Falling off the wagon that’s taking us down the road of better intentions not only hurts, but it can be really difficult to flag down another vehicle, so we can continue our journey. Recently I’ve pretty much remained where I landed; I fell off my wagon of moderate coffee drinking a couple of months ago and landed, a little shaky, on the hard-shoulder of the motorway to virtuous – quite by coincidence right alongside a nice coffee machine!
There have been opportunities to get back on track but I’ve been languishing in a sense of self-disappointment that goes hand-in-hand with continued self-sabotage. I am a self-confessed caffeine addict, a caffeine-aholic if you will. I’ve been through therapy but I’ve never really been cured. A waft of the heady black liquid will always make my pulse quicken but, like any hard-bitten addict, the actual effect of the stuff is much less than it should be!
However, what my own struggles have taught me is that we can resume good intentions now. We don’t need to wait until after the weekend and an auspicious day beginning with M to start over. Furthermore, a day that starts badly doesn’t need to slip into self-annihilation. I’ve also learnt that there comes a time to really stand up to the voice of “self-justification” – a voice I’ve been giving in to lately and glibly blaming recent life stresses for my extra espresso or three. It is important to set realistic goals/timeframes though, and not underestimate the effort it takes to “be good”. It also makes sense to choose our time for renewed effort wisely to ensure we have the energy needed to maintain resolve.
Plus, I now understand that we sometimes need help and encouragement, which also means we need to identify those around us who will unwittingly (or deliberately) try to sabotage our best efforts. But the most important lesson I’ve learned, is not to waste energy beating myself up about failures and put that energy into continuing to try.
So my last coffee has been drunk and tomorrow I begin another guided programme – we are in it together and I find this accountability helps me, as well as my clients, to stay on track. There may be the odd wrong turn but travelling with good companions ensures everyone stays on the wagon!