Updated: Feb 20
I have a problem with this idea of 'deserving'. It comes up so often:
Finish a hard week at school?
Get through a day without going off your planned diet?
Manage to get through a stressful event?
Or even just being out for the first time in a long time and you end up doing a little retail therapy (you know, shopping for a lot of stuff you don't really need).
To be honest, there are so many situations where this word deserving comes up, I'm sure that you've had the same thought in the last 3 days... Let alone the advertising that can trigger this sense of deserving.
Now, this is not meant to make you feel like a bad person!
These willpower challenges are often seen as 'good' or 'bad' choices. Psychologists call this moral licensing. Moral Licensing is defined as a cognitive bias that occurs when a person uses their prior "good" behavior to justify later "bad" behavior, often without explicitly using that logic. (definition from Wiki)
Many studies show that when someone believes they have been 'good' because of choices they made (maybe finishing a to do list or getting to the gym) or having dealt with challenges in life (busy schedule, work load, finishing exams) they then give in to the unhealthy choice and it doesn't feel wrong because it feels like something they 'deserve'.
Make sense? I've done it in the past, and I'll admit, I'll likely do it again... but in order to nip this self sabotage in the butt, let's re-frame how we look at what we 'deserve'.
What I want to you to look at is the bigger picture.
Next time you have this feeling... Add in this one question:
Which choice will move me closer to my long term goal?
Quite often, this now will turn your treat or reward into a threat, something that will take away from your long term (whether that is 2 hours after, like when you eat that tasty cupcake and don't feel great; or a month later when you get that credit card bill and see the total of your purchases).
Our thoughts are powerful!
Side note: when you work with me, we can not only look at your fitness and movement goals, but get into changing habits for the better.
Interested? Let's chat!