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Bite-Sized Breakdown: "Optimal" vs. "Livable" | The Disconnect That Leads To Frustration & Failure

archery-blind

What if I told you...
"I can give you the exact training and nutrition plan that without exception, will allow you to reach the body of your dreams. This plan, has been proven study after study to be the most effective and efficient training and nutrition protocol ever created. There is absolutely no chance of failure, if followed."

Sounds pretty Awesome, right?!

Now, what if I told you...
"None of what I said above matters."

But wait, what was all that "Awesome Plan" talk?

Well, perhaps in this plan you have to wake up at 3 a.m. six days a week to train, you must eat 7 meals a day consisting only of chicken, broccoli and 4 almonds, and must sleep at least 10 hours per night; while also eliminating all online activity for proper recovery and repair.

Now, do you honestly think you could follow this approach (no matter awesome or optimal it may be) for any substantial length of time? Even if, it meant (without fail) you would achieve your perfect dream body. Would it even be worth it?

If you think about it for a moment, this is typically how we set our goals (New Year's Resolutions?). We quickly decide on a want and follow some generic recommendation, or force fed approach, without much thought (if any) as to what we will have to sacrifice in order to achieve the desired outcome. Now, don't get me wrong, there will always be some version of sacrifice (time, money, social life, etc.), when we are trying to better ourselves and our situation.

However, you need to ask yourself a very serious question before you even begin down your chosen pathway. Are you willing to make any sacrifice necessary, in order to reach your goal? If you answered "yes", then get after it. You can go ahead and stop reading. No matter what comes up, you'll force yourself to find a way through it.

For most of us, though, when push comes to shove, the answer will be: no...not really. So, in that case, what can we do?

In this week's Bite-Sized Breakdown, we will be comparing "optimal" vs. "livable" approaches and showing why this disconnect usually leads to eventual failure in reaching new heights.

Optimal: best or most favorable; optimum
"having ALL the puppies is the optimal solution"

Livable: worth living; enjoyable
"puppies make life more livable"

Can you already spot the disconnect between these two approaches? Many times what is optimal and what is livable will be deeply separated by practicality, personal preference and developed discipline.

Here is a hypothetical example:

{Scenario: You have a goal of losing 15 lbs and improving overall health.}

Optimal Approach: Resistance train 4-5 days a week, reduce caloric intake by 500 calories/day, eat only whole unprocessed foods, drink at least 1 gallon of water per day and sleep 8 hours minimum per night.

Well, what if you've never worked out before, never dieted before, have low self-confidence, lack discipline, and work two jobs that keep your stress levels at a 9/10 on a regular basis?

How well do you think this person will be able to stick to this approach, while still trying to juggle their every day life? Odds are they will quit, get even more discouraged and take one step closer to never trying again. But, what if they broke down the "optimal" approach to a more reasonable (for them) actionable series of eventual small progressions.

Livable Approach: Resistance train 1-2 days a week, cut their worst nutritional habit intake by 50%, eat one more serving of fruits and vegetables per day, start each morning with a glass of water and go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night.

Now...how well do you think this same person will be able to stick to this NEW approach, while still trying to juggle their every day life? My guess is much...much better! They won't get overwhelmed as easily. Their consistent small daily wins will build momentum and self-confidence. They will begin to develop self-discipline, stress will be reduced and they will take one step closer to reaching their forever goal.

This mindset of "optimal" vs "livable" can be applied effectively to all areas of our lives. By customizing your approach based on your current situation, you can tailor a protocol that will fit around your life and not vice versa.

Now, it's important to mention, this is NOT an excuse to be lazy. It's about being honest with ourselves and where we currently stand...mind, body, heart and soul. This is much harder to do, than it is to read. However, once we start taking a more honest and progressive approach to who we are, where we are, what matters most to us, and what we are willing to give up to reach our full capacity, our potential will become unlimited.

That about does it you goal setting go-getter you. Let's go ahead and optimally wrap up this week's entry, with a Bite-Sized Breakdown of livable mindset applications for success.

Bite-Sized Breakdown:

In this day and age, you don't have to look far to find someone offering some "optimal" solution, that is sure to fix all of the problems that keep you up at night. You'll find so-called "life hacks" around every single corner, in every possible pool of interest.

The reality is...who cares! It doesn't really matter. You are the only one who truly knows your life, your circumstances and your needs.

Don't get me wrong, it does make sense to seek out experts in their field so you can begin with a strong foundation to build upon. However, the truth is it's up to you to decide the aesthetics of your home (your chosen approach) and how long it will take to build. Over time you will add upgrades, extensions, etc. You may even decide to tear it down and start over or move to a different town, state or country. That is all part of the process.

We must remember, setting a goal is only a starting point...something to aim for. Many times when we begin the process of change, we begin to realize we aren't really willing to give up what it'll take to achieve it. That's OK. We adapt, adjust and keep progressing toward what matters most to us.

Simply stated:

What is your number one goal right now? OK, now what can you reasonably do today to get one step closer toward that goal? How can you build upon what you did yesterday?

Repeat until completion.

Don't worry about what other people claim to be the "optimal" way to achieve your goal. Begin, by collecting the best building materials provided by your most reputable and trusted sources. Then, go to work designing the master blueprint for building the body, career, family, business and life of your dreams.

Start small, build momentum, adjust as necessary, and never give up. This my friends is as "optimal" and "livable" as any plan will ever get.

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Sunday, 17 February 2019

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