I was recently asked if I was participating in “Dry January” this month…
You guys know that I have always been a fan of moderation. I like my carrots, but I love my cake. Even when I’ve experimented with diets over the years, I always needed some sort of flexibility for my sanity's sake. The “all or nothing” approach may work for a short period of time, but it ultimately sets us up for failure.
I know I am not the only one seeing “Dry January” references popping up everywhere, and I’m absolutely NOT bashing anyone who wants to take a break from booze to start the new year. I’ve definitely gone through phases where I enjoyed alcohol a bit too much and needed a break. I get it, 100%.
My issue is the same as any “30-day challenge” or strict approach... what happens on Day 31?
It seems that once the challenge is over, all is forgotten and we jump right back into old habits and behaviors. Or, worse, we go completely overboard in the opposite direction because... YOLO. That “all or nothing” mindset never seems to get us anywhere but running in circles.
If you decide you want to join a 30-day challenge, great! But think ahead to Day 31. Ask yourself what you REALLY want to get out of the experience. The point is not to dream about the cheat meal you can have when it’s all over. The point is to make realistic and sustainable changes that add value to your life.
Instead of restricting yourself for a month, think about how you can work toward your long-term goals.
How about… implementing a new habit?
Did it work? Yes? Great! No? Assess and adjust.
What about asking yourself…
Can I eat this way FOREVER? Yes? Great! (You can always assess and adjust how your diet is working for you.) No? Time to try something new!
Once this idea of “forever” stuck with me, I became much less susceptible to quick fixes and started to enjoy the ride.
Long story short, I’m not doing Dry January and plan to enjoy a glass (or two) of wine tonight to celebrate the weekend. I mean, there's also something to be said for the “enjoyment factor” of your choices, right? 😉
Happy weekend, friends!