Embracing the Short Route

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Earlier this year, I was having serious anxiety. Like, feel it in your chest anxiety.

When I discussed it with a friend, she reminded me that I tend to be “all or nothing,” meaning I fail to see the in between.  She was right.

I don’t clean the house unless I can clean the whole thing.
I don’t write a blog post unless I can do it quickly and perfectly.
I don’t pursue ideas unless I know they won’t fail.

Need I go on?

At the time, I took a weekend to relax and regroup. But, if I’m not constantly aware, this mentality can seep into every aspect of my life. It paralyzes thoughts, ideas, actions, and dreams.

My October goal is to run 31 miles in 31 days. (see this post)

As I’ve worked on #31in31 this month, I’ve been intentional on finding the in between.

There are some days when I’m tired.

There are some days when I don’t have a lot of time.

There are some days I wonder why I’ve set goals for myself.

That’s the “all or nothing” talking.

Instead of harping on these excuses, I developed an alternative: the short route.

Literally, it’s a 1.3 mile route close to my house that allows me to get in a less than 25 minute work out (from warm-up to cool-down). My average run is 2.5 – 3.5 miles, so this route is significantly shorter.  The length of the workout is significantly shorter.  But, I’m ok with it. Why? Because it’s a small step in achieving this month’s goal of 31 miles in 31 days.

Figuratively, it’s a lens for life.  How many times have I viewed a problem or project as too big and failed to break it down into the smaller steps?

When you refuse to break something down, when you refuse to simply do what you can do when you can do it, life can become overwhelming.

The next time you come across  something that seems too big to achieve – from cleaning the bathroom to writing your dissertation – find the short route.

There are days you’ll go for longer runs, but find the short route that will allow at least a small accomplishment on the way to achieving your goal.

What’s your short route?