So a couple of weeks ago I hurt myself, and honestly, It’s because I wasn’t following my own advice. Don’t be like me. Follow my advice unquestioningly…j/k :-D. But
this mild injury made me realize how easy it is to put progress over process, even if you think you’re not.
If you haven’t read last week’s blog: process over progress check it out or listen to the audio version! This week I’m using my foolishness as an example of how to avoid some of the misinterpretations of this mind-set shift and get out of your own way.
One of the most important things to realize when you adopt the mind-set of process over progress, is patience, and that consistency doesn’t mean “without fail” it means “more times than not”.
When you make a “lifestyle” change, it’s just that. A change in your way of thinking and behavior for the run of your life, or as long as the process for a particular goal has relevance. This is the long-game, not a short term “do it till I burn out” process.
I thought I was doing everything right:
This year I set a goal of getting my body in peak shape and maintaining it. As an actor and freelancer, I face a great deal of uncertainty, plenty of stress, and a very fluctuating schedule. These things make it easy for me to get thrown off track with my fitness goals at times.
So, in order to best achieve the fitness goal I set. I adopted the process: wake up earlier and consistently hit the gym first thing, regardless of schedule or stress. As the process began to take shape, I began hitting the gym most every weekday morning and adjusting to odd days that didn’t fit my normal routine. Buuut, I got a little too attached to this process. So attached that I began to view a lapse in frequency as a lapse in consistency.
And just like that, I was putting progress over process again.
Sometimes we set a goal to do something consistently, but we get so attached to the “frequency” part of it that if we miss a day we get down on ourselves and feel like we are failing. You get in your own way by saying i HAVE to run EVERYDAY, I HAVE to eat healthy 100% of the time. These are progress-based thoughts.
The professional athlete doesn’t beat his/herself up when they have to not train fully for a day to do a press-tour or contract meetings. It’s all part of the process. they are still a pro athlete. They are still in the game. They don’t make excuses to not train but they embrace that frequency can fluctuate.
So here’s what (had) happened:
1. I was working out, doing some pull ups. Now, while it is important to push your limits, sometimes you need to know when enough is enough. My ego was telling me to push it further because my back is not my strongest or most defined area and I really want to get some nice results there (progress).But most likely my form suffered a bit as I strained to pump out some more reps. This is when I slightly strained a muscle in my upper back causing pretty strong back and neck pain all that day
2. The next day I worked legs. By the following morning I felt like my back/neck was 70% better …the Process of healing was taking place, but since I was all out of lower body parts to work, I opted to work chest. I knew it would be hard to get to the gym on a couple of the remaining days in the week so I “NEEDED” to continue my process right now. Needless to say in the middle of doing an incline fly, I felt something almost pop in my upper back followed by intense pain. I tried to rub and ice and stretch out the pain all day to no avail.
3. When I woke up on the next morning I felt the most intense pain I’ve ever felt radiating through the entire right side of my body and I couldn’t even roll over. I was finally able to slooowly inch myself out of bed. My girlfriend came by to help me to the doctor. neck brace. a shot in the butt. pain meds. chiropractor. lots of rest…
I’m about 85% better now, but this setback made me miss a couple of days of work. Made me have to not do my job (kickboxing instructing) at 100% capacity. Made me miss over a week and a half of gym time, caused a great deal of pain and some money for chiropractor visits, medication, and pain relief.
Healing fully from the first strain was a process in itself that I should have seen to completion. I got in my own way by focusing on the extra results I thought I’d get by toughing it out, by focusing on being consistent without fail, and by slowly letting the thought of more and better progress slip in under my commitment to the long-term process.
All this is to say when you set a process to reach your goal have patience and don’t get in your way by making it an all or nothing thing. Balance over obsession should be the motto here. Be consistent, not reckless. That alone will take you where you want to be.
Great things are on the horizon for you! Until next blog!
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Great post!! I think anyone including myself can relate to this blog. This was so inspiring and I can’t wait for the next one!