I’ve been listening to a lot of Sid Garza-Hillman’s excellent podcast, which introduced me to the Me-Not-Me game. Basically, it’s a tool to help you figure out what behaviors and habits fit with your values and sense of self, and which ones don’t reflect those values. It’s a way of analyzing your behavior without judgement, and then slowly creating change based on self-knowledge. My examples from this weekend:

Me: spending time on the patio, drinking a smoothie and writing my morning pages.
Not Me: turning off my alarm and going back to bed for almost three more hours.

Both happened, but “Not Me” is not who I want to be but who I think I am at my core.

If I’m not explaining this well, check out Sid’s video.

In writing my morning pages this morning, and thinking about the Me-Not-Me game, I realized that my budget is another version of the same game. It’s my way of checking in with myself and determining what spending reflects my values and goals, and what doesn’t (I’m looking at you Iced Grande Soy Chai Latte). I’m really happy right now ynab813because my spending this month has been aligned with my values and goals. I’ve put money aside for the house fund and my retirement, and I already have September’s rent socked away. Sometimes, I’m not as happy, usually when I haven’t been able to put aside money for my goals, but have somehow managed to spend several hundred dollars on restaurant meals and other fun stuff. I’m sure it will happen again (I’m not perfect), and I hope that I’ll feel a little unhappy or annoyed with myself and get back on track.

Actually, being so pleased with myself for how well I’ve done so far this month makes me a little nervous. There have been times where being self-satisfied has led me to reward my good behavior, and get off track. I’m trying to be really conscious of temptations or stumbling blocks, and planning ahead for how I’ll deal with them. For instance, this Thursday I’m going to a volunteer meeting that is taking place at a restaurant. It would be rude for me to go and not order anything, plus if everyone did it, the restaurant might not let us have our big meeting there anymore, so I’m thinking about how I’ll handle it and how much I’m willing to spend (plan: probably a small salad or a hummus/pita option).

I am me when my actions align with my values– the acts of spending, thinking, and treating others maybe most of all. I am most me when I am open, loving, kind and honest–to myself and others. Do I live up to that most of the time? Mmm, I’m working on it.

What about you? What is you-not-you?

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