“Success is a journey, not a destination.”
Don’t go into it thinking only about the competition and pinning all your feelings of success on winning. If you are only hoping for a #1 finish, you are missing the point. You should be going into the challenge with particular things you want to get out of it that is not dependent on the outcome of the competition.
Think of it as setting behaviour not outcome-based goals. Outcome based goals risk you feeling like a failure for only getting an 80kg clean instead of a 90kg clean, despite the fact that your previous PB was 70kg.
But behavioural based goals are about being in the proper mindset and creating habits that basically focus you on continuous betterment, no matter what the final number is.
This is what I remind myself of when I still can’t squat my bodyweight. Instead of being bummed, I remind myself that when I first came to Crossfit I could barely squat parallel wearing lifting shoes.
The point is, if you pin your feelings of success and personal value on the idea of winning, you miss all the lessons and enrichment you get on the journey itself. The competition aspect of the challenge should be a way of motivating you, but it shouldn’t be the only reason you’re doing it.
“For every minute spent in organising, and hour is earned.”
The Whole Life challenge keeps you pretty busy. Long story short, if you are behind the eight ball from the start you are setting yourself up for a stressful time trying to fit everything in (which kind of defeats the purpose of the challenge) or you will just give up because you simply can’t.
You need to learn to be organised.
And it only takes simple things to take a little bit of the pressure off.
On a Sunday, I spend an hour or so getting groceries and doing any meal prep for the week (the slow cooker is my favourite).
And then every night I spend 15 minutes getting my breakfast and lunch ready, the dog’s breakfast (the dry food part) ready, my bag is packed, my clothes for the next day are on a hanger, and dinner for the next night is out and defrosting.
It doesn’t sound like much but it saves me enough time in the morning that I can usually manage breakfast and still be at work by 730am. And it means I can get to take the dog for a walk and go to gym the following night not worrying about what I need to do for dinner.
This is an easy habit to continue doing after the challenge finishes and you’ll be surprised at how much it really helps remove the stress from your day.
Doing the Whole Life challenge should reveal areas for improvement. It should uncover some truths about your lifestyle that perhaps you knew were there but didn’t realise the extent of, or didn’t want to address. You will notice things in others as well, for good or bad.
These can be really straightforward like how much time you spend wasting time on Facebook as you lie in bed trying to fall asleep. Are you really committed to getting a good night of sleep if you can’t put that phone down?
Like how you tell yourself that you don’t like black coffee but actually that is only because you’ve spent years putting sugar in everything so your taste buds are skewed. Lo and behold, after a few weeks without sugar you’ll find that everything is just so sweet once you start eating them again. Do you really need to eat half a packet of biscuits to get your fix, or is just one enough?
Or they can be bigger things like how you always reach for sugar or alcohol when you are stressed. Is your usual stress outlet the healthiest option (mentally and physically)? Maybe there is another way to get the pent up energy out of your system?
I can be a terrible emotional eater. When I’m stressed or annoyed or sad, reaching for some lollies somehow makes me feel better at the time although I always feel a lot of regret after. Funny thing though, when my husband left for his overseas trip and he’d gone to his gate, I found my whole family at Donut King emotionally eating donuts because they were upset. It really emphasised to me that this was a behaviour very much engrained and that helped me ensure I didn’t join them (even though I really, really, wanted to).
You shouldn’t be afraid to confront these kinds of questions and actually consider whether you need to change or not. You might be perfectly comfortable with how things are. But I bet there is at least one or two things you’d like to change because, why else would you be doing the challenge?
It might not be easy to change habits but the Whole Life Challenge is designed to help give you that nudge in the right direction.
And, as a bonus, you would have been surrounded by others doing exactly the same thing and who are probably in the same boat! So utilise their knowledge and energy – that’s the best thing about the CCW Community – we are all in it together!