19 for 2019: week 13 update
Week of 25 March
On Sunday I completed the month without alcohol challenge (thing 13). I went for a whole month without a drink. Yay me!
I’ve written a lot about doing this over the month and I’m not going to go over it all again other than to say I feel a whole lot more energetic, I get tired earlier and go to bed earlier, which was my goal for the month. I also lost somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 kilos, depending on which day I weighed myself.
I was listening to the Happier podcast over the weekend, where Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft were discussing, conveniently, giving up something for 30 days. Liz mentioned that she had given up alcohol for 30 days. She said that she felt she was drinking a lot of wine mindlessly so she decided to eliminate it, and that if she decided to bring it back in, she would be more mindful and less habitual about it. She considered it a good way to break the habit and see how she felt without it.
Something Gretchen observed was that people give up something for a period (like 30 days) as a way to get into a new habit of not having that thing and that the 30-day “without” period helps them to rethink their patterns associated with the old habit. But she also found that sometimes people give up something and think they have created a habit whereas, in reality, they have just achieved a goal, that is, the month. And that if they want to keep going it’s harder, because having reached the goal they have to start again, which she suggests can be harder than the initial abstinence. To avert this, Gretchen says you need to think of the month as a milestone in a bigger change that you’re making, not as an end goal.
In the chapter on rewards in her book Better than Before, Gretchen discusses this topic and she observes that “the real test of a 30-day blast is what happens on day 31”. She recommends that if you do this type of thing with a view to kickstarting a new habit, you should decide in advance what you’re going to do to keep the habit going after you’ve reached the milestone.
Last time I gave up alcohol I hadn’t thought about this at all and day 31 was Friday and there may have been a very large can of a product I very much enjoy consuming waiting for me . . . and it ended at 30 days.
This time, day 31 was actually day 32 and it was Monday and I’d already decided that I’m going to reinstate the habit I’d been trying to bring in for many months of not drinking on a school night. Like Liz, I want to be more mindful about drinking and make a deliberate choice about when I am going to do it, and how much I will drink, not just sit down at night and fall into that deadly trap of drinking and Youtube.
I have some more to write on this over coming days but right now I know the first danger time will be the day I decide to have my first drink.
This week’s numbers:
Day 25 (Monday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,2447 | Bedtime: 9.55
Day 26 (Tuesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 16,292 | Bedtime: 9.55
Day 27 (Wednesday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 17,474 | Bedtime: 9.30
Day 28 (Thursday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 22,208 | Bedtime: 10.00
Day 29 (Friday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 18,485 | Bedtime: 10.00
Day 30 (Saturday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 15,707 | Bedtime: 10.00
Day 31 (Sunday): Alcohol: 0 | Steps: 20,645 | Bedtime: 10.00
With that step count, I finished the Cancer Council’s March Charge fundraiser with a grand total of 373 km for the month (73 km over my target distance) and I raised $420.62. And I achieved my goal of going to bed before 10.30 every night. Now there’s one I really have to keep an eye on maintaining!
I didn’t make a lot of progress on other things, but here’s what I did in week 13.
Thing 6: Wellbeing: I made a cabbage salad to have for lunch (actually that was last week). It was really good. Will do again. I added quinoa to it this week.
Thing 12: 33 Beers: Complete. I finished Book 10 and added in the beers I have tried in book 11 for a total of 345 beers. The idea is if I’m out somewhere and want to know if I’ve tried a beer before I can look it up on my fancy Google spreadsheet and find out.
Thing 19: Lightroom: Still using it.
Status for week 13
- Things completed this week: 2 (12, 13)
- Things completed: 8 (3, 5, 7, 8. 9, 12, 13, 15)
- Things I progressed: 2 (6, 19)
- Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (1, 2, 11, 16, 18)
- Things not started: 4 (4, 10, 14, 17)