Q is for the Quick Win

What comes after C? Why, Q! Of course!

I want to talk today about something I call the Quick Win. No matter what our current focus is, we all run into those days or those events where things just don’t go the way we want them to. No matter how hard we try or how much effort we put in, things just tank. Or we feel like we are falling short of our intended outcome. Or we look around and all of the evidence we can see points to failure.

I don’t know how many of you struggle with “all-or-nothing” mentality, but it has been a huge roadblock for me. There have been times in my past when I’ve given up on something way to early in the process simply because I could not see a way to accomplish my original goal from my current vantage point. I’ve walked away from some pretty amazing opportunities, relationships, and accomplishments simply because I could not see 95% or an adjusted target as successful.

We’re making it way harder than it needs to be. My friend and mentor, John Pierre, taught me a really good lesson that prompted the Quick Win. I text him daily with information on how I’m doing with food, and movement, my feelings, or anything else we may he currently working on. I remember texting him once that my food had been on point but that my movement had not been what it should be. His response was something like, “Quick! Go do 5 push-ups off the counter right now.” So I did. And then I did 15 more. And when I reported back his reply was “Ok. Now it was a great day! You became more powerful!”

And it was true. Just that small effort…that quick win…changed the trajectory of the rest of my day and of my attitude. It changed what could have been, in my estimation of that day, a less than stellar effort and gave me something to feel good about. And feeling good about that inspired me to do even more that day and then start the next day out better than it would have been otherwise. Was it a perfect day? No. Did I reach my intended goal for movement that day? Not quite. Was it a successful day? Thanks to the Quick Win, I would say yes!

The great thing about the Quick Win is that you can use it in all sorts of situations. Having a bad day at work? Take ten minutes and get one thing accomplished. Being able to cross one thing off your to-do list, even if it is something insignificant can be the difference between leaving work down and discouraged or leaving with a sense of accomplishment. Frustrated with off plan eating? Make your next meal spot on…or better yet, do some intermittent fasting and have your next meal tomorrow. It’s not a huge change in overall calorie consumption, but will give you a sense of discipline and get your head back in the game.

Processing grief about my Mother’s death, and really letting myself grieve is presenting itself in an interesting way. We lost her to dementia through stages and I really didn’t let myself grieve her loss much as it was happening. Now that she is gone, I spent most of last week feeling really happy for her to be free from the chains of her broken body and jumbled mind.

I mentioned in a couple of earlier posts that I had the habit for years of talking and feeling negatively about myself. I also mentioned that my Mother recently passed away. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but if not, I will now as it’s bound to come up—I also have the habit of pushing down and avoiding my feelings. I think that I’ve used food and other less desirable behaviors in the past to provide distraction from feeling my feelings. Now, though, I’m really, really sad and I miss her.

I’m not comfortable with those feelings so I find myself subconsciously looking for ways to process my feelings in a way that is more comfortable to me. And I’m comfortable (or as comfortable as one can be) with the feelings of self loathing and feeling like I don’t measure up. I lived there for years and so those feelings, while still painful, I think on some level are just easier ones for me to manage than the feelings of loss that accompany my Mom’s death. I just realized this morning that I’ve been battling those old feelings of not being good enough and not mattering and in trying to figure out where they were coming from I realize I’m just looking for ways to process my feelings that are familiar.

But I know what comes along with that. Using food inappropriately. Skipping work outs. Staying in bed way too long. Lashing out at people who care about me for assumed offenses that don’t really exist so I can have a reason to feel bad and ugly feelings about myself.

So…how do I quick win that? I reach out for help even though I don’t want to. I shun the urge to leave every accountability group I’m in and delete the phone number of every accountability partner I have and instead use them to reach out and let others known struggling. It’s the most foreign feeling in the world to announce to other human beings that I admire that I’m struggling. But I do it because it’s a quick win and the fasted way to turn how I’m feeling around.

And…I write and publish the Quick Win blog post. Because I know that doing small and simple things will keep me on the paths that I want to be on.

2 thoughts on “Q is for the Quick Win

  1. I’m sorry about your mom. I’m so impressed though that you recognized what you needed and followed through. This approach of a quick win is also mentioned in the book, The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. I got several life nuggets like this out of it. See if it resonates with you. 🙂

  2. Grief is a very real thing and it will be a long time before you are free of it’s hold on you. I had to grieve losing the mom that raised me. Then I had to grieve losing the healthy one that married a 2nd time. Then I grieved losing the mom that was determined to be well. And I had to learn to love each new Mom that replaced the last one. Even though all were the same woman. I was surprised to find that, after she really died (not just changed dramatically) I found myself really grieving for the original mom, a woman I had forgotten and could hardly remember.
    Tell me in a week or two, or even today… Which mom are you grieving for? I have decided that the spirit recognizes and grieves for the “Real McCoy”
    SoI, Im interested to know who you are missing? It’s it that Mom that raised you? Or a later version?
    I love you my chick. We’ll see this thru. And I will grow because of you.
    Let’s both get back on track.!
    Good nite. 😴

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