The last 4 weeks have been an interesting journey for me. I made the decision that If was to achieve all that I am working for; I needed dedicated focus, minimal distractions and no mindless numbing. I want to create the change, striving for my wildest dreams and working my ass off to make these come to fruition. So I removed the one thing that created my excuse, my escape, my wind down and celebration; alcohol.
"Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t an alcoholic but my relationship with it was veering to insatiable desire..."
......and recognized early, I chose to challenge myself to not just 30 days, nor 60 but 90 days. Really test my determination and steadfastness.
The excuses I’d created over the years for my mid-week wine were no longer valid. I was no longer in crisis mode with family and work stress was manageable. It was time to call bullshit.
Not one to travel alone, my partner in wild adventures, of both Nature and mind, my enduring husband took his role as chief supporter and participant by my side. We strategized our action plan (on our own ego) with rewards along the way as well as punishments. Our penalties are such that if you stuff up, the other one gets punished too. This tactic truly holds each of us accountable, not willing to create the pain for the other.
We are now 4 weeks in and we have endured some incredibly gut wrenching moments when a a nice Shiraz or beer would have eased the pain.
We sat through it. Felt it, every inch of the shit, we sat with it. You know what? We survived.
We celebrated my mother in laws 70th birthday, a BIG deal. We celebrated with soda water and ate an amazing meal, Shannon Carlton zero. Frankly I wouldn’t have bothered but for him he felt like he was celebrating just a little, despite the mockery from brothers and sisters we persisted. My MIL and I share a love of red wine. I would have loved to share one with her this night, we celebrated no less.
Accountability and having someone to cheer you, support you and even work through the challenges with you, in the mud so to speak is what rallies your gumption, desire and drive. Having a clear focus on what you want to achieve and why helps keep you guided along the path.
As with the challenge we have set ourselves. We started discussing 30 days and we excited by the carrots we dangled so fantasied about what we would reward ourselves for 60 days, then 90 days. A conversation that also drew on what challenges or barriers we would face and having pre-empt these, how would we overcome them together?
As a holistic health coach some pragmatic steps I suggest to clients are as below:
Get clear on what you want to achieve.
· What’s your end goal? What does it look like? What is a behaviour you want to change? Define with SMART goals; Specific, Measurable , Attainable, Realistic , Timely (time-frame)
What are some challenges that may arise?
· What will you face that will make it hard for you to achieve your goals? Is it skill set, temptation? Identify what may present as an issue for you.
What are your strengths/ resources?
· What resources do you have to draw on that will enable to you to overcome these challenges? What are your personal strengths and how can you use these in this situation?
What steps do you need to take in order to be successful? When will you do them? Who or what can help you achieve these goals?
We all have the power over our lives. We can re-run the same stories, play victim and define our life by what has happened ‘TO US’ or we can re-frame, re-write our story and thank the experience happening ‘FOR US’.
The basic approach that I come back to is to get explicitly clear on WHAT we want and WHY we want it. HOW we are going to get it, WHO can help us or hinder us & WHEN is this going to happen.
Next move for me as I enter 60 days... quit chocolate! The Cadbury kind... Stay tuned