Lead By Example: Just This Once

 HAS ANYONE ever used the phrase 'just this once'? For instance ... just this once I'll sneak an extra piece of cheesecake even though I shouldn't. Just this once I'll skip my MK weekly meeting because I'm just too busy. Just this once, I'll leave my purse in the car, I'll only be gone a moment.

Often the phrase is used when we choose to compromise something ... a promise, a value, a principle, or an attitude. And often when we do that, we end up regretting it. The extra piece of cheesecake keeps our weight and cholesterol level up. Skipping our weekly motivational meeting leaves us feeling guilty and the help we could have received is lost. Leaving our purse in the car just this once opened the door for someone to break in and steal it. It's not worth it, is it?  Now we feel guilty or weighed down.

I like to use that phrase in a more positive way. For instance, what if we're trying to cut down on coffee and we say, "Just this once I think I'll skip that next cup." Or if we want to cut down on our sugar intake, just this once I won't have that extra cookie. Just this once, I won't respond unkindly when someone shoves her way in front of me in the grocery line.

'Just this once' doesn't commit us to a new pattern or habit for life, so we don't have to feel overwhelmed by it. We're not immediately committed to it for life. Rather, we are empowered to make small changes without feeling defeated before we even begin. And, when we continue to make this choice several times in a row, it won't be long before we're on the path to a new and freeing habit.

A well-known writer once said that each decision we make, however large or small, trivial or important, will either bring us closer to heaven or closer to hell. When you think about it, every time we decide to act, talk and live by the Golden Rule, we choose a habit, a lifestyle that brings us closer to having a little 'heaven on earth'. I'm all for that, aren't you?

I believe it's a great way to lead by example!

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