It’s easy to come to the end of a day, or week, and think back over what went wrong. Sometimes we’re encouraged to take stock of our mistakes, in the hopes this will spur us to greater efforts over the next days and weeks.
But it can be profoundly discouraging to constantly focus on things that went badly or which didn’t work. A more powerful way to inspire yourself towards greater success is to look for what went better than before – areas of growth which you want to encourage.
You only need five minutes for this exercise. Sit down with a bit of paper and jot down a list headed “Ways I was healthier today”. These can be small or big, but they should be better than usual, rather than things which you regularly do well at. You might put:
- I ate five portions of fruit and vegetables.
- I went for a walk at lunchtime.
- I got off the bus a stop early and walked the rest of the way to work.
- I refused a biscuit for the first time ever!
- I bought some cereal bars to keep in my desk.
- I only smoked ten cigarettes
- I only had four cups of coffee
- I got up early enough to make a packed lunch
Try making this list each evening, maybe just before bed – or write “how I was healthier yesterday” first thing in the morning. Challenge yourself to find something new for the list each day!