Tomorrow marks the midway point of #NoSodaNovember. No soda has passed my lips for 15 days. To celebrate, I’m going to have a single Dr. Pepper tomorrow before jumping back in the wagon for the rest of the month.
Honestly, I’m not particularly craving the Dr. Pepper. I’m simply doing it as a reward for succeeding for 15 days and as encouragement to go 15 more.
Personal development must not become personal punishment. The goal, whatever the current personal development mission, is to do better not instantly become perfect.
You see people turn personal development goals into forms of extreme denial that almost invariably boomerang around into new excess. Someone goes from eating two Big Macs, a large fry, and a super size coke one day to swearing they’re only going to eat rice cakes for the rest of their lives the next.
Conscious, purposeful denial is useful in trying to change a behavior, but don’t become dogmatic or tyrannical about it. Consider the following when taking this approach.
- Abrupt changes in direction are usually challenging to maintain. Consider making gradual shifts. That allows you to build habit and commitment to the change rather than a sense of loss or a desire to rebel.
- Reward yourself along the way. Don’t undo all you’ve accomplished, but as long as it doesn’t risk your well-being or spark addiction, indulge yourself a little. The goal is balance and betterment not perfection.
- Don’t make it a struggle of extremes from binging to austerity and back. Slow and smooth wins the race.
- Give yourself credit for progress rather than beating yourself up for setbacks.
- Do what feels good and what maintains the integrity of your goal.
- If you do have a small setback, don’t allow it to become a breakout of regression. Accept, forgive, and get back on track.
- Your goal is worthy, but don’t make getting there a thankless, miserable existence. What goal is worth that?
So, I’m going to thoroughly enjoy my Dr. Pepper tomorrow. I’ve earned it. Drinking one is not giving in and it’s not a fault in integrity. Then I’m going to finish the month strong.
Whatever your current goal, remember to enjoy yourself along the way. You would never work for a boss who wouldn’t let you have a break or fun and you won’t work for yourself that way either.
In case no one else has told you today, YOU are awesome!