As a coach there are no dumb questions. But there are a lot of irrelevant ones, and an epidemic of people worrying about stuff that doesn’t matter.
When can I start drinking coffee in the morning?
Do cold showers work?
Can I start with a hot shower and end cold?
Can I cold shower before I get morning sunlight?
What if the sun doesn’t come up til 9am?
Now, focusing on the minutiae can cause real harm when it distracts from what really does move the needle.
I hit my tipping point last month when a guy sent me his daily schedule of more than 15 trivial to-dos and then asked for my “thoughts?”
Normally I’d say “consistency with training, diet, and sleep trumps everything else by a mile, so focus on that.”
But I opted for a rather blunt “none of this bullshit matters.”
Last month I spent way more time in hospital rooms and airports than I had lifting weights or even sleeping.
Without getting too personal, two family members got very sick and were admitted to ICU. One is still there.
Good news is, things seem to be slowly improving.
Bad news is what happened to my “optimal lifestyle.”
Up at 4:30, then 30 mins of cardio, then 60 minutes of writing blah blah became eat what I can, sleep when I collapse, and try to take care of clients from a hospital ward.
At least I avoided alcohol. That sure was tested.
Throughout it all I felt disappointed in myself.
“I should be better than this. If I can’t maintain my lifestyle when life gets really real, then what’s the point?”
Then I reframed things and it made sense.
While for most of December I didn’t stick to my diet or hit my steps or lift and barely even slept, I was effective when it mattered. I had painful but important conversations and made good decisions.
Above all, I didn’t ADD to the problem by falling apart and becoming a liability.
And trivial as it may sound, I also didn’t binge on junk food or stress eat or make poor choices.
In summary, I met the challenge life presented.
And as we start another New Year I realize that’s the REAL point of a healthy lifestyle.
It’s not about checking a bunch of silly lifestyle boxes that accomplish little for your health or physique other than impress strangers online.
It’s to become healthy and strong, physically and mentally, AND operate at a very high level, in good times but especially in bad.
Because you will be tested. Maybe you already have? I will again too. Sadly it’s inevitable.
Do the things you make a priority every day really matter? Will they make any difference when chaos strikes?
Or are you just determining optimum deck chair placement on the Titanic?
If you’re the least bit unsure, don’t sleep on it. Change course now.
The sea is dark and cold and your iceberg is waiting.