I stole this concept, but I really like it!
I actually like every concept from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend.
But the rule of “avoiding the second mistake” or “don’t fuck up twice,” is a great one, and is something that I have implemented into my own life, and have been focussing on with some of my nutrition clients as well. Specifically those clients who find themselves constantly deviating from their goals and saying fuck it. This concept doesn’t just apply to diet obviously, but for the sake of this article, I think it’s relatable.
There are two types of people: abstainers and moderators. I’ve written about this in the past, but essentially, an abstainer is someone who has trouble stopping something once they’ve started, and do better with hard and fast rules–they aren’t tempted by things that are deemed off limits.
Moderators are those who find occasional indulgences heighten pleasure and strengthens their resolve, the idea of rules and limits makes things worse and can cause stress or panic.
I believe that a lot of the dogma surrounding diet culture has been created by abstainers who need to set boundaries and rules around what camp they fall into, and what they can and cannot eat.
Note: I’ve tried to pretend I am a moderator for a long time now, but I’m going to be real with myself here, and the internet….I’m not. My self control is so terrible that I can’t even have baking supplies in the house. If there was an untouched eclair on top of the trash, you better believe I would pull a George Costanza. It’s not pretty folks, I’m a god damn savage when it comes to tasty treats. I can hammer back a full tub of peanut butter in a week without proper supervision.
HOWEVER, despite being an abstainer, I am very good about not letting one mis-step sabotage my progress, and that’s because I follow the “don’t fuck up twice” rule!
“According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, missing any single day of a particular habit has no impact on your long-term ability to stick to the habit. It doesn’t matter when it occurs, making a mistake and slipping up does not alter the long-term outcome… if you find a way to get back on track.”
The world’s most successful people make mistakes all the time, but what we know very clearly is that, what separates elite performers from the average joe is CONSISTENCY.
Are you sick of me talking about consistency yet? Well, get used to it because I can’t stop won’t stop.
When we fail to see progress, one of the most common denominators is consistency. That’s where the rule comes into play, and for abstainers, we know that rules are QUEEN.
Think of it like this…one mistake is an outlier, but two mistakes is the beginning of a pattern. If we can be intentional about not fucking up twice, that means we will automatically be successful 50% of the time!!! Even if we are constantly making mistakes, as long as we aren’t making two in a row, we’ve increased our consistency to 50%, and that’s pretty rad!
A few hot tips to avoid a fuck up dub
Process vs outcome –
Try to enjoy the process vs focusing too much on a specific outcome.
If your goal is to back squat 200lbs you wouldn’t just come into the gym, try to squat 200lbs, fail, and then try again the next day would you? That would be absurd.
If your goal is to squat 200# you make a plan, take baby steps, and make incremental gains. You focus on each day, and if you miss a day, you don’t say…well I didn’t reach my goal I’m never squatting again, you just get back at it the next day. Take this approach with everything, focus on the minutia and not the end result. Don’t quit boo, you got dis.
Master the basics –
It’s really common for people to make giant goals like, I’m going to workout five days a week for 60 minutes a day, cut out all the worlds sugar, sleep 8 hours a night, and meditate daily.
Dude chill….that’s not necessary.
90% of your results will hinge on you simply sticking to the basics: move every single day, eat real food, drink water, and be mindful. Master the fundamentals now, you can optimize the details later.
Some is better than none –
Once again, SOME is better than NONE, remember that.
It’s so easy to get hung up on doing things the optimal way which could end up preventing you from doing them at all. As a society we are often paralyzed by perfectionism, but in reality just making incremental gains is incredibly important.
Ripped hands? Squat! Sore legs? Bench press! Stuck at work all day and can’t hit the gym? Go for a walk on your lunch break!
Didn’t have time to meal prep? Stop by a grocery store and grab a rotisserie chicken and bagged salad, BOOM. If all that was available to me was a 711, I could still stay on track and be successful, so I just can’t handle excuses.
But how you say???? Forget perfection and just do better.
Every convenience store sells jerky, fresh fruit, protein bars, epic bars, nuts/seeds, hard boiled eggs, cans of tuna, minute rice or packets of oatmeal. It’s just that simple. You don’t have to be PERFECT, you just have to do something.
Apply this rule to your life today you’ve just become better, you’re welcome.
DON’T FUCK UP TWICE!