I'm approaching 2018 a little differently this year. Every month I'm giving myself a new health challenge to do every day. My hope is that at the end of the month, I've created somewhat of a habit, and I have a chance to see if this new behaviour is something that works for me, or doesn't.
I've identified 6 or 7 habits that I would like to focus on for 2018 - everything from diet to sleep, meditation, time management, budget etc. I'll be reporting on each month as they go - the challenges and the rewards.
As with many people, my first health challenge for the month of January was to abstain from alcohol. After December celebrations, this seemed like a good, and relatively easy, place to start. I typically reserve wine for the weekends anyway, so this felt really achievable.
- My sleep has improved, and I wake up on the weekends feeling refreshed, and relaxed (Drinking interferes with your ability to get restorative sleep, and can also lead to rebound anxiety or depression the next day).
- I have made a lot more use of my weekends because I'm up early and ready to go skiing, touring, hiking, you name it! It also leaves me much more rested and recharged for Monday morning.
- My husband and I have had a lot more time to connect with each other.
- We saved money, which is always a bonus!
- A lot of my social engagements involve alcohol, so it has given us a chance to think of new activities to do with friends like rainy day walks, night-time hikes and bonfires and skiing. That being said, we have felt less social, so this is area that is still a work in progress.
- Peer pressure still exists!
All in all, I haven't missed that glass of wine nearly as much as I thought, so this will definitely be something I continue to re-visit throughout 2018.
Next month's challenge: No-Spend February.
I'm allowing myself to buy anything from the grocery store, but no take-away coffees, no clothes, jewelry, skin care or house accessories. This seems like an easy one now, but I'm sure it will become challenging as the month goes on. I'm looking forward to having it change the way I approach spending and the instant gratification that it brings.