January is the time for resolutions and a new decade even more so.
There’s something about resolutions that sounds challenging and completely un-fun. I’ve noticed I’m pretty resistant to change, if I try and to do too many things at once. Giving up smoking took several attempts over a number of years before it finally worked. I often wonder if I’d have quit sooner if I’d known smokers are more likely to get bladder cancer. I’d tried reducing the number of cigarettes per day, but I never stuck to it. I’d tried acupuncture but the magic wore off relatively quickly. All the attempts were just playing with the idea until I could finally convince myself that I’m happiest being a non- smoker. I finally decided I just didn’t want to be addicted anymore. I quit being a smoker and quit thinking like a smoker. That was about fifteen years ago, and it happened to be January.
An intention sounds more flexible and easier to keep than a resolution. An intention is more forgiving if things aren’t absolutely perfect. For the last few years we’ve set the intention of doing #dryjanuary and we’ve done it. The first year we wondered if we could last all month without drinking and thought our livers would probably thank us for it. We did it and it actually wasn’t as hard as we’d imagined. It wasn’t as miserable not having some wine on a Friday night and wasn’t as daunting just having a soft drink at a party.
The best things are:
- it’s only a month – it’s not forever (in Belgium they chose February as it’s shorter)
- it isn’t the end of the world if you break it – you can just continue
- it rests habits and mindsets
- it detoxes the system
Whatever you call it I wish you courage to make changes that are important to you.