This interesting anecdote by a UK Based Doc changed my perception of resolutions.
Here is how I have been able to stick to some of mine this year.
Before I get started, here’s the post.
Now to give you some background. I am a heavy smoker and a beer beast of sorts.
Not of sorts, I am a beer beast, it is the only alcohol I drink and I love a good pint or pints at the end of the day.
Obviously, that has its own consequences and I am not getting any younger, and for years, I have been resolving that I am going to improve these habits of mine. Get Fitter, Get Healthier.
Every year, the resolution was the same.
This was the scene. It is 31st December, I am drunk as Fuck and I resolve, no alcohol from tomorrow and no smoking from tomorrow.
By the 5th of Jan, I would be in the same state.
This actually started affecting me mentally, I started thinking of myself as a weakling with no willpower, who has surrendered to his habits and has been taken over.
For a guy like me, it is hard to accept, and what that lead to is years of hating myself. I’d be ok at night and wake up the next morning feeling like an asshole. Bad way to start the day.
Mind you, these habits that I still have, are the cause of my being overweight, even after working out regularly for years.
I reached a point where I didn't make any resolutions to change myself.
Anyway, to come back to what this post by Dr.Chatterjee did for me, read it yourself and comment what it tells you.
For me it immediately spelt out, that these things do not happen overnight, they are a systematic process which is not meant to be hard, it is meant to be effortless.
Weeding it out is the mantra.
I took it seriously this time.
Here are my two resolutions:
On Quitting Alcohol
I will have one less portion of beer each day for 21 days before I try to reduce it further. It’s been 18 days and it’s going well. Yeah, I have had one cheat day on a weekend, but I have also had days where I would wilfully not consume more than my decided quantity. To give you an indication, I on a normal day would consume a 6 pack and have been sticking to having 4 for the past 18 days and feeling a lot better doing it. It feels effortless, and the best part, the best part is I have been waking up a lot fresher (if that makes any sense). I wake up in a good mood, and I can do better at the gym, lift more, and in general have more energy. Reducing beer has also helped reduce the food I eat with it and after. Gone are the snacks and the large portions. I think more than the reduced amount of beer, it is the feeling of being in control that is making me do this. Hard to explain.
On Smoking Lesser
Smoking is also reduced. I have been buying a lesser amount of smokes. Here’s how I hit that mark, every time I get up to go for a smoke, I sit back down and delay by 15 mins.
What that has compounded into is that I have run out of time to smoke that many cigarettes a day. Every time I delay myself for 15 mins it culminates into a time-lapse of sorts and eventually, at the end of the day, I find there are more cigarettes in the box than I normally would find.
Even cutting out one cigarette in the morning makes a world of a difference to my mood, do this enough times and you start thinking you are controlling the habit and not the other way around.
There are some other ones that I am still working on, one of them being more regular at the gym, want to work out at least 5 times a week, but because of work with my agency Ting Tong and a new venture Brandybuck under it, it has been a bit tedious.
But tomorrow is a new day, and because of another addition, journaling, I hope to get into a frame of mind to set that in motion as well.
I realize now that it is a journey, and slow and steady indeed wins the race. I am not out of the woods yet, but here is to discovering how this can work.
What are your new year resolutions? Got anything interesting to share?