photo by lonely radio
i have a confession: 5 days into one of my 2012 goals, i've decided to pull the plug on it. i was hoping to complete a 21-day cleanse, but quickly realized it just wouldn't work out. it had nothing to do with lack of will-power or desire to change my lifestyle (and eating habits), but everything to do with the realization that, right now, i can't do this. there were two reasons that compelled me to call it quits:
- my grocery bill doubled
- i nearly fainted in the street on my 5th day
considering the boy is still in school, and we're really only living on one salary, a major increase in grocery costs just isn't financially feasible for us. and i quickly learned that spending 21 days living off a limited amount of vegetables and fruit each day (and eventually a handful of protein) wouldn't sustain me.
i'm not one who enjoys "giving up", so i'm actively choosing to view this as a smart decision for my health. and you know what? i feel great about it. i tried, i realized it didn't work for me, i moved on. the end. i could beat myself up for having already failed at one of my goals (seriously, eight freaking days into the new year). i could feel like a fool for having publicly declared to do something, and then having to backtrack a week later. i could do any number of things to make myself feel badly about this. but i won't.
in the end, i tried and i learned something from it. that's what counts. now, let's start over.
whatever it is you need to move on from (a bad relationship/friendship, a soul-sucking job, a project you hate, unrealistic expectations), here a few tips on keeping the crap feelings at bay:
recognize that it's not working for a reason
if despite all our best efforts and intentions, something just isn't working for us, there's always a reason. maybe it's your health. maybe your interests have changed. maybe you just really don't care anymore. whatever the reason is, it's completely valid. there is no reason to feel badly about changing as a person - we're human, and we're all designed to adapt and change with our environment.
take note of the effort you put in
make a list of the ways you tried to push through and stick it out. how many times did you sit down to try and finish that damn novel? how many date nights and conversations did you have to try and reignite that spark? don't ignore the effort you put in or you'll have an easier time convincing yourself you're a failure, when you're anything but, baby.
repeat to yourself "i'm making a positive change in my life"
the last thing you want to do is say that you've given up. giving up has such a negative connotation to it, so, instead, frame it as having made a positive change. the more you tell yourself that this is a good thing, the more you'll believe it.
remember that every experience offers a life lesson
both the task/relationship/expectation/job you left behind, and the actual act of leaving it have taught you something. you are a better person for deciding that your previous situation wasn't working for you, and taking the necessary steps to move on.
don't think of it as giving up, think of it as starting over
is there anything in your life you've needed to start over? how did you feel about it?