….even cigarettes. drugs. risk-taking.
However you chose to describe it, you likely have a desire to ‘be naughty’ to ‘push the boundaries’ or just ‘mix it up’ a bit.
It is, a natural, normal, healthy human need… well it Can be, though some of us cause ourselves suffering with our attraction to vice.
It’s fascinating and compelling… it provides relief from day to day certainty and routine.
Perhaps it provides an escape? A distraction?
But how much is a nice amount of vice?
As a self confessed control freak (yeah, who’ve guessed?) my experience is that when I’m holding on too tight – the vice in me tends to stand up to be noticed.
Too much certainty, even a positive/resourceful certainty such as ‘certainty of self’ rather than the Un-resourceful-comfort-loving-stuck-in-status-quo need for certainty… can create an imbalance that will attract it’s opposite.
If you’re not currently making time for the vice/variety/uncertainty that best fits into your life there’s a fair chance you’ll struggle to control a less resourceful vice.
Again, how to decide enough is enough?
For me it’s a matter of OPPORTUNITY COST. Is the vice costing me in terms of the things that are most important in my life?
If the vice is costing you in relation to your ability to experience that which is most important to you…
=> your relationship with your family
=> your progression in your career
=> achieving your Health Goal
…then I’d say guidelines need to be put into place.
Guidelines that do fit sustainably into your lifestyle – that compliment, rather than conflict with your lifestyle and everything/everyone you value.
I view my guidelines as little helpers put in place to help me out-plan my lack of discipline and my attraction to vice!
The smart/planner part of me sets up a ‘trick’ or effective strategy for the more impulsive emotional part of me to follow. The key is this must be done AHEAD OF TIME!!!
Perhaps it’s a set number of alcohol free days weekly?
A certain day and time that you consume ‘off the plan/treat’ food each week?
Maybe that latest pair of shoes/handbag/manicure/massage can only be indulged in after you’ve completed your monthly/weekly (ok, I don’t know how regularly you shop!) quota of training sessions?
*I’m a huge fan of rewarding the positive actions you take and encouraging a positive neural association with that habit you’re creating (say exercise 5-6 days a week) that will make the habit easier to stick with. HOWEVER, it’s important to reward the actions you take (as that is completely within your control) rather than reward 1kg down on the scales as this WILL happen as a result of the actions you take however exactly when and at what pace is really not within your control.
Choosing your own guidelines will help you see them as ‘little helpers’ – or whatever resonates with you. If they are to help you succeed it’s essential you view them as supportive rather than restrictive… when anything starts to feel restrictive, well I know personally that’s when I want to rebel! It’s a sure sign that Vice is about to create some havoc.
On a final note, I’ve noticed that with time I naturally want to upgrade my vices so that they still give me the feelings I’m seeking yet with less and less opportunity cost.
For example: beer which really – as gorgeously lovely on a hot Sydney afternoon as it was – was Not a good choice for the body I wanted 24/7. Red wine is still a vice, however with less opportunity cost and the same positive, vice satisfying feelings.
Thoughts, questions, vices that you manage effectively or that could do with a little upgrading? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.