Why You Should Get Back To Basics

2012 April 18

Last week, I wrote this piece for the lovely Ellie Di over at Headology. And while I’ve realized holding a gun to my own head as a means of increasing productivity is a practice I need to ditch, the flip side of what I wrote there is also true –sometimes, you need to go back to what you know works – the tried, true and road-tested. For me, that’s meant two things lately – hitting the gym and retooling my writing.

I am tired y’all. I make jokes about having a parasitic twin sucking all my energy away. There is no amount of sleep that seems to touch this. And I’ve been here before. What worked then? Being consistent about the gym, taking my iron supplements, eating more protein. It didn’t add up to a perfect solution, but it definitely made a difference. So, that’s what I’m doing now. More dumbbells. More kale.

The same with writing. I know what works. I know where there’s a gap in the coverage. I know what people want to read. Instead of attempting to reinvent the wheel, I went back to basics – writing about a mix of topical stuff that pulls in lots of casual traffic and in-depth discussions that draw on research around issues related to being young (and, depending on the day, female) in Corporate America. Guess what? My numbers soared and my OMG, WHAT SHOULD I WRITE ABOUT? stress dropped.

It even applies to vacations. Sure, JF and I could go somewhere brand new in June, but we loved New York in December and we didn’t get to see even a quarter of it, so why not go back and check out a few of the things* we missed on the first go round?

Innovation isn’t the be all and end all. Constantly revising, revamping, upgrading and branching out because you think it’s a hallmark of personal growth is misguided. There is a world of difference between being stuck in an unsatisfying, unrewarding rut and continuing to refine the talents, interests and expertise that bring you happiness and success. If it ain’t broke, why are you trying to fix it? And if it is broke and you know what fixed it in the past, why don’t you try that as your first plan of attack?

If getting more protein and going to the gym makes me feel less like a boiled slab of tripe, why would I waste time contemplating a paleo diet or flirting with the idea of acupuncture? If you look great as a redhead and the hair color makes you feel like an awesome Valkyrie, why would you consider dyeing it ash blonde just because it seems more on trend? If you always order the pad thai and you always love the pad thai, who the hell is anyone to tell you that you should switch it up and sample the green curry?

It really is hard enough to find things and relationships that work consistently. If you have those in your life, keep mining them, keep celebrating them and keep eating your leafy greens.

*Things that include Coney Island and tickets to see The Colbert Report. And if you think I’m not freaking out about the chance to ride the Wonder Wheel and stand, like, 10 feet away from Stephen Colbert, you don’t know me at all.

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