RK Tip of the Week|You’ve got to practice your craft

Posted on February 3, 2010

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Did you wake up one day & find you were automatically ‘good’ at what you do? All the smartasses can put their hands

How sharp are you?

 down now….seriously, did whatever you’re doing in your life right now show up as something that you were already incredibly good at? Or did you find yourself practicing to get to this point?

Your job today may be in a field that you just naturally excel at, but the position you’re in probably was not the one you showed up in when you first discovered your talent in this field. You most likely went through many evolutions of your skill set to arrive at this position you’re in today.

Your husband or wife today was not won by your natural talent for dating….their heart was won after dating & relating to many others before meeting the one who your skills would be good enough to match you forever to “The One.”

Your house is maintained today by your ability to manage chores & dishes and maybe kids & dogs. Most likely, you had a tiny apartment or two to practice in before you got to ‘The Big Show’ that is your home.

The point is, time & again, I hear people become discouraged by their seemingly on-again/off-again relationship with a healthy nutritional profile and/or workout regime. People, you have to practice your craft!! This does not show up overnight as some blessed skill that you simply have to exhale for it to come to fruition!

Living a healthy life means taking each new thing and tucking it into your belt for future use as a healthy human being. The idea of improving anything means taking a God-given skill & nurturing it so it grows & flourishes into more than you could have ever imagined on Day 1 of realizing you have that skill. (And here, if you’re talking about optimal health, that’s something that is always moving just ahead of you – sure, you can be pretty darn close to “optimal” at some point, but by that point, you probably will have set a new, previously-thought-unacheivable goal for yourself which will be the ‘new optimal.’) What you see as healthy today, should look like a shred of how healthy you are in 5 years when you look back on it! Today, you ensure you eat breakfast every day. 2 years from now? You’re gluten free!!….or something like that. 🙂

You did not show up on this earth already possessing all the skills you could use to be great, much as your mother would probably disagree. You showed up with the skill set, but you still need to hone that skill set to make it something incredible. So when you have a min-setback (or a major one) on your fitness plan, or you thought eating those “Special Q” snack items were healthy & then learned they were the furthest thing from it – don’t throw in the towel saying “this is just too hard.” Consider it a lesson learned & hey, now you’ll know that advertisers are out to fool you, not to feed you & you’ll know to do more research as you’re choosing healthy foods!

How to practice your craft in 3 easy steps:

1) Acknowledge that you have an ability – in case you missed the news bulletin, there is no gun to your head forcing you to buy pizza, cigarettes, soda or candy, and yes, I’m fairly certain there is not glue in your ear keeping you from hearing all the proven health risks from pizza, cigarettes, soda & candy. You have the ability to be healthy, you just need to acknowledge that fact.

2) Acknowledge that ability again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next one – a.k.a., there’s going to be a day that you say, ‘what a crappy day, I’m ordering chinese food for dinner & skipping my workout’…I hope you don’t have many of those days because your heart will hate you, but it might happen, so be prepared to remind yourself that you have the God-given ability to be healthy, fit & well & you’re the only one wasting that skill if you’re not practicing it today.

3) Notice when your ability gets better than it was before – this implies that you must do something to move your craft forward on the ability chart, and rather than getting ticked off at yourself when you can’t yet do something, fit into something, or whatever measuring marker you’re using, take a look to see if you’ve made any progress from before…chances are you’re not where you first began & acknowledging that can be helpful in showing you that the efforts you’re making are actually getting you somewhere – maybe not where you think you should be at this point, but further along than you were before. And if you’re not where you think you should be, take a look to see if you were a little “soft” in practicing your craft – could you have done 5 more minutes? taken 5 less bites? If a little progress got you this far, think what getting more focused could do for you?

I sat down to dinner last night at 7:30, had gotten home at 7:10 or so. And didn’t even realize that I was heating up the extra turkey burger we’d made the night before, was rummaging through the fridge to find the last of the veggies (it’s grocery day so the stock was fairly empty) & was putting together a meal for 2 in under 30 mins. At 7:30, I was sitting down, enjoying a turkey burger w/ a side of sautéed spinach, shallots & red peppers seasoned with a yummy smoky cumin. As I ate, I thought, ‘man, 3 years ago, I did not sit down to meals like this! This would have been a total effort, and one that would have been the exception, not the rule (the rule would have been microwaveable dinners!!! bleh!). So you see, a lot of craft practicing can make a huge difference in the span of your life.

It doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen with a snap of your fingers. There will be setbacks, annoyances that you thought something was one way & it was actually the other, there will be holidays, PMS, March Madness & a whole host of other reasons to skip workouts & eat crap. But if you are going to master your craft of healthy living, you need to follow the steps to ensure your craft does not get left on the shelf, like an old rusty tool. You need to be the sharpened knife, ready to slice, dice & otherwise hack through your life as a master of your healthy living craft!

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