Have you ever had an experience where you romanticize something, but then in practice, it turns out really nothing like what you’d imagined in your head? On Tuesday morning, Valentines day, I was in the gym and everyone was talking about their Valentines day plans. Plans ranged from VIP movie nights with wine, to fun, hipster restaurant dates to super-fancy dinner reservations. Wanna know what I had planned? I planned to put these little heart shaped chocolates into everyone’s lunch boxes and call it a day, because #momlife. Very elaborate, I know, LOL. So after hearing about everyone’s fun plans, I decided I could do something a little more special, why not be festive? I decided to surprise my husband (and two tiny valentines) with yummy steaks from our local butcher, roasted veggies and sesame soba noodles and some wine (for the grown ups, not the kids!). Anyways, I envisioned a really nice and civilized meal (not sure *why* I thought that might happen), but the reality went more like this: the kids sit down and immediately insult the meal, my son picks up all of his soba noodles in one hand and slops them onto the table. My daughter takes one bite and spits her partially chewed steak back onto her plate. By this time the little guy is flinging steak across the kitchen and I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. They’re both asking ‘what else’ is for dinner? Sigh.  In my attempt to do something a little more special than usual, I’ve literally dirtied more dishes than the sink can hold. Ok, clearly this was a Valentines day fail, but it made me think back to something that one of my No Nonsense Nutrition clients said to me recently: “I can’t be attached to outcomes, I can just do my best.”

YES. I’m not kidding, a client said this to me, and it resonates with me deeply.

The good news: I got to quietly enjoy my steak, soba and roasted veggies for lunch the next day without anyone flinging and spitting expensive meat next to me. Sadly, there was no wine, though. Ha!

Anyways, that whole do your best, and detach from outcomes piece, can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but she was right. The truth is, we can’t control outcomes.

  • We can plan an outdoor barbecue, perfect menu, perfect guest list, but we can’t control the weather or who’s going to come.
  • We can plan to complete a 5k race in 22 minutes, but we have no control over crowds, weather, our own health on race-day.
  • We can say we want to lose 15 lbs. but we can’t make it happen at will, with factors like hormones, sleep and schedules at play.

It’s annoying, but life is simply not controllable. What we can control are our behaviours, in fact, I’d argue that they’re the *only* thing we can control. Those outcomes we want are simply the sum of small behaviours repeated. And if we can focus on the behaviours over the outcomes we’ll start to experience small wins far sooner. Those wins are leading us in the right direction little by little.

For our runner: maybe we could get focused on running three times per week instead of worrying about the race time. For our person who wants to lose 15 lbs: maybe we could introduce some strength training a three times per week or add a serving of vegetables at each meal.

Whenever we get overwhelmed, I like to go back to: What’s one thing that you can do today? Make it small and manageable; the smaller the better. These are the things that ARE in our control. Show up every day, and make those actions happen. Actions deliver outcomes.

If this resonates with you, I invite you to check out No Nonsense Nutrition Coaching with me. Registration is open until Sunday, February 19th. If you’ve tried every diet and are sick of being on and off the wagon with your eating, if you’re sick of feeling stressed or like you’re failing with your eating, I’ve got you covered. No Nonsense Nutrition Coaching, powered by Precision Nutrition, is a game changer. No quick fixes just real, sustainable change. 11 healthy habit modules designed to help you succeed at change, 22 weeks, me as your personal cheerleader and coach plus real results. Learn more here.

xo J

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