When Life Feels Like Stretch Armstrong...

Remember the toy "Stretch Armstrong?"

You know what I'm talking about...

The blonde hair, muscle-bound, gel-filled action figure that was popular in the 80's and 90's. 

A normal looking guy, you could take his arms and legs and stretch them as far as you wanted, spreading himself super thin. 

That's the perfect analogy for my life right now...

And yours may feel the same way.

Hopefully, me opening up about it and talking through some strategies that I'm using may help you out a little. 

A thriving gym business with hundreds of clients that I want to see every day...

A rock-star team of employees that I want to help and inspire every day....

A wife who needs my love and attention and a break from Baby Kaden every once in a while...

Baby Kaden who is growing so fast and I don't want to miss it....

A consulting business that has me inspiring other gyms to have the success that we do at Spurling but demands a lot of time and travel...

An elderly dad who likes to fall, not listen, and forgets when his appointments are...

Where does "me time" fit in?

The list can go on and on, and I'm sure each of you has your laundry list of things that are stretching you thin in life right now and feeling like that Stretch Armstrong doll.

Luckily for me, I see this stuff as a learning opportunity and love the challenge.

Each of those above things and more are all vitally important to me, and sometimes it can feel like they all require my time at once, and because of that, we're spreading ourselves thin, and just putting a little attention on each, instead of being all in.

So how do you improve it?

And just as important, how do you carve out time for you?

Here are a couple strategies that I'm implementing right now that are helping me, and maybe they can help you...

1. Find your why again. The other day I revisited my entire purpose. I sat there, in dead silence and asked myself the hard questions. What gets me out of bed each morning, how do I want to make a difference, what's important to me, etc? I revisit it often, but it took revisiting it in the mental state I was in to get some growth out of it. Always remember why you're doing what you're doing. What's your why? That creates strategy number two.

2. Know your guardrails. This is hugeFor me, I have certain guardrails in my life, that if I don't catch myself, I'll let them down, and it will cause me to go off track. Just like on a highway, life is moving fast, and you need those guardrails to keep you on track, and moving in the right direction. Some guardrails for me include family first, my morning routine, and communicating with my team and clients every single day. So, those are only three but think about it.

Recently I would catch myself working late at night, not paying attention to Megan or Kaden. Family first is one of my guardrails. I catch that and need to adjust, work can wait.

My morning routine. For those who have followed me for a long time you know, I'm about as routine as can be. It's been an adjustment with Kaden because I can't always do it when I want to do it, but I know my days are MUCH better when I get my morning routine in. This includes gratitude and appreciation, reading for at least 30 minutes,  writing this post, and reviewing my big 3 rocks for the day. In total it takes about 90 minutes. I see a very clear difference in my physical and mental state when it's a day that I don't get my morning routine in. That's a guardrail for me, if I catch myself not doing it, I need to make an adjustment.

And just as a final example, guardrail number three is communicating with my team and my clients every single day. I don't ever want to take them for granted, and it's important for me to communicate that every day verbally and through action. I may not be able to be physically present every day for them, but I will always call, text, or shoot them a nice note. Every single day. That's important to me.

The one guardrail that I still have not installed again is some me time. The morning routine is part of it, so it's there, but it's not where I want it to be. That includes things like getting my workouts in (I often cancel my workouts right now to get work done, meet with clients/team members, or take a phone call) and leaving some time to think and reenergize without interruption. It's not non-existent, but it's definitely not a firm guardrail yet. I'll get it...

The other thing I like about guardrails is it not only keeps what is important top of mind and keeps you focused, but it tells you what to say no to. 

For example, I've said no to more consulting opportunities and traveling right now. 

It's a huge interest of mine, but if I want to keep family first, keep my morning routine, and communicate with my team and clients every single day, I can't increase that workload right now. 

Do I want it to travel more and help more gyms? Of course. But as of today, I haven't found a balance of adding more, while still staying all in with my current commitments. 

Saying no is hard, but it's important. 

Guardrails also help me stay focused day to day, saying no to little things that take away from family first, and being there for my team and my clients. 

What are your guardrails? 

Just like with anything, write them down, and keep them top of mind. 

Is it perfect? 

Of course not. 

But it's better than it was yesterday and tomorrow will be even better. 

When like feels like you're being pulled in a million directions, your spread thin, and you want to be all things to all people, remember these two strategies. 

Know your why, and put your guardrails up. 

Hopefully, you found some insight in today's lesson. 

I want you to know that we all struggle, we're all fighting our own battles, and all any of us can do is continue to strive to get a little better. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling