Despite the relative silence on the blog lately, I’m not dead! 😉 I was just tired a few weeks ago from working on too many projects, and didn’t feel like writing that week’s post…
Or the next week’s…
You get the idea.
This kind of thing has happened to all of us. We start going to the gym regularly, or getting into some other good, healthy habit, and then life happens.
Michelle Akin was living though something similar lately, and in her newsletter she correctly pointed out something that we often forget: we’re not robots. 🤖
It’s normal to mess up and not be 100% consistent, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for it.
That being said, it’s by no means a free pass to drop the ball.
It’s the strangest thing, but whenever we feel like we’ve messed up in some way, messing up a bit more just doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
Let’s say you’re setting out to eat healthier, and you’re tempted by the exquisite Quebecois delicacy known as poutine. You’ve been eating lean and sticking to your goal perfectly for several days, but you cave even though your cheat day is still some ways away (who wouldn’t amirite?)
Your level of guilt towards your goal might be something like an 8 out of 10 (it was a really good poutine!)
Then maybe your awesome co-worker brings in homemade butter tarts… Tons of them.
You obviously can’t help yourself, because let’s be real here, butter tarts are amazing. 5/10 for guilt since you’d broken your streak anyway.
And then you get home to find out that your partner has made a cheesecake on their day off.
You’re down to maybe 2 or 3 on 10 for guilt towards your goal? I mean, what’s a slice of cheesecake when you’ve already had a poutine and a few too many butter tarts?
While I’m in no way advocating for you to beat yourself up over your mistakes, we all do it to some extent so there’s no point in pretending it doesn’t happen
Poutine, some butter tarts, or some cheesecake will individually have similar negative effects on one’s healthy eating goals, but depending on the context they present themselves in, our perception of them can change greatly. The human cognitive bias known as the contrast effect is at work here, and the only thing you can really do to offset it is to try to be aware of it.
After missing a week’s blog post it feels like less of a big deal to miss the next, and the same can be said of all of my projects that require consistency.
And since writing the above text, I literally missed another month! Guilt level: minimal. Momentum: lost.
It’s kind of a shame though…
Momentum is such a magical thing. It’s the compound interest on your efforts, and it makes all your hard work seem so much more worthwhile.
Let’s get it back 😉