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  • Writer's pictureRachel Bennett

25 is the new 30.

I have funny friends. Or maybe it’s just that we’re all GenX and the truth we tell is dripping with sarcasm and the “we’ll just get through this together” kinda attitude. But today I was doing a mindless scroll through my Instagram stories and ran across a friend throwing out some accountability for himself. And instead of doing a 75 hard (which is really hard y’all), he’s doing the 30-day mediocre and was wondering if anyone else would go 90% in with him. Because nobody got time for 100% these days, I guess. I died, but was like… yeah that’s totally achievable??? Right? So of course, I did what any annoying healthy person would do, I said “I’m in!”

Have you ever done any of those “All or Nothing” challenges? There’s a bunch out there. It’s essentially where you start a program of some sort, and you commit to doing it perfectly for a period. It’s not easy. It’s a commitment. You are definitely going to be challenged, but what is at the end of the challenge? This is where my mind got to thinking. What if I was perfect for a solid 15 days? What does it get me? It could get me a solid 15 days of progress, but on day 16 am I still going or does the 15-day decline begin? I think the point is to build habits and initiate some discipline in all areas of health. And that’s great and all, but do you have to be so intense to really get there?

Here's what I know about me. I can be intense, but I can’t be intense all the time. Sometimes I just gotta rest. It’s not laziness or apathy. It’s just to rest. A good analogy I believe might be running. I really like to punish myself with training for half marathons. Ok it’s not punishment, but sometimes it feels like it. It takes a willingness to start, discipline to maintain, and some intensity when the runs get really challenging. And really intense around race time. But it’s not realistic to keep that intensity 100% of the time. Sometimes we get in that trap of thinking that if we’re not giving it all we’ve got all the time that we’re letting ourselves down. We need to give ourselves the grace to be ok with rest. We see other people burn out but rarely can read the symptoms ourselves until it’s too late. And by “we” I mean “me”.

So back to the “30 Day Mediocre.” The point is not to be ok with just being ok. The point is to intentionally put the effort in when you’re just in a not so intense place. The focus is on consistency and not perfection. Personally, I think that should be how we just live life all the time and not just for 30 days. If I want to be a person in good physical, mental, and spiritual health does that mean that have to grind at the gym for 3 hours every day, live on lean protein and spinach at every meal, and live the life of a monk? No. That’s so terribly extreme… and, in my opinion, unsustainable for 99.9% of the population. Instead, it seems much more realistic to take my current state and make small adjustments to level up. That may mean making more good choices than bad in what I eat. And possibly cutting out alcohol except for the occasional special occasion. It could also mean working out 5 days out of the week instead of 4. Or running 4 miles a few days a week instead of 3. And maybe it could mean waking up just ten minutes early to spend time in meditation or prayer.

Pick one area, or all three… but just pick something and do it the best you can. YOU! Not the best that the other guy can because it’s your journey not theirs. No comparing because there’s no cookie cutter way to make progress. Your “better than yesterday” will be somewhat similar to a few people and vastly different from most people.

So, what am I working on for the next 30-ish days? I’m working on trusting the process and not being scared of the things that scare me. And what scares me is eating more volume. I know I need to… shoot, I work out too hard and run too far to not eat all the good calories. I’ve found myself focusing on a deficit and not giving my program what it needs. So, I’m focused on eating more of the right foods and less of the wrong ones. And I’m not letting the calorie count scare the bejeezus out of me. I am letting the calorie count drive me to expect more performance out of me when I exercise. And hopefully by Thanksgiving (when this whole thing comes to a close) I will feel better, move better, and have racked up so many good choices that some discipline will be built to carry me through the holidays.

30 Day Mediocre doesn’t really sound that bad, hunh. So, here’s to making better bad choices for the next month… well the next 25 days. I guess that actually makes it the 30ish Day Mediocre.

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