We encounter challenges everyday. Whether these challenges be new tasks, new goals, new skills, obstacles at home or in the workplace. When presented with these challenges, what’s the first thing you do? Look at someone else who has gone through or is going through the same thing or compare yourself to them to see where you stand or if you even measure up? We live in a world where everything is a competition. In the gym, many people compare their times, their weights, their reps with the top numbers for the day. At work, we try to outsell our fellow employees or reach quota goals to win that quarterly award. At home, we try to be the best parents, yet best friends with our kids and boast it on social media. What’s the outcome of this?

Hating ourselves when we don’t reach those high expectations? Walking out of the gym halfway through a WOD because we got beat? Feeling inadequate at work and home because someone is perceived as “better”?

For the past few months, I have had to work on changing my mindset for the things that I do everyday. I will be the first to say that it has helped me tremendously, in not only keeping my sanity, but staying consistent with my hectic schedule as well. The mindset change was to be “realistic”.

Seems easy enough, right? I want to challenge all of you to do the same. Not only will you like yourself better, but you might just notice yourself becoming a much more well-liked person by those around you. Here is the steps I took, and if any apply to you, try to see if the change could work for you….

1. You are not Rich Froning, Jr., Julie Foucher, hell, even Allie Sholley or Brandon Nolin.  Stop comparing your scores to the best, and compare them to the person you were yesterday! This is where logging your’ workouts or even writing a goal on the goal board comes to play. If you backsquat five pounds more than YOU did last month, beat YOUR previous “Fran” time, or even worked out four times instead of last weeks three, you’re winning. Those all-star athletes you compare yourself to are there for motivation only. I guarantee if you ask these people where they were three years ago, it is a big difference from today.

2. Learn to walk away. I don’t mean give up, but if you put so much of yourself in to too many things, you’re going to break down, mentally and physically. Cut out all of the unnecessary B.S. and figure out what’s really important to you and deserves your’ attention and requires your’ time. It is not worth being involved in 20 different things if you’re are so worn out that you are half-assing all of it.

3. You can’t be the best at everything. Let’s face it, some of us didn’t win the lottery in the gene pool and have to work extremely hard in order to hit a PR, lose two pounds, get that “A” grade, receive that promotion. But if you don’t make it to the top, so what? You aren’t any less of a person and you can only do so much. When things don’t turn out your way or you’re stressing over an upcoming event, learn to say “screw it, if it’s meant to be, it will.”

The holiday months of November-March are named the most depressing and stressful among Americans. My hope is that you attempt to change your mindset and outlook so that you and the people around you can truly enjoy the holiday season and winter months. This is not a time for greed, sadness, jealousy or stress. It is a time to show love, gratitude, and just enjoy having the friends and family around while you have the opportunity to do so.