There are few hard and fast rules in life. Very few things are true without exception. Most things aren’t black and white.

This blog post is included. This is not a hard and fast rule. It’s not always true, but it’s OFTEN true.

Everyone on the same page about that? With that up front disclaimer, here’s what is true most of the time:

If you are negotiating with yourself, you shouldn’t do what you’re negotiating for.

The initiation of negotiation is your red light.

For example, maybe you tell yourself, “Well, if I have this cookie, I’ll eat super clean tomorrow” or “I worked out really hard this morning so this cupcake is kind of cancelled out…”

That’s negotiation. It’s bargaining. And it’s a red flag.

It’s a process of seeking permission, from yourself, for something that you know you shouldn’t do and will likely wish you hadn’t done.

I’ll give you a much more subtle example from my own life. Yesterday was Thursday. In the afternoon, I drove down to Cape Cod, about a 2 hour drive in traffic, had dinner with some friends and spent the night there.

I have to be back there tonight. Friday night, but before agreeing to go down on Thursday, I promised myself I’d come back on Friday morning for my normal workout and my chiropractor appointment.

That means 2 hrs in the car Thursday afternoon, 90 minutes Friday morning and probably 2+ hours Friday afternoon. (Traffic going to the Cape during the summer can be a real bitch.)

Thursday night at 11pm rolls around and I’m hanging out with my friends thinking, “I could totally just stay down here. Skip the traffic. Cancel my chiropractor appointment and workout at a gym here.”

All logical points. But, for me, the initiation of negotiation in and of itself is a flag.

I had already made a decision. I’m sticking with it.

I got up at 4:30am, hit the road, got to the gym, did my work and saw my chiropractor.

While that’s a more subtle example than the cookies, the point is the same.

We make an initial commitment to workout, to eat a certain way or to be in bed by a certain time and then we start to bargain with ourselves to get out of it, delay, defer or cut corners.

The initiation of negotiation is your flag that you’re attempting to justify something you know isn’t aligned with your goals & intentions.

While I could easily have justified changing my plans and staying on the Cape, that’s not the point. It’s not about whether or not I can justify it.

I’m training myself to pay attention to when negotiation begins and cut it off as quickly as possible.

I don’t want to waste time & energy playing mental ping pong. In addition to being exhausting, it undercuts my best intentions and my progress towards my goals.

I was feeling really proud when I got to the gym this morning and it was a super fun partner workout.

“Tag Team”
Teams of 2, AMRAP 20:
12/9 Calorie Bike
12/9 Calorie Row
12 Thrusters (65/45)

*Partners complete full rounds, then switch.

I pushed hard on this one and feel really proud of my effort, especially after a late-for-me night and earlier than normal morning!

On the food front:

Hungry freakin’ hippo. I’ve shared with you guys before that I’m extra hungry days 25-30ish of my cycle and here we are in that window again! But I’m always expecting it & aware of it, so I simply eat more. Brilliant, eh? More veggies. More protein. More rest (when I can).

I was dying for coffee on my drive back from the Cape in the wee hours of the morning but I had to wait until I got home where I chugged a butter coffee from Picnik before my workout.

I had to return a bunch of emails before my chiropractor appointment so it wasn’t until about 1pm that I was able to get in a good meal – a cobb salad from Paleo Power Meals.

Around 4pm I had a salad from Chipotle Mexican Grill (no rice, no beans) – man I love that place. Every time I eat there I think, “I should eat here more often!”

I have no idea what my dinner plans are but I know this ahead of time: whole foods only, no starch, no alcohol. I had a drink last night (actually only had half of it, but still) so I’m keeping it lean & clean tonight!

I can absolutely enjoy my weekends without booze!

PS: If you’re new to these posts, listen to this podcast episode to get the scoop on what changes I’m making in my life and you can start back at my first daily post here.