I was at home visiting my nieces and had to see the latest addition to their guinea pig’s cage- a running wheel. Cuddles, the guinea pig, now spends her days spinning on a wheel that made an extremely annoying squeaky, grating noise but went nowhere. I couldn’t help but think how ridiculous this was and then I realized that we all do this at some point or another…spin our wheels that it – trying to figure something out on our own but getting nowhere… This phrase “spinning your wheels” was introduced to me during my first busy season in public accounting. My senior associate emailed me a state tax allocation worksheet (try to contain your excitement) with instructions to to complete it and said, “but don’t spend too much time spinning your wheels.” Umm, what does that mean?!

When is the right time to figure it out myself vs. ask for help?

At that point, the extra time I would spend trying to figure out the origins and formulas in that worksheet would be a waste of my time + an unnecessary cost to the client (remember we billed every 6 minutes). It made sense in theory, but to be honest, I still didn’t know how much time I should spend trying to figure it out myself vs. ask for help. I didn’t want to look stupid by not knowing and asking for help too soon but I also didn’t want to waste time trying it on my own, when I was sitting 10 feet away from someone who knew exactly what to do…

Some of you out there reading this are spinning and wasting your time, money, energy, etc. It’s painful to watch (or hear) because it is hands-down one of the most frustrating and biggest motivation-killers out there!

Here are the 3 steps that helped me stop spinning:

  • Figure out what you’re spinning about. Do you want to lose weight before summer? Do you want to stop turning to food every time you get stressed out? Do you want to get excited about stepping on the scale instead of dread it? Or do you just want to walk into your closet and be able to pull anything off the hanger and rock it?!
  • Know why you’re spinning your wheels. This is the hard one. Why are you still struggling? Are you embarrassed? Is it difficult to ask someone for help because you feel like you should know better? Have you lost faith in anything actually working?
  • Let it go and be open for a new solution. This is where you have to let go…let go of the fact that you thought the way you tried should work. Let go of your need to be right. Let go of what is holding you back from getting support. Open up your mind to a NEW solution. Maybe it’s not eating carb-free. Maybe you’re not going to lose 10 pounds from switching to paleo. Maybe the stress of finding the perfect eating plan is negating all the hours in the gym…whatever it is, let it go.

If you’ve been frustrated for months or years, or even decades then you know what I felt, but know that you have control. Use the 3 steps listed above to remind you of this and put you back in control! You have the power and the ability to get the tools to stop spinning! This is what separates us from the guinea pig 🙂

Live your WHOLE life,