Control the Controllables, but Expect the Unexpected

You’re cruising along nicely, things are going well.  Then out of the blue, life throws you a curve ball.  You don’t want to get hit in the head with it!  You want to be able to either catch it or dodge it.  This applies to both our personal life and our work life, because if one of them goes out of whack, then sooner or later, so does the other.

So how do you dodge that curve ball and stay on track?  You need to be resilient and adaptable, and as with most things, it’s largely in the preparation.

Elite athletes know this.  

In sports training there’s a saying, that 90% of the training happens above the shoulders.  In other words, your mindset and your ability to focus your attention are just as important as your physical ability, if not more so,.

That’s why a key aspect in sports training is developing the ability to stay focused, and how to keep (or regain) a positive mindset.  In other words, how to stay on track or get back on track – fast.

I’ve already spoken before about the way mindful meditation helps to keep the brain and mind clear and focused.

Today, I want to explore the importance of healthy habits as a way to support your mental and physical wellbeing so that you can catch or dodge that curve ball.

Basically, good habits boil down to having a structure.  Boring right?  This stuff isn’t sexy or exciting, and it can easily sound like the army or high school and being told what to do and when to do it.  If your inner teenager is rolling its eyes already then I get it.  The thought of a rigid routine being imposed on me (even by myself) makes me feel bolshy too.

But the fact is, both the body and the mind respond well to some (flexible) regularity.  (I hope that doesn’t sound like an ad for laxatives!)  

Everything in moderation, including moderation.  

So I prefer to think of these healthy behaviours as my rituals, or my daily/weekly rhythms.  That way, I feel like I’m choosing what I’m doing, and like a good song, it’s open to interpretation.  So my rhythm and tempo can vary, according to how I’m feeling or the weather or some other situation or option that comes along, but I’m still singing the same song.

It’s a bit like maintaining a healthy weight.  Micro-managing it is stressful and very unhelpful.  But if you step back a bit and look at your weight once a week, not every day, (because it’s going to fluctuate a bit from day to day), then as long as the overall picture is within your healthy range, you know you’re on track.

In other words, control the controllables but expect the unexpected.  Take a flexible approach and open up to enjoying some rhythms in your life.

Next time we’ll have a look at some of the things that support us or derail us in creating a healthy, balanced life, as well as some ways you can set yourself up to succeed, like how to create and maintain health-based goals and how to weigh up the pros and cons of that goal so that your subconscious doesn’t trip you up.