4 Tips on Practicing Moderation in 2020
The start of a new year (and new decade!) is a good time to think about our daily habits—things we’d like to change, but have yet to put into action. A common new years’ resolution has a diet change or exercise regimen attached, but without considering the value of moderation. Many resolutions are not sustainable, and, as a result, go up in flames weeks after launch. A basic online definition of moderation is “avoiding excess or the extreme.” What we do while we are not at work matters, and moderation in our personal lives can positively impact our business lives.
Whether it’s choosing a small instead of the large popcorn at the movie theatre, or saying “no thanks” to work that doesn’t meet your business or personal priorities at the time, opportunity to practice moderation is everywhere.
Diet. It’s safe to say, moderation is everything when it comes to the food and drinks we consume. In a world where we face open boxes of donuts in the office kitchen, and huge portions at restaurants, we are up against a lot. That is, our will power has to be rock solid.
The latest cleanse challenge or hip diet might seem like the way around this, but more times than not, we turn into ticking time bombs. Once the cleanse is over, we go right back to eating what we always eat (and sometimes over eat to make up for lost time). We are social beings—showing up at the pub for a water and salad is hardly fun, but choosing the healthy option 5 out of 7 days a week can take us a long way.
Moderation tip: If you’re eating out today, consider saving half of your meal to take home, or eat it later this afternoon.
Exercise. Everyone knows, when it comes to exercise, consistency is key. Like cleanses and diets, exercise challenges can be fun, but usually only produce short-term gain. If you’ve gone from working out 2-3 days a week to 6 days a week, it can also be a recipe for injury if not supervised by a professional. A challenge is fun, but do it safely. If the gym bores you, change it up! Monday, yoga, Wednesday, gym, Friday kick-boxing, or whatever gets you pumped.
Moderation tip: Commit to that exercise slot in your schedule the same way you commit to showing up to work on time. The commitment to yourself is as important as the commitment you make to your boss, partner, or co-workers.
Saying Yes. Stop it. You are burning yourself out, not leaving enough time or energy for personal growth, relationships, business growth, or whatever is important to you. As President and CEO of Lead from Within, Lolly Daskal says, “You can be a good person and still say no.” It’s been said a hundred times before—define your priorities, vocalize your goals, put them somewhere visible, and you will know what to say yes to, and what to delegate.
It also helps to have something prepared, like a script, so you feel confident you can turn away work without offending or burning bridges when you’re asked. Your instinct can actually be a strong indicator of whether or not a project is aligned with your business goals. Hang on to that initial feeling when you were asked to participate; if there was a sense of excitement from the beginning, it’s probably work you won’t regret taking on.
Moderation Tip : Above all else, give yourself permission to respect your own personal boundaries.
Spending. According to Stats Canada, in 2017, “Canadian households in the lowest income brackets spent an average of $33, 764 on goods and services, compared with $105,493 for those in the top 20% of household incomes,”—a good indication that we tend to live up to the lifestyle we make for ourselves. In other words, we spend what we earn.
But imagine, this year, you stay put and decide against a bigger mortgage, buy an older vehicle, take one less shopping spree, try a staycation. There might be a natural cleansing to be experienced in having less “stuff” and more in the bank account. We are a consumer culture, but if you step back for a moment the next time you are about to make a purchase and ask, do I really need this? Or better yet, will this make me happy for longer than a day, what will your honest answer be? If you don’t make the purchase, what will you have left at the end of 2020? It might be worth the experiment.
Moderation Tip : If you were to make a personal budget, what would it look like?
Whether you are moderating your single-use plastic consumption, trading in the car for public transportation, cutting back on screen time, or choosing the single-patty burger instead of the double, we all know, but sometimes fail to acknowledge less, more times than not, is more.