Most people see it as an honorable trait.
But the truth is, this particular mindset is often responsible for ruining countless good intentions.
The problem is that many people don’t identify this as a negative.
In fact, this error is often viewed as an asset or a badge of productivity or success.
What is it?
It is the very popular ALL OR NOTHING approach.
The problem with ‘all or nothing’ is that it pretty much always leads directly to burnout. It’s no secret that too much of anything is not good. For example, binge-watching Netflix, dieting, ice cream or cardio.
But what about online entrepreneurs?
In many ways, the situation is similar to the fitness/diet addict who goes all in and ends up burned out and overweight and hates gym sessions.
People who are new at or up-leveling their commitment to exercise and nutrition may easily be tempted to embrace an “all or nothing” attitude or ‘going for broke’.
This is part of what I call the honeymoon effect where ideals are high and the urge to do everything is strong.
For rookie entrepreneurs, this can be tempting as well, because as sole business owners, our work is never done.
The all or nothing approach can (and will) backfire by leading to overwhelm and a lack of engagement in other areas of life like fitness, marriage, and family, and friendships.
When I took my in-person training business online, I could have easily headed in this direction.
Developing and nurturing my online fitness business almost did lead me to neglect my own fitness and family.
Looking back, I might have known better if I had paid attention to history. I entered the online fitness business space as a burned-out professional physique competitor.
Physique prep by definition requires an all-in or all-out mindset.
Adding online memberships to my in-person training business was a goal I had long held. I held off on pursuing it until I was out of the physique competition space.
At the very beginning, I realized that I could easily fall into the trap of being unbalanced between my personal fitness and developing my fitness coaching business.
I sensed a pendulum swing pulling me away from excessive workouts and towards excessive hours at my computer.
My business model was to offer the best fitness coaching available for women over 40.
Fitness is a life investment (more on that here), and I was struggling with knowing when work and when to workout.
This turned out to be an asset, once I grasped that the all or nothing mindset was not going to move the dial on my fitness or my business.
I went back to something I learned years ago from an unlikely source.
Oddly enough, this was a resource I used to manage my home and our 4 kids.
The Flylady, as she calls herself, spoke about breaking tasks up into manageable time chunks, letting go of perfection, and taking regular breaks.
I noticed right away was that if I allowed 4 hours or 40 minutes to do a task, that’s how long it would take.
Being your own boss can be stressful, but only if you see it that way.
A body and mind under stress will break, as in literally going for broke.
Broke might play out as an injury, exhaustion, or an illness, or complete lack of motivation and creativity.
Blame it on your impressionable brain.
But here is the gem: Your brain is amazing. It gives you the information you need to make intelligent choices to rest or work.
Be on the lookout for signs like these that can indicate you are headed for a burnout:
• Severe lack of motivation after an initial period of strict adherence and little if any days off.
• Always feeling behind.
• Chronic aches or pains, minor injuries, a change in bathroom habits, or feeling ‘off’
• A profound increase in 🍰🍧cravings 🍔🧀
• Trouble sleeping despite exhaustion
Do yourself a favor and resist the urge to go all out during the honeymoon phase of any new project.
Use productivity tools (ask Melanie) and include movement, time off and relationship time in your weekly plan.
Why include movement?
This is a natural stress reliever and is good for your bones and heart as well. Make a goal of getting in 10,000-12,000 steps per day.