Life is full of challenges. We are faced with difficult decisions every single day, especially when it comes to living a healthy life. When making a difficult choice, there is usually one option that …
Life is full of challenges. We are faced with difficult decisions every single day, especially when it comes to living a healthy life. When making a difficult choice, there is usually one option that is harder at the moment and one option that is easier.
It’s enticing to choose the easy option because we will face less resistance right now and be able to move on past the current challenge more quickly. However, choosing the easy option at the moment usually creates more challenges in the future.
If we choose the hard option at the moment, the one that requires more resources, maybe time, energy, or money, we often times face an easier road in the future. This option sets us up for success by looking farther down the road and ends up saving us a lot of time.
Let’s take our nutrition as an example. We all need to eat food every day, multiple times per day. We can take the easy option of buying one meal right now or the hard option of planning out our week of meals and going to the grocery store. Planning our week and going grocery shopping seems like the hard option at the moment because it’s going to take more time, energy, planning, and money, however, we’ll save so much time, energy, and money over the course of the week in comparison to buying each meal individually.
I like to categorize these responses to challenges as difficult-difficult or difficult-easy.
Difficult-easy responses are things that we do that are stressful, challenging, and/or irritating, but familiar. They have become a part of our daily lives and they are challenges that we recognize and have categorized as normal. Some of these may include starting another diet we know won’t create lasting change, overbooking our schedule and rushing, working out so intensely we can’t walk for three days, taking care of everyone else’s needs first, or punishing ourselves. Sound familiar?
These tasks certainly keep us busy, but they don’t ultimately move us forward. They keep us stuck in the same place.
Difficult-difficult responses are things we do that are also uncomfortable, perhaps terrifying, but are truly growth-promoting. These tasks often aren’t what we first think of when we think of doing difficult things. They can include slowing down and being aware of the present moment, focusing and following a plan consistently over time, sitting with feelings and thoughts, trying something new, being comfortable with mistakes and uncertainty, taking a recovery day, being compassionate, being vulnerable, and asking for help.
We typically avoid these types of tasks because growth is hard work. These things may sound easy, maybe even overrated, but they are where true change happens. Getting out of our comfort zone isn’t always fun and easy, but it’s where we learn, grow, and feel good about what we accomplish.
If we’re going to be uncomfortable, it may as well be worthwhile and move us forward. The goal is to shift our time, energy, and attention toward what’s challenging and rewarding, and away from activities that drain your tank or waste your time without giving anything back.
Consider your current responses to life’s everyday challenges. Living a healthy life requires us to take steps forward every day. Taking one difficult-easy response and shifting it to a difficult-difficult response will create huge changes in your life and will ripple effect on those around you. You can do this, and your future self will thank you!
You can learn more by listening to Episode 60 of “The Meg and Maggi Podcast: Choosing Your Hard When it Comes to Your Morning, Your Mood, and Your Money” anywhere you listen to podcasts.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here