It’s weird how I can do 9 things right and still focus on the one thing I did wrong. (Surely I’m not the only one who does this, right?) Instead of rejoicing in what I’ve accomplished I beat myself up over things left undone. This is not good.

Today was one of those days where I found myself honing in on the negatives instead of the positives. For instance, we had a health fair at work and I got a glowing report from the nurse (who delightfully drew little smiley faces next to my blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and body fat scores). Yay me! But instead of basking in the glow of proof of my healthy lifestyle choices paying off, I chastised myself later for eating a chocolate brownie with my lunch. A chocolate brownie that was really, really good, by the way, but also really, really high in calories.

Earlier in the week I mentioned to someone how I was feeling guilty for overindulging in something (I don’t even remember what–Easter candy, maybe?). They helpfully pointed out that what mattered was that I was making healthy choices overall and to not let some occasional lapses get me down. I needed to hear that. I needed to be reminded that striving for perfection in my eating habits, exercise habits, spending habits, or really ANY area is fruitless, because I never have been and never will be perfect. I needed that nudge to give myself a little more grace from time to time and choose to focus on the positive steps I’m taking.

Here are a few examples of how I can turn some negative thinking into a few “Attagirls” that I need to hear:

• Instead of being discouraged that my run times this week were higher compared to last week, I should celebrate the fact that I got up and ran, period.

• Instead of getting down on myself for going over my calorie goal for the day (thanks in large part to that stinkin’ brownie), I should be proud of myself for keeping a food journal in the first place and for including the not-so-healthy foods in it.

• Instead of wishing I’d accomplished more on my ever-growing to-do list at work today, I should be glad that I got a few projects done and made progress on some others.

How about you? Do you need to give yourself some “Attagirls” (or “Attaboys”) today? Feel free to brag on yourself here!