Yep, you did read that headline correctly, for the entire month of January absolutely NO chocolate what so ever passed my lips! I think this must be the longest I have gone without chocolate in my entire life. I'm seriously not joking. Chocolate is kind of my thing, haha! Certainly my biggest vice or bad habit and something I truly believe I am entirely addicted to.
So WHY did I put myself through this torturous task I hear you ask?
I love the idea of dry January, I think it's great, a sensible way to reflect on your habits and attempt to control something that can maybe become too much of a bad thing. But I very rarely drink, I don't NOT drink but I only ever do it socially and 'socially' seems to be very few and far between sadly these days.
So I wasn't about to give up alcohol as that would be FAR too easy for me. So I had to give up something that was my version of alcohol, so it had to be chocolate. Yes I am probably addicted to chocolate (or more likely the sugar). I do love the stuff and I probably have some sort of the brown smooth, velvety, creamy goodness every day.
I am very much an 'all or nothing' sort of a person. So cutting down, or limiting myself to a square or two (who actually does that? like HOW is that possible ever!) was never going to happen. So a full on abstinence it would have to be.
I know I can have iron will power when I try... I was vegan for a long time (now I label my dietary requirements as just plain hypocritical these days, but let's save that for another time...) but in that time I was vegan (5 years) I can honestly say I never ever once was even tempted to stray from my strict vegan 'rules'. I did have chocolate of course, but back then the dairy free options were not great, and I couldn't exactly nip to the local shop for it.
I also achieved a similar challenge in December 2015 where I ran every single day, you can read all about that here...
So January seemed like a good time to address some bad habits that I wish to change about myself, and I do think that cutting out or down on chocolate would be beneficial to my health and wellbeing.
So HOW did I get on?
I just keep focused on the day to day, and honestly after a very short time I didn't even think about it much. Man, it was only a month, 30 ish days,' I can surely live without it for that long', I told myself.
Honestly there have only been a couple of times when I have been tempted to blow it, but even then the urge was never quite that strong to want to ruin the entire thing.
I tracked my progress daily on my app Strides, it was great for accountability, swiping on my phone to show I had completed the challenge for the day and see my daily streak go up and up felt good.
What did I learn?
Image: Boho Weddings
I learnt that I can basically! I give myself such a hard time and get bogged down with the little things about my personality and looks etc that bother me. I'm always wanting to change this or that, I think we all do. I set goals and resolutions and make plans one week and sabotage myself just as quickly the next week and get frustrated with this cycle constantly.
But if I try just that extra bit harder, set myself a 'proper' challenge, hold myself accountable to it I CAN do it! I do need to keep this in mind...
I am more and more aware now that I am 100% an abstainer, an 'all or nothing' person, armed with this new self knowledge I need to build this into any future plans. I also need some sort of way to keep myself accountable, so an app, or a check list, something to cross off each day to keep me focused works super well.
I don't love shouting about my little challenges, or any diets or exercise routines or anything like that. ERM, what is THIS blog post all about then Jo! hehe... well, I will re-phrase, I don't love talking about them at the time of doing them.. Once completed I do ALL the
The Month Challenges...
I am obsessed with the idea of habits recently and I love really looking at myself and trying to figure out my own. What motivates me into bad habits, how to motivate myself into good habits etc etc. I find it all so fascinating.
I can be really quite motivated when I try hard enough and addressing a habit like this in the form of a challenge to myself really works for me and keeps me motivated.
A crucial step for me is to not tell anybody about my challenge (Until it's over and then obviously I shout about it as much as possible!). As I said above a challenge motivates me but only when it is with myself. The idea of adding in extra people or competing against people is a massive de-motivator for me, I just want to give up and crawl away. I don't do well in sport or any kind of competitive race for example. So I will keep my challenges to myself (mostly) That way if I do fail nobody has to know and I don't have that awful feeling of dread having to explain myself.
So I plan on doing MORE challenges in 2017... probably not every month though. Challenges will be a mixture of probably dietary or fitness or addressing other habits I would like to change or cultivate. I'm excited...
Achieved any inspiring challenges? Got any ideas of things I should try next?