Success Policies

June 29, 2009

Last week I received a really touching email from a fellow blogger about how the notion of “just this once” (which we discussed when brainstorming about overeating) made a big difference in her life. I can’t express just how glad I am that it helped at least one person! I feel that there are so many more places that we can go with “just this once” as the starting point, and I’d like to open up the discussion now.

For that motivation to keep going, to make changes, to succeed in the journey to achieving our ambitions, I’ve found that there’s one other thing which has been just as useful to me as the “just this once” philosophy:

Roll with it: accept and move on

I talk about this one a lot, but I feel that it’s important to discuss within the context of struggles, particularly with health issues of overeating or slacking off on exercising and such, so bear with me!

We can’t control absolutely everything. Regardless of how many control issues we might have, life has a way of throwing obstacles at us in a way that sometimes feels as though it’s just to screw with our heads. But just because it appears as though we do not have a choice, or we do not have control of a situation, doesn’t mean that we have to give up or surrender instantly. Instead, accepting that something unexpected came up, and moving on past it, is what will ultimately bring that control back into our own hands.

Saturday, for example, was a rainy, miserable day. I would have liked to have gone for a run in the morning, but the weather made me want to roll over and go back to bed rather than tie up my shoes and freeze in the cold rain. So instead, I flipped on the 30 Day Shred and had a quick twenty minute workout without needing to leave the comfort of my warm and dry home. Exercise dilemma solved. I tend to shy away from the workout dvd’s in the summer months, and hadn’t done the 30 Day Shred (or, admittedly, much strength training at all) in a very long time, so changing my routine was very helpful. I changed up my usual routine by popping in the dvd, telling myself that “just this once” I would do the dvd instead of lounging about.

If “just this once” falls through, and you don’t quite manage it, do not despair! What’s done is done, and it won’t help any to worry about it. Looking back regretfully is a waste of time that could be far better spent looking forward, hatching ideas and putting them into action.

So for me, the “just this once” policy is closely related to my “roll with it” policy. The combination of these two can get you past your struggles and set you up for success. It’s inevitable that things aren’t always going to go exactly the way we plan and hope for- but that’s part of the fun, right? You never know what’s going to happen, and every obstacle in our path is a new opportunity to be creative in figuring out the best way to get to where we want to be, or to discover that there is somewhere else we’d rather be than where we originally thought.

Just this once. Change your routine. Roll with it. What policies do you try to abide by? Which ones help you through it all? What has helped you out in improving the way you deal with life? And is there something that just plain does not work for you? Share in the comments!


  1. Change is good. Very good, sometimes.

    I use the JOLT method, myself. Just One Little Thing. When life gets both barrels aimed and firing in my direction, I tell myself that I’ll adjust Just One Little Thing and that will be enough. I can’t remember a time when it didn’t work.

    I wish I could say the same for the JOLC method. Just One Little Cookie doesn’t yield nearly the same great results as the JOLT. πŸ™‚

  2. for me it is remembering that it is all about the BIG PICTURE
    the trite but true MARATHON NOT SPRINT.

    One little “screw up” (and Im not just thinking food at all but life) is never enough to derail us—-it’s merely a reminder for me to refocus on my goals. a reminder to check and see if they are indeed still my goals and get back on track (if they are) and reevaluate (if they are not).

  3. Start small. There is no need to rush things (be it exercise, a change in diet, life in general). Instead, do what you can today. Small things do add up and your body and mind will adjust to the small changes slowly but steadily.

  4. A lot of people, myself included, want to make everything perfect at once. With weight, I didn’t get to 300 pounds overnight, so when I finally accepted that weight loss was a journey, not a jaunt it all came together, and I lost the weight.

    These days, I just take one day at a time, trying to plan for the future but not to forget about today.

  5. Great post! I love your first commenters idea! That’s kind of what I do, I just didn’t know it had a cute acronym:) My instinct is to be extreme but I’m slowly learning that’s a bad plan.

  6. My mantra is “Just keep swimming” when it comes to eating healthy and exercise. The way I see it, it takes years of constant mistakes to gain the weight, so one screw up is not going to matter. As long as you keep doing what you need to stay on track, that is all it matters.

  7. No one is perfect….period. Having that expectation will certianly set you up for failure.

    And as you said, there is no point in dwelling in the past…that is not going to get us anywhere. All we can do is strive to be better in the future (occasional ‘slip ups’and all)… πŸ™‚

  8. I remind myself that everyday is a new day, and every new day is filled with choices. In order to take care of myself and be healthy I must choose to do so… and thankfully, most of the time I do. Nonetheless, I’m far from perfect as well so I do have those days and moments where I may not make the best decision for me but I try not to let it discourage me from my overall mission. Thanks for these posts, it’s a great topic πŸ™‚

  9. Cammy- I love JOLT! Too bad JOLC doesn’t have quite the same nice ring to it. It’s a tasty one, though πŸ˜‰

    MizFit- Food is just one analogy for every and any thing that we do. I like the longterm big picture thinking.

    Mia & Diane- taking the little steps is what MAKES the journey!

    Charlotte- it can be tough to reign in the extremist tendencies, for sure.

    Asithi- ooh nice. It’s what we do overall that counts.

    RickyRae- and that’s what makes us all so interesting, right? It’s those imperfections that make us who we are.

    Danielle- yes: we do have the choice.

  10. Great post and great comments. As far as choices go, we used to have a catchphrase at Green Mountain “choices, decisions, responsibility.” We have choices, we make our decisions, then we accept the responsibility for the outcome. Of course, that’s once we get to the point where our decisions are made out of true choice, not something that’s forced on us by what someone else says we must do.

  11. Very nice thoughts!! It’s really great that you were able to help someone like that, bravo!

  12. I hate change…even though I know it is usually a good thing. Great inspirational post as always.

  13. You definitely helped me with that idea of just once. I’m so glad that sharing and brainstorming about my issues helped someone else too.

  14. Hi Sagan,
    “Just this once” – I like that a lot! I was out on a bike ride, and I’ll often get ideas that pop up in my head…only to be forgotten by the time I stop. So, the other day, I told myself – “just this once”, I’m going to stop and actually write down this idea that popped into my head. What a great way for me to recall this idea. Even better than this, though, is that my stop led to a newly discovered trail to hike. “Just this once” can lead to some pretty great discoveries!!
    Great stuff today!!

  15. OMG, my post for tommorrow is THE EXACT SAME THING. Well, not as good as yours. But I got rained out of a run and ended up trying the 30 Day Shred.


  16. I missed the earlier post on “Just this once” but years ago I remember reading this tip: When you want to eat something but you know it is not on your plan (in your calorie budget, etc), remind yourself that just because you say no today doesn’t mean you can’t ever have it again. That is something that stuck in my head and it has worked for me. I do often stop and think “not today” before I go ahead and eat something that I know I don’t really need.

    But I also agree there is room for flexibility. Some days you go ahead and have the treat. And that is ok too.

    *Not that I am one to be giving weight loss tips as I haven’t managed to lose any, but I do aim for healthy living without making myself miserable.*

  17. Marsha- love that catchphrase!

    Dr. J & Kristisummer- am glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

    Mary- all about the support system πŸ™‚

    Lance- that’s fantastic! I love a good adventure.

    Crabby- ooh intrigue. I look forward to it.

    JavaChick- thanks for your input- it’s living that healthy HAPPY lifestyle that we’re concerned about.

  18. Great post! So many people have the “all or nothing” approach – if I eat a cookie, then my “diet” is ruined and that allows me to eat whatever for the rest of the day!

    It’s all about balance – great read! πŸ˜€

  19. great post! it’s so easy to get caught up and forget about the big picture!

  20. […] in a bizarre coincidence, I just discovered that Sagan at Living Healthy in the Real World has a post about the same thing! It may have even been the same day… she was gonna go for a run, […]

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