92% of the population do not achieve their New Year’s resolutions because they are too ambitious.
A resolution does not have to last a year or even a whole month but to succeed should be a defined amount of time that you feel is achievable.
This year I have one goal and it only has to last for one month. It is the same goal I have most years – to have a break from drinking alcohol.
Last year a dear friends birthday meant I had one night of alcohol after 21 days alcohol free, but I enjoyed the evening, didn’t beat myself up about it and just hopped back on schedule the next day until the end of the month.
A small achievable bite sized goal that for 21 days means I have given my liver a lovely rest and if I can extend it to 31 I will feel even more benefits. For me personally another benefit is that I lose weight around my belly which no amount of exercise since my 20´s has been able to shift in the way giving up the grog does, so the benefits are multi-fold.
January is usually the month when most people give up alcohol after the excesses of December and the holiday season.
So once again I join many in giving up alcohol. It has become a habit most evenings in December to have a glass or two and one that I truly enjoy but know is a sugar laden crutch that I must not rely on. For me personally I know the first 3 evenings (usually 6pm on wards) are tough, so I have bought some lovely herb teas that I will drink profusely until by 8pm the whim for wine has passed and I can look in the bathroom mirror as I do my nightly ablutions and feel proud to have got through another alcohol free evening. In case this sounds like the words of an addict, think of it as a bad habit that needs to be monitored and abandoned for a while. As I said earlier after 3 evenings of being off the grog it gets easier and the evenings pass without me even thinking of having a tipple. Most people when giving something up, whether it is caffeine or sugar, tend to find the first 72 hours are the toughest and may suffer side effects such as headaches, mood swings or just feeling generally “out of sorts” .
During this time I will give myself a treat, such as a weekly sauna or Turkish steam bath just to help in the elimination of toxins and to keep me motivated.
Many people try to give up too many things or set too ambitious goals- remember small bite sized chunks are the way to go and if you can document or journal your experience you will no doubt grow in confidence . Some people who use journaling set monthly goals and even have them for each month of the year. They make 12 bite sized changes for each month of the year. For me I just start with January and let the year unfold from there onwards, but find what suits you and document how these small changes can have a big impact on your health and well being. Whether it is giving up gluten or starting an exercise programme, write it down and set easily achievable daily, weekly or monthly goals.
Remember that it does not have to be giving something up either, it can be adding a good habit or a positive approach to your diet, exercise and lifestyle.
In the My Body Journal there is a space beneath the Goals and Activities sections for you to write any thing you have observed and noted during the day. It is this attention to detail that reveals the bigger picture and can give a profound insight into our own unique minds and bodies.
Keep it real. Keep motivated. Keep journaling!