Do you call yourself “good” when you stick with your health routine, and “bad” if you fall of the wagon? Those two words are like nails on a chalkboard to me. They seem so unassuming, but think about the message that gets reinforced within when labeling yourself “good” or “bad.”
YOU are not good or bad, but your choices can be.
When I hear a client call him/herself “bad,” he/she typically then does one of two things:
- Beats him/herself up, and feels deflated
- Gives him/herself permission to go whole hog “bad” and veers way off course
I’d like to suggest an alternative: eliminate the use of those two descriptors altogether and instead focus on the choices offered. Whatever you choose:
- Acknowledge the choice you made
- Accept it
- Commit to making a better choice next time
- Move on!
Importantly, you have the power to choose, and whatever choice you make moves you in a direction. If you don’t like that direction, no worries and no belittling yourself (it does no good anyway). Just pledge to be more respectful of your health plan the next time and choose differently.
According to a Cornell University study, we make 226.7 food choices a day. Sit with that for a moment. Imagine the daily impact you can have on nourishing your body with your choices. Even small decisions will make a big difference.
For example, consider how small substitutions can be integrated throughout a day:
- Fruit and yogurt (or peanut butter) vs. a carb heavy breakfast
- Avocado on a sandwich vs. a high sugar condiment
- Side salad vs. fries
- Club soda and bitters to start off a night out vs. an alcoholic beverage on an empty stomach
- Add one vegetable to a meal vs. a meal with little fiber or whole foods
- Snack on nuts or low sugar bars vs. the cookies at the meeting when hungry
- Insert your example here...
Really, the choices are endless. I was listening to a podcast about “decisions” from a Columbia University researcher who coined the term “choice overload,” which is exactly what it can feel like.
Instead, simplify. Take a moment to think about what you CAN influence, and let go of what you can’t.
What choices have you made in the last 24 hours, and how have they impacted your health goals? Whether around a food, exercise, organization or mindfulness decision, how could you have chosen differently, and what will you do next time? The choice is yours!
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™