“Following all the rules leaves a completed checklist. Following your heart achieves a completed you.”
~ Ray A. Davis
I’ve been catching up with my Year of ME Deluxe group in this past week, talking to them about their One Big Thing and the areas they have chosen as their support focuses this year.
As I spoke to one person after another, something became clear. So many of them were struggling to stick to a daily habit over which they’d initially been enthusiastic. You know the kind of thing I mean. Daily exercise. Following an eating plan. Writing each day. Meditating each morning.
In fact, for many of them, there was a deepening resistance. Or sabotage. Or a strong start which lasted for a week or two and then fizzled out.
Does any of that sound familiar to you?
And of course, with this failure came deep self-recrimination, guilt and other negative emotions.
If any of you can relate to this situation I have some advice. Perhaps it’s time to incorporate a Grace Day each week.
A Grace Day is a day where we allow ourselves to goof off, to ignore the rules, to not do the thing. With no guilt. With no giving ourselves a hard time. Instead, with the understanding that we are human and sometimes we just need a break.
Most of us are already under the hammer. We have to-do lists a mile long, we go to bed with a mountain of unaccomplished tasks and in the morning we load more on top of that existing mountain. Our days are already structured and busy. And we just made it worse by adding something else. Even if we know it will be good for us, or it’s something we want to do, it’s still just another thing to do.
Feeling tired yet?
No wonder we end up in that place of resistance and resentment and Don’t Tell Me What To Do!!!
A dear friend of mine actually calls her Grace Day the Oh F*uck It Day! It’s not an allocated day, but instead a wild card she can choose to activate if circumstances deem it necessary.
This friend of mine has lost 30 kilograms in the past two years by eating paleo and going for a daily walk. She is a single mum who has a special needs child, two naughty dogs and a highly stressful job. Once a week she has the luxury of an Oh F*uck It Day! to preserve her sanity and to keep her from going off the wagon altogether.
Here is how Melanie explains it to you:
“Last Tuesday the dishwasher broke and flooded the kitchen, our huge submission I’d worked on for months got rejected, my child smeared poo all over the walls and I was exhausted and cranky. There was no way I was eating paleo and going for a damned walk! I needed pizza and a glass of wine. Followed by ice-cream in front of Netflix. I invoked my Oh F*uck It Day! and relaxed on my couch. The next morning I got up early and went for a walk, and then got back on the diet bandwagon. My Oh F*ck It Day! has saved my sanity and helped me reach my goals. There are some weeks I never used it. There are two weeks in the past two years where I used it twice in one week. But they were killer weeks. You should try it. It works!”
So, having a Grace Day (or Melanie’s kind of day) available to you can actually help you to stick with a long-term plan.
How about you? Do you need a Grace Day? Maybe it’s the missing ingredient to help you in your journey to sustainable success.
Sending much love your way, Nicole xx