Just a few days away from 2019, the time of year when conversations turn to New Year’s Resolutions. It seems we’ve been having these conversations for a very, very long time. In fact, the practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians (3500 B.C.), who made promises such as returning borrowed goods or replaying debt, in order to earn the favour of the gods and start the year off on the right foot.
According to research at University College London, How are habits formed: success ranged from 18 to 254 days; indicating considerable variation in how long it takes people to reach their limit of automaticity and highlighting that it can take a very long time.
Whether you are successful in creating a new habit or not, changing your behaviour for a period of time provides you with a glimpse of how a new habit feels and what benefits you may experience.
The Most Common New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 (US)- include to eat healthier, get more exercise and to save more money.
Take a few minutes and reflect on your 2018
With our busy schedules, it can be difficult to sort out our thoughts. But if we don’t reflect on where we’ve been, we won’t know where we’re going. Pull out a journal or a blank piece of paper and reflect on the following:
What were your 5 biggest triumphs of 2018?
What was your smartest decision of 2018?
What one word best sums up your 2018 experience?
What was the greatest lesson you learned?
What was the most loving service you performed in 2018?
What are you most happy about completing in 2018?
What is one piece of unfinished business?
What three people had the most impact in your life in 2018?
What was the biggest risk that you took in 2018?
What was the biggest surprise of 2018?
What was the stupidest thing you did in 2018? (Trust me – this one’s more fun than you realize and GREAT for contrasting).
What important relationships improved the most in 2018?
What compliment would you liked to have received in 2018?
What else do you need to do or say to feel complete with 2018?
Below, I share a motivational piece submitted by,
Sue Borges, a recent participant of Mega Health’s Mental Health First Aid workshop. Sue shares her success in a “21-day No Alcohol Challenge”. Congrats, Sue and thanks for sharing!
Take 21 Days Away From Alcohol to remind yourself what life is like without it. Try a new approach. Feel great, look healthier, perform better, save money and begin the new year with a new personal challenge!
Submitted by: Sue Borges, Certified Mental Health First Aider
Why put off until tomorrow, something that you can start today?
It’s all about the timing, and what we are ready and willing to address in our lives to initiate and sustain change.
Personally, challenges motivate me to change behaviours that I feel are potentially unsavory for my character and integrity. With a new year dawning, and reflecting on my past, present and future, the 21-Day challenge was a perfect way to jumpstart my focus for the new year. I am working towards a healthier me; physically, mentally and spiritually.
In embarking on the 21- Day Challenge, I noticed that once I made the choice to not drink alcohol for 21 days, it was easy. It’s not hard to do something that you want to do.
Being goal oriented and enjoying collaboration, I announced to my family my intentions and I asked for their support. I also set up the family calendar, with my “smart goal” in mind to help keep me visually on track and for my family to encourage me in my daily progress.
Like the New Year’s Eve countdown, counting out 21 days, in reverse, I marked the last day of the challenge with a free style fireworks pictogram, making my intentions clear to everyone. I intended in “winning” the challenge and celebrating on day 1.
So, I started, day 21, day 20, day 19 of the challenge went by not drinking alcohol and marking off the days on my calendar.
The next few days went by without a hitch. I did not have the desire to drink alcohol at all. Then I realized, I can do this, it is not a thing.
Why did I think that this was going to be difficult? In hindsight, needing to keep daily track of myself with a countdown calendar seemed like I was not trusting myself. The calendar was not necessary. I was committed.
What was the result of participating in the 21-day Challenge?
- I reduced my alcohol intake by 90%, without reaching day 1 of the Challenge.
- I wanted it, I did it and I am doing it.
Ushering out 2018 and jumpstarting 2019 with a healthier approach to living sounds like who I am.