitness in real human life, maybe your training dials can’t be at a level 10 like they used to be. Maybe the dial is turned down to a 5 right now. Adopting this dial method might seem weird at first, but it helps us to keep going. It’s okay to have our dials turned down! The important part is to just keep going. Maybe even set a minimum for yourself that your non-negotiable is a dial of 3 which is two training sessions per week and a hike. 

So what would having your dial at a 1 look like? What would it look like if it were a 10? There is a big difference between turning your dial down and turning it off completely.

Aim for a little better

Another way to ditch the all or nothing mentality is to think of nutrition on a continuum. Rather than saying this food is good or bad. Food is neutral. It provides us with energy. You can look at individual foods, meals, choices on a continuum or a spectrum of:

Worst | Good Enough | Better | Best


In this situation, what would be the worst choice, what would be a good enough choice, what would be a better choice, and what would be the best choice? Maybe it’s a burger with a side salad. Maybe it’s a skinny latte instead of a Frappuccino. How can you adjust your dial for your current situation?

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