Who said thirty days was a long run?
A few weeks ago I shared with you, my 30 day challenge. My goal was to stop drinking wine or any other alcohol for 30 days. The idea was to cut previous bad habits down to zero and be rewarded for the daily workouts I do. Well, today it has been exactly 30 days that I haven’t tasted a refreshing glass of white wine or enjoy a bold red with rack of lamb!
30 days, that’s all you need
Why 30 days? Because 30 days doesn’t seem like a lot, it seems achievable for just about anything you want to improve in your life. Because I believe 30 days is within reach for pretty much anything! At the same time, 30 days is also more than enough to break old habits or to create new (good) ones. I read you need about 21 days to create a new habit, so I’m playing it safe with 30 days. It gives you enough time for your body and mind to understand that you are not going back, that you are making a real step forward.
I’ll be Honest, I was afraid
To be truly honest, I wasn’t sure I could do it. The very proof is that I wrote about my challenge only halfway there. I was afraid I’d chicken out. I never thought I was addicted to alcohol, but I have a history of alcoholism throughout my family on my father’s side. So on one hand, I never let wine affect my life. And on the other hand, spending a weekend without having a glass of wine wasn’t a possibility either. While I draw a very bold line between having a drinking habit and drinking each weekend, I was wondering if this isn’t just the first step towards “light” alcoholism. You know… just an insidious way to open a door that should never be opened?
Well I’m glad that I didn’t have any mood swings or that I never truly wanted to open a bottle or just take a sip in my wife’s glass. I was very happy to realize that my will power controls my mind perfectly! I feel much better now :-). It actually wasn’t that bad. I didn’t feel the urge to drink a glass of wine while I had many… many occasions to drink socially.
Temptations are not that bad, but excuses… there are many!
What I found very interesting during this 30 day period is that there were many excuses to skip such a “stupid and senseless” challenge. After all, I wasn’t put to it by anybody to hold on to the challenge. Nobody did it with me either. It wasn’t even part of something bigger; an event or program. Hell… I decided to stop drinking on March 4th… a regular Friday without absolutely no reason. I just woke up that day and decided to see how far can I go with this! It was more to challenge myself to see how strong my will could be… or not!
Therefore, finding an excuse to stop or just to cheat once or twice during this month would not have been the end of the world. After all, if I had *only* a glass of wine over 30 days, that would have been a great improvement nonetheless. In fact, I had many excuses offered on a silver platter. During the past 30 days I had:
4 business lunches where everybody drinks… but not me!
2 happy hours… have you tried a Perrier during those?
A Casual lunch at my sister-in-law’s house with another bottle opened with a great meal while I preferred apple juice
Easter weekend (hum… water with fish on Easter night at my mom’s house!)
That would have been very easy to quit my challenge and just say “hey! It’s only one drink for the month, it’s pretty good already”. But that’s the tricky part: whatever you want to achieve, excuses will be plenty and very easy to choose from. The tough part is not to pick any of them.
I’m sure you tried to implement good habits in your life at least once. It could have been going to the gym, running, eating healthy, going to sleep sooner, etc. If you allowed yourself to cheat, you will not be able to achieve your goal and successfully change your habits.
Nope… I’m not opening a bottle tonight. We are Monday after all! Hahaha! I guess I will just wait until next weekend and I won’t have one on Friday. I’ll have one, and only one bottle with my wife on Saturday. This is more than enough!
This challenge was a mental battle to see if I can control my mind and body to make it do what I really want. Now that I know that I can do it for a small challenge, I think I will try something bigger.
This time, I’m trying something a lot more difficult. I’m cutting my sugar consumption to zero for the next 30 days. I actually started this challenge right after Easter on March 28th with the house full of chocolates! Yikes! If I was a little bit scared by my first 30 day challenge, I’m terrified as I’m writing this line. In fact, my wife doesn’t even know yet… I can barely stand 3-4 days without having some kind of dessert… and this is probably what is really keeping me away from having a healthy body! In the next 30 days, I will not eat dessert in any form. I’ll see how this one goes! But it wouldn’t be a challenge if this wasn’t difficult, right?