What the heck is the broom method? I started to ask myself the very same question. The honest answer is it is a method I made up when I was talking to someone about life. I have always been one of those persons that make up analogies on the spot. I use this to help someone visualize what I am talking about. Sometimes they are really good and other times I think they fall off the mark. However, I do think that the broom method had a lot of merit. We were talking about how individuals always think they are starting over when they fall off the wagon so to speak. Let’s say for a moment a nutrition plan or exercise plan that is followed for a year followed by a six month absence. It is common for the individual to say something like the following, “I am starting over from scratch” or “I am so far behind” or “I lost everything that I had gained.” Actually, you have not lost anything that you had done. It is all part of the process. The all in or out mentality though has cost you some time but not the knowledge. The knowledge you gained is still there, the experience is still there, son really you are starting over from a very different place. So then what is the broom method?
The Broom Method is a way to look at life. There are many components to our life. There is exercise, nutrition, parenting, relationships, work, play, hobbies and all of them require effort and time. Many individuals get really caught up in a few categories and neglect everything else in their life. They are 100% on food and exercise but fail to be a good parent or spouse. They ignore the rest of the details. This only last so long because at some point either a harsh reality or guilt will kick in and you will shift your attention. As your attention shifts lets say to work and parenting your exercise and nutrition get neglected. This cycle goes on and on, over and over and round and round. This method of life cycle would be like taking a broom and sweeping down a strip from one end of the room to the other. Walking back when you are done and sweeping the next strip. One strip at a time. Really there is nothing wrong with this method of sweeping but it is rarely the most effective. Generally when we choose to sweep a room we sweep a strip upon a foot or two, then another strip, then another and back to the first and so on and so forth as we advance all the dirt to the other side at nearly the same rate. There is a reason that this is an effective form of sweeping and has been adopted by many broom aficionados over time. It works, it allows you to get all the dirt off the floor in an efficient manner and keeps you from tracking through your own dirt piles.
The Broom Method when applied to your life is very similar. Instead of having a laser focus all the time on one thing until you feel the goal is completed you can have a laser focus in the moment you are attacking the area. When you are working out be laser focused on working out, get it done, be efficient, and then get back to the kids. When you are at work minimize the side chatter, get your work done and leave early to have a date night with your significant other. I know a lot of people call this having balance but it is more than balance it is a way of achieving balance. Simple enough right? Are you ready to get started applying the method to your life. Its much simpler than you think. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Do not bite off more than you can chew in any area. Example: If you have been eating whatever you want all the time do not go straight to “strict paleo.” Try instead cutting out 1 item that you know does not serve you and build on that over time.
- Unfortunately there is not a king size broom that covers all aspects of our life but a little time each day will go a long way over time. In fact I would challenge you that 10 minutes a day of exercise would serve you better over the years than 90 days all out followed but a 90 day absence. Think small in order to achieve big things.
- Don’t think that you failed when you have a day where you miss your target but at the same time don’t think that your 10 minute commitment to breathing does not matter and you can afford to miss it. Be diligent in your commitments and if you miss pick up right where you left off.
I hope that this gives you a little something to think about. Until next time Im signing off to go eat, do yoga and meditate before my next client.
Mathew Eli Freeman
“Always Real, Always Raw, Always Unedited”