Personal Development Not Personal Punishment – Day 288 of 365 Days to a Better You

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Don’t make it a struggle of extremes from binging to austerity and back. Slow and smooth wins the race.
  4. Give yourself credit for progress rather than beating yourself up for setbacks.
  5. Do what feels good and what maintains the integrity of your goal.
  6. If you do have a small setback, don’t allow it to become a breakout of regression. Accept, forgive, and get back on track.
  7. 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!

 Ray

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Published by

Ray Davis

I am the Founder of The Affirmation Spot, author of Annuanki Awakening, and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. My latest books are the Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation (Book 1 of a trilogy) and The Power to Be You: 417 Daily Thoughts and Affirmations for Empowerment. I have written prolifically on the topics of personal development and human potential for many years. By day, I write sales training for Fortune 100 company. I began studying affirmations and positive thinking after a life-threatening illness at 25. My thirst for self-improvement led him to read the writings of Joseph Campbell, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, and many other luminaries in the fields of mythology and motivation. Over time, I have melded these ideas into my own philosophy on self-development. I have written, recorded, and used affirmations and other tools throughout that time to improve my own life and I have a passion for helping other reach for their goals and dreams. Ray holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from University of Kansas. He lives in Framingham, MA with his wife and his black lab, Mia.

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