Updated: Sep 6, 2022
I know, you’ve probably heard “everything in moderation” a million times- especially when it comes to diet culture.
So why is it still so hard to have everything you want while maintaining progress towards your goals?
I have a theory 💡
Let me know if you can relate to the following scenario:
You’ve decided that you can have everything in moderation, so you start by working to find your version of moderation in the amount of time you spend on social media.
You’ve been spending 4+ hours a day on social media and you feel guilty because there’s so much more you could do with that time.
So you decide to cut that time down to an hour.
You get started and things are going good… until you keep getting notifications that bring you back to your favorite app.
No sweat, right? You’ll just see what the notification says and close the app right after…
Except the first post to pop up on your feed catches your eye.
That’s okay, you’ll just read the first post, check your notification, and dip…
But after reading the post, you’ve forgotten about this deal you made with yourself and scrolled to the next post, and the next one, and the next one…
Before you know it, you’ve spent half your social media time for the day mindlessly scrolling- all because of one notification!
This is the vicious cycle most of our vices lock us into- whether it’s social media, food, TV, etc.
Because of instant gratification.
Instant gratification is “the temptation, and often trend, to opt for a less rewarding but more immediate benefit over a future benefit,” according to Positive Psychology.
This is the principle that constantly makes us deviate from our true version of moderation!
Our brains are hardwired to want benefits NOW over wanting bigger benefits.
So, how do we rewire our brains to keep us on the path towards our goals while letting ourselves experience some instant gratification?
It’s all in the habits 🙌🏻
Habits make it easier to stay on a trajectory, for better or worse.
To illustrate, if you come home from work every day and go right to bed, you’ve built a habit of resting as soon as you get home. This may make it harder to work towards what you want to accomplish in the evening.
However, if you come home from work every day, throw on gym clothes, and do a workout, you’ve built a habit that’ll bring you closer to your fitness goals.
In both cases, deviating from the habit will be harder than completing the habit because your mind is trained to perform this task.
This is where you can find your moderation without losing sight of your goals.
If you’re consistently working out, one day of deciding to rest isn’t going to completely derail your progress.
Thus, you have a foundation to build your moderation on.
You can even schedule the other side of your moderation in! This is where we often see people talk about “cheat days” or “lazy days.”
I hate these terms!
These terms make it seem like what you’re doing is bad or something to be ashamed of when they’re a vital part of building a balanced lifestyle.
Because without the “bad,” there would be no “good.”
So, don’t be afraid to eat what you want on a Friday night out with friends or take a day to lay in bed and get the rest your body craves.
Because the habits you build will sustain your progress through the days you’re not actively working towards them.
So, to sum it all up, here are the key principles you need to attain true moderation:
Trust me, it’s not easy to attain true moderation. You may feel defeated after “falling off the wagon” sometimes and may have to play around with what you’re doing to find your version of balance.
However, using these principles, it’s completely possible to achieve your goals while still receiving instant gratification from time to time.
And that, my friends, is the key to a balanced, well lifestyle ✨