You are what you practice. I have heard this phase before but never looked at from the perspective of moderation. However, it makes total sense. If you practice moderation then you become better at recognizing when it is needed, when you are going overboard. I guess it is like muscle memory in that if you put into place habits that signal you when enough is enough you are better able to identify when you have hit those limits. So here are some ways to practice moderation.
- Portion out food before you eat it -By placing snacks or meals in portioned containers it helps to set a visible limit on the amount of you consume. When you hit the bottom of the bag, it’s a signal to stop eating. (If you are like me it should not be a signal to go to the kitchen and get more!)
- Set spending limits – Set a budget. This has been a struggle for me in the past. I found that setting a budgeted ceiling in the categories I frequently overspend in has helped to reduce spending. For example, if I go to the store I now take only the amount I am budgeted to spend and leave the plastic at home. When that amount is gone it is gone.
- Steer clear of the negative – In recent days I have felt the effects of how a negative environment can create a spiral of negativity if you let it run unchecked. Some people are better at deflecting negativity. For me I can only absorb so much before I start to have negative thoughts and feelings myself. I have found that in such cases physically removing myself from the environment when I feel I can’t take anymore has helped set a limit on these runaway negative emotions.
- Carve out time to rest and reset – Sometimes (especially after the holidays or a big event) we feel like a whirling dervish and have a hard time limiting the amount we do. We keep on going at a break neck speed until something, usually health related, stops us. It is important to acknowledge that sometimes we need to take a break. So setting specified time aside for rest, reset and self care goes a long way to moderating the pace of our lives. What kind of life are we living if we are rushing through it?
- Set work/play limits- Sometimes we can get into a mindset that places our priorities in either work or play. For example, in the past I have been focused on play, meaning vacations. I was already planning the next vacation before the last one ended. Because of this I lost sight of other work that need to be accomplished. This year I have set a quantitative limit to the amount of traveling that our family can do in order to focus more on savings goals and house repairs. This is something I have to constantly remind myself when the urge to plan a Disney trip arises. (The mouse gets me every time.)