As I grew into my young adult life, I came to have an all or nothing personality. If I want it one way then it must be done to the end. If I fail to achieve it then I go in for a complete loss. I also have a hard time saving things for another time. Mostly with snacks and alcohol. That’s why I never buy snacks anymore. They’re all gonna to get eaten in one sitting. I am just starting to wane off alcohol. But I can’t just purge it from my life totally. You know, go cold turkey.
A lot of people have this problem where they might not be following their plan exactly. So they purge what is causing them to slip up completely. This isn’t really a good thing because 9 times out of 10, they’re going to just go in for a big loss. I know it because it’s happened in my own life all the time. Things happen. Going cold turkey is a perfectionist attitude. It doesn’t work because we aren’t perfect.
What I have come to believe is consistency will win the battle. I learned this while rereading an old AJATT article. Purging something from life completely is just a form of binging. They’re both extremes. If I want to quit something, I have to slowly ease into it. I need to set limits. Just small barriers to block off moments where I might slip up are enough. That will create patterns to make it easier to change. For example, I stopped carrying money when at work. The possibility is too high that I will buy beer on the way home. Just little things will do its part.
The concept of setting the bar low and showing up is important. While setting the bar low isn’t the best option because you’re hardly progressing. But at least it’s progress. 1 is still better than 0. Show up to the things you want. Do one lap. Do one word of your essay. Learn one new Japanese word. As long as some progress is being made then at the very least it isn’t a complete loss. The moment something is stopped completely it begins the cycle of degradation. It’s the daily little wins and successes that I accomplish. It’s those things that will build up in the end.
Maybe if religions presented things in terms of consistency and NOT just a perfect standard. Then maybe people wouldn’t feel like they’re worthless or sinful for not meeting that standard. I’m not religious or spiritual in the least. I don’t aim for perfection because it’s not possible. But it’s something to think about.
Don’t beat yourself up.