Last night I went to a TED talk with my friends, Ian and Ryan. Ian is someone I have known for years but don’t see very often. Ryan is the co-worker I mentioned in my last post who I am doing the 30 day Vegan challenge with.
At the TED talk Ryan and I got to discussing our 30 day challenge. We both agreed that our Vegan diets were boring and that this was proving to be much more difficult than anticipated. We mutually agreed that we had done a good job and could end the challenge early. We shook hands and went over to the food table and grabbed some of the free sandwiches.
Two minutes later my friend Ian arrived. He is a reader of this blog (Hi dude!) and he knew about the challenge. He looked at my plate and jokingly threatened to take a photo and post it on the last post. I made some excuses and we both laughed it off.
None of us mentioned it after that.
Fortunately my consciousness wouldn’t let me off the hook. I was reminded of my failure several times today. Why was I letting myself quit? Why had I reasoned myself into justifying my harmful cravings? Why the sudden weakness?
I had let myself down. I had became the force that was powerful enough to stop me.
Clearly this is not a seed I can let grow. I need to fix this before it becomes a bigger problem. So what is my next action?
The answer is simple. I am going to do what I know is right. In the middle of writing this post, I stood up and walked a half mile to the nearest ATM. I put in my card and took out $500.00. To me, this is a lot of a money. It is of high enough value that if I lose it, it will tangibly affect my life in a negative way. Sunday when I see Ryan (the same co-worker I started the challenge with) I am going to give him very simple instructions.
1. Don’t give me this money back unless I finish the rest of the Vegan challenge we agreed to.
2. If I fail to follow the rules for the remainder of the challenge, the money is yours.
In doing this I put the power of peer pressure, economics and shame to work for me.
It is a simple act but something that I believe will make all of the difference in my success. This is not simply a challenge of diet, it is a challenge of building and maintaining self trust. For that reason, my success is paramount.
Update: This trick worked :-) I completed the challenge and got my money back.