Set the stage for success: It's not what you can't, but rather what you can

By Arielle Fitzgerald

One of the most rewarding things about what I do, is connecting the dots for people when it comes to their health, performance and wellbeing. Though just as much I am connecting the dots for them, they are connecting the dots for me.

The other day when I was down visiting one on my friends. I've been helping him with healing his gut and he made a very valid point when we got talking about all his dietary restrictions.

"I found It's not about focusing on what I can't have, but instead what I can. "

Its's like a lightbulb went off and I couldn't have agreed more with what he was saying. If you're focusing on what you can have versus what you can't it will make whatever the situation you are in much more enjoyable.

Though, more often than not we are only focussing on what you can't have. Which is then just sending negative messages to the mind,  immediately setting yourself up for failure. Think about it this way...Would you approach challenge by focusing on the problem or the solution?

Which is when I came up with the A.P.P.L.E solution!
(Practice this every day and you're bound to keep the doctor away. )

A- Acceptance : accept where you are, and what you have. Operate in that window of opportunity. Leave what you don't or can't have behind, it's wasted energy that no longer serves you. Learning to accept what is, let go of what was and move forward will set the stage for success of what will be.

P-Perspective: how you interpret a situation will fuel the fire. You can't light a fire with a wet log, just like you won't get very far with a "pity me" card! If you go at the solution with a negative mindset, chances are the outcome will be negative. It's all in your perspective. It's just as easy to focus on 'I can' as it is to focus on 'I can't.'

P-Person:know the kind of person you are! We all have our own bag of tricks that work best for us. Own them and use them to your advantage regardless of what anyone else says! Write a list of strategies and motivations that will keep the flame burning when that storm hits.  Some things that I have found to work well are:

-Keeping it simple: Simplicity is bliss! Keeping it simple and not over complicating the situations will make it that much easier and sustainable   

-Give up on perfection- it doesn't exists

-Make a "can" list: Who cares about what you can't have, what really matters is what you can have.

L-Life: Life will happen, there will be bumps and turns along the way and possibly even a few storms. It's life, it happens, it's meant to happen, we are only human and it's in our nature to struggle. But learning to find the positive when faced with negative will make you that much better at finding the solutions in all the everyday challenges. Practice, practice practice; practicing this will leave you that much stronger, adaptable and resilient in the long run no matter how big or small the goal

E-End results: Eye on the prize! Each day do the best you can in your given situation. Some days will be easier than others, but always remember if there were not rough times, there would also be no easy times either. 

Real life application

For example, say you're out with an injury that leaves you sidelined from running. You know what you have to do in order to get better, yet you still only focus on the fact that you can’t run. A better way to approach recovery however would be by using  ‘A.P.P.L.E’.

A- Accept: that you are injured, that you can’t run. Move on! Focus on all the other activities that you can do that will bring you closer to your goal.

P-Perspective: Yes, we’ve all been down that road. Recovery sucks! But if you only focus on the shitty part, well yeah it is going to suck. By changing your perspective and focusing on all that you can do, the journey through recovery will be that much more enjoyable.  And half the time you end up coming out a better runner.

P-  Person: Know who you are. If you know recovery time is generally a time where you get down in the dumps, well find ways to surround yourself with others who will keep you motivated. Do what you need to do. Personally for me I don’t mind recovery, I look at is as a time to check in with where I’m at, as well as a learning opportunity to how I got there. 

L-life: just like anything life happens, and the healing journey won't all be rainbows and butterflies. It might leave you sidelined for longer than you thought. Let go of all acceptations and trust the process.  

E-End: Eye on the prize! Don’t focus on your next goal race, or what you are going to do when you can run again. Focus solely on the ability to be able to run. Any goal that is longer than 90 days is considered a dream, so set small!