living better with less… all or nothing

Being a realist, I’ve never understood the idea of ‘all or nothing’. The thought that if you can’t do something all the way or completely perfect (whatever happens to be your definition of perfect) that you wouldn’t do anything at all seems a bit extreme and rather ridiculous. Now of course there may be exceptions to this rule (there always are), but here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

  • living a more environmentally conscious life; instead of thinking you can’t or won’t completely change your lifestyle try just changing your lightbulbs to CFL, buy more locally grown food, switch to reusable bags, or whatever you know you can do and feel good about.
  • dieting; you couldn’t resist a home made brownie at a party. This doesn’t mean you have to throw your diet out the window. Just say oh well, enjoy the brownie and get right back to it.
  • home organizing/design; you know your home will never look like a page out of Real Simple magazine, but why not tackle one closet or one area of the home like your kitchen? Just having that one thing makes most people feel so much better…

3 responses

  1. I think that's one of the big reasons people don't do whatever it is they're trying to do. "I can't do it perfectly" followed by "I'm afraid to do it because I'm going to do it wrong." Sometimes I think we should try to do things wrong just to get it over with. :-)

  2. My husband is very much of the "all or nothing" frame of mind. It can be very difficult to understand sometimes.

  3. I fall prey to this mentality in a few areas of my life, and it's crippling. I really have to stop thinking in absolutes, and realize that a little of this and a little of that can be far more gratifying than delaying my pleasure — or denying it.