In the first post of this 10 part series, I laid out 10 common loopholes – or, justifications – we routinely use to brush off healthy habits, which end up sabotaging our goals. We looked at the first loophole; the False Choice Loophole, to recognize the times we inaccurately think a healthy/goal habit is mutually exclusive with another event or action when, in reality, there’s usually a way to fit both priorities into your life. (If you haven’t read part 1, it’s quick and worth your while! Do so here.)

Next up, the Moral Licensing Loophole.

Moral Licensing Loophole

If you’ve never used this loophole, please email me because you must be a unicorn. Moral licensing may sound highly sophisticated, but it can look like this: “I had a healthy breakfast, so I can have fries and a burger for lunch.” or, “I had such a rough day at work, I deserve a glass of wine”, and maybe, “I’ll push myself harder at bootcamp tomorrow morning so it’s fine if I don’t hit my step goal today”.

It’s ridiculous how off base our justifications can be! Having a rough day at work is hard, but it has nothing to do with having a glass of wine. It’s not that you can’t have that glass of wine, or a burger and fries, or an evening on the couch, but that is a separate choice from a rough day, a healthy breakfast, or future workout. The decision to break from your healthy habits is just that, a decision. Your actions don’t need to be justified or balanced by another action.

Ask yourself, will it get you to your goal or sabotage it, rather than trying to justify it Click To Tweet

Think about it; that burger and fries has the same calories and fat content whether you had a doughnut or oatmeal for breakfast. If you want to indulge at a meal, ask yourself if that is going to get you to your goal or sabotage your goal, rather than searching for how you can justify it.

What’s the last thing you invoked moral licensing to justify?

Working with a professional health coach will help you set meaningful and realistic goals, and help you get there by holding you accountable. I would love to talk with you about where you’re struggling and come up with an action plan to finally get the results you want! Click here to see how you can work with me, and here to start the conversation.

Published by Samantha Kellgren

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