I hear you ask
A month without WHAT?
I thought the same when the idea came to me.
I’ve been asked
The truth is I’m not ENTIRELY sure, but here is the general gist of the thinking
With a dad with younger onset dementia brought on not entirely, but encouraged by beer I have every reason to avoid alcohol forever.
But that’s not why.
There’s no doubt my hips and belly are a little more curvy after a Christmas of indulging in wine and all of it’s accompanying trimmings (cheese platter, mmm)
But that’s not why either.
I’ve wanted to give up wine for these reasons numerous times but it never happens. I tried it January 1 (yes, a short 4 weeks ago) and it lasted for 2 days.
I realised I was never, ever going to give up drinking wine for any period of time for these reasons.
Because those reasons don’t bother me that much.
You see, in the grand scheme of things wine isn’t really that much of an issue for me (well, there was that time that’s no longer spoken of – thought, even that time still only garnished 3 AFD’s). In fact, I quite love the surprise of a new drop, searching for the best shiraz and rediscovering an old favourite (no, the bottle of passion pop on the picture does not fit that category). I love pouring a glass as I indulge my passion of cooking an evening meal and OK, I enjoy that lovely feeling that I get around the third sip as the stress of the day melts away just a little.
But I realised that I was enjoying my evening glass, OK, two a little too much and I quite frankly I wanted to see just what it’s like to not have it, and in fact if I could do that.
So, how do you create change when there is no major problem, and in fact why would you bother?
Well, I knew from the outset the way NOT to do that would be to focus on the negatives. Should I focus on getting even more curvy, or damaging my brain or any other negative, I may as well stay down the hole where the habitual behaviour lives, pour a glass, sit back and enjoy another moment.
Because you see that’s what focus does. And you get what you focus on. If I walk around all day thinking “I won’t drink wine, I can’t drink wine, I ought not drink wine, I will never drink wine again:” what am I going to do?
I think it’s pretty obvious.
This month I decided that I was going to give up wine (for the month) but I also decided that I was going to shift my focus to something else.
I’m focusing on how absolutely wonderful my mind feels to have utter clarity. I’m focusing on how healthy my body feels and I’m focusing on living a healthy life.
And surprisingly four days in I’m feeling great.
Yeah, only four days you may scoff – but let me assure you, if I wasn’t going to make the 28 I certainly wouldn’t be writing here.
You see it’s not only the FOCUS that I’ve been working on.
If you really want to kick a habit, whatever impact that habit might be having on your life here are some other tips to make it happen for you:
Don’t do it alone
This February I have a whole online tribe supporting me along the way. we’re all giving up something for the month and many of the group are communicating about their progress and supporting one another along the way
Make achievable goals
My goal was to avoid wine for 28 days. It was not a ‘never drinking again’ goal yet it’s long enough to change a habit (apparently 21 days). Perhaps I will go for longer, who knows. My goal is the 28 and that feels very achievable.
Understand how your habit contributes to your life
Perhaps your habit contributes good things to your life as well. There’s a lot I enjoy about wine, I honour that but I choose to abstain.
Understand when the urge is likely to arise
I know I like to have a glass of wine as I cook dinner so I have some backup gym classes in my sights as the month rolls on. Double benefit in getting even healthier
And above all, keep your focus on where you are going, not where you’ve been.