It’s the last week of the Practice Project! Boy, that went by way faster than I had anticipated. What were the results of my experiment? My skin is clear and glowing, and I’m really impressed at how automatic my healthier choices have become. I know it’s because I kept practicing until my brain accepted my new choices as my new normal.

For example, I went to my friend’s Open House on Friday night where she was serving a lovely cheese platter with crackers and a huge plate of assorted cookies. Though it all looked amazing and inviting, I experienced no incessant mind-chatter, nor internal bargaining about the party food. I genuinely didn’t want any of it. It didn’t bother me that I was the only one in the kitchen not eating or drinking wine. I easily chatted away with the other guests as we all celebrated our friend’s awesome listing.

Another example is that I used to order a regular milk latte, and now I’ve trained my brain to automatically order an almond milk latte. There’s no thinking about it; I just do it. Before the Practice Project I would have had the conversation in my head that goes like this, “Go ahead and order the regular milk latte just this once. Once won’t hurt.”

In the grand scheme of things, one of any kind of treat doesn’t hurt.

But how many times do we say this to ourselves and then consume the thing we intended to avoid time after time? It goes from “just this once” to “virtually every time.” By doing this, you are training your brain to go back to the very habit you were trying to change.

Even stopping saying “just this once” is a practice in itself.

Yesterday I walked into Starbucks and ordered an almond milk latte. The barista said, “I’m sorry, we don’t have almond milk. We can do soy or coconut milk.” I didn’t want either of those options, so I said, “Okay. I’ll just skip it, thanks,” and left without a latte.

In the past, this is when I would have said “just this once” to regular milk, thus stepping foot on that slippery slope many of us are all too familiar with. Choosing to skip the latte yesterday was easy for me because I’ve decided that saying “just this once” is no longer an option.

Imagine if you adopted this practice.

Imagine the results you’d have if saying “just this once” was no longer an option and you followed though with your original intention – time after time.

You can apply this practice to anything, really: Spending money on items you don’t need; skipping workouts; even sleeping with someone you know is not good for you.

Consider removing “just this once” from your vocabulary if this thought takes you away from who you want to be and the life you want to be living.

Here’s one last practice I will leave you with at the end of this Practice Project:

You deserve to have what you want in life. Practice allowing yourself to have it.

Sending you lots of love and encouragement on your journey!

My best always,

Suyin