All or nothing
Dr. Dad Bod

4 Tips to Avoid the "All-Or-Nothing" Mindset!

Do you fall into the trap of the “all-or-nothing" mindset?


"If I can’t workout for X long, it’s not even worth it…”

“I’ve really messed up with my nutrition today… might as well also eat Y… (or wait till next week to get back on track)”

“I’ll never be in the shape I was back when I…”


Sometimes these statements are grounded in good intentions, but perhaps unrealistic expectations or standards - leaving us too often with “do nothing”!

With the holidays upon us, bringing change to our usual rhythms and schedules, this pattern of thinking can be especially challenging.


I recommend an alternative - the “something is better than nothing” mindset!


Here are my 4 tips that I hope will help:

  1. Fitting in a 10-minute workout when you don’t have time for a “full” one,
  2. Realizing that one - or several - food decisions don’t make or break your health, and instead focus on forming sustainable, consistent habits,
  3. Meeting ourselves where we actually are, NOW (not before we had kids, or where we wish we were instead), and seeking to improve a little bit each day,
  4. Accepting that during certain seasons of life, a realistic goal fitness goal might be just “maintenance” or “damage control” – and that each works better than an uncontrolled spiral!


During my medical training, short but consistent full-body workouts, sub-optimal as they were, made a HUGE difference for me compared to the alternative of succumbing to several years of being totally sedentary!

Adopting a “something is better than nothing” mindset means starting small, playing the long game, and believing that every investment adds up. It means setting achievable goals. (I like the concept of “micro-habits” - goals “too small to fail”.)

Sometimes, lowering our expectations can actually improve our outcomes!