Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Clean Slate

I so often feel that to start something - usually a new habit or routine - I have to have a totally clean slate: a fresh start. And this makes sense. It's really fun, for example, to start the new year with a few resolutions. The clean slate that the new year brings - out with 2013 and in with 2014! - brings a feeling of possibility.

But life is messy, and I mess up. I falter and I don't follow through with intentions, and then instead of picking myself right back up and doing the Good Thing, I wait because I feel like I have to have my Clean Slate, whether that's a new day, a new week (most often), a new month or year.

But while the idea of a Clean Slate is lovely and often empowering, it is also enabling: If my Clean Slate doesn't start until next week, then this week I'm free to make as many poor decisions as I'd like.

So I want to be done with the Clean Slate. I want to make good decisions all the time, and if I can't do that, then I want to forgive myself and make them next time. Not tomorrow, not next week, but next time. I want to strengthen my Good Thing muscles so I can keep making the good decisions without thinking.

…And want to know something cool? 

I started the practice of dropping the Clean Slate with this very blog entry, which is defying the odds of being written, as I had earlier today thought to myself writing this week was a lost cause: I hadn't planned anything out, so the plan was to start fresh on Sunday. 

It's not perfect, but it was the right decision: I'm flexing my Good Thing muscles!

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