August 16, 2010 12:56 PM Subscribe
OK, so I have a bunch of stuff I need to work on. I’m about to turn 40 and I’m flush with motivation. Tackle everything at once or pick my battles?
posted by libraryhead to health & fitness (26 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
I work full-time, go to grad school part-time, have a long commute, two little kids, and a husband who can be both a help and an (occasional) hindrance. I also have a BMI of 36, a slightly excessive drinking habit, a messy and poorly maintained house, a crappy wardrobe, an appetite for vapid reading material, an outsize carbon footprint, a depleted savings account, a shortage of good friends, and some emotional issues that would benefit from therapy.
How do I figure out the highest-priority area(s) to direct my self-improving zeal? I have been successful in losing weight before, so I know that one is doable, but it was under considerably less constrained circumstances. It seems daunting to try to do it all at once, but maybe the combined effect of all that willpower will be a good thing? In some ways I can see my efforts working together (cutting down drinking means fewer calories, which should help with losing weight), but other times they are at cross purposes (I dropped my gym membership to save money, which makes it harder to exercise).
In general, I find “low-hanging fruit” approach makes good sense – score some easy wins for the extra motivational juice to make the harder changes. But there’s also a case to be made for paring away the inessentials and single-mindedly going after what’s really important. Like every other procrastinator on the green, I have recently begun to suspect I might have undiagnosed ADD. Right now I could really use a little focus.
To those of you who have successfully made improvements in multiple areas of your life, did you approach it with a conscious strategy? Or more one-day-at-a-time? What kinds of overlaps/unintended consequences are likely to jump up and bite me if I try to improve my life in every way, all at once?