Editor's Desk - April 2015
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Leaving All-or-Nothing Behind

Can I admit something? I am almost a complete failure when it comes to resolutions. The dishes from yesterday are still sitting dirty in the sink, and I used my credit card last week to buy some records. And so goes another new year's worth of resolutions out the window.

So why do I say I'm almost a complete failure? Around a year ago in March 2014, after two years of wrestling with the ongoing chronic pain of a back injury, I realized that if I didn't figure out a solution and fast, I'd be living in pain for the rest of my life. So I picked up where I'd left off in my on-again, off-again yoga practice, and I told myself that I would do it every day for 21 days. And then I did. So then I said, now 30 days. And I did. And, to make a long story short, on March 17, 2015, I finished my 365th day of doing yoga every day.

I've learned a lot through the process, most of it having to do with my physical health, and I can happily tell you that it's been 11 months since my spine gave me any troubles of the painful variety. But the biggest thing I've learned (and the reason why I'm not going to sweat those resolutions too much) is that an all-or-nothing approach to any goal is a recipe for failure.

Yes, I did yoga every day for 365 days. But also, yes, there were some days where it was all I could do to come to the mat and strike a pose. Just one pose. Most of the time, just getting there led to more than that. But there were a few days when I couldn't do more, whether from illness or lack of time or general malaise or whatever reason. And yet, I showed up every day and did something, and in time, that fact made a huge difference in my well-being.

Now, what does any of this have to do with you? It strikes me that a lot of us fall into that all-or-nothing trap when it comes to goals, whether those goals are personal (I will not eat chocolate until I reach my goal weight) or professional (We don't have the funds for a renovation, so making our facility run more efficiently is just going to have to wait). So many times, when faced with something big that we want to accomplish for ourselves or our communities, we think, "We can't do it all, so why bother?"

But here's the thing. We don't have to do it all. Just like I didn't have to do 60 minutes—or some other arbitrary time frame—of yoga every day to get myself out of pain and into better health, we don't have to accomplish every single goal to make a difference. As it turns out, small steps—just doing one little thing at a time—are all it really takes to eventually get where you're going.

So tell me, what kinds of goals are you trying to accomplish at your facility, and how are you breaking them down into achievable steps?

Good luck out there!

Emily Tipping
Editorial Director,
Recreation Management