Monday, February 10, 2020

Why I Gave Up 2 of my favorite things this January… and Why You Shouldn’t

Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve are all within 60 days of each other. For so many, it’s their favorite time of the year, and it’s clear to see why. It feels like every day is packed with outings, traveling, visiting family, great food, better desserts, and a ton of booze. For me, it’s no different. So when my business picked up this fall, I was trying to fit in balancing work, a social life, family obligations, and enjoying this time of the year, I did what so many of us do. I savored every type of instant gratification I could get my hands on. I’d power through a long day at work and rush to some seasonally appropriate party, where I’d gorge myself on heavy fall/winter dishes, washing it down with red wine or tumblers of whiskey. I’d come home both mentally and physically exhausted and would have a drink to relax. After a drink or 2, I would end up polishing off any leftovers. 5am would come early of course, and I’d be off to do it all again. This time, feeling the gluttony of the night before weighing me down, making me even less likely to do my own workouts or focus on my own goals.

Enter New Years Day and the start of “Resolution Season.” I knew I needed to make a change, and I knew for myself, it needed to be radical. Dry January has become more and more popular, but I needed to take it to the next level. I needed to give up Alcohol and Sweets…. Cold turkey.

I know what you’re thinking… I’m crazy! But for me, it worked and was exactly what I needed. Telling clients about my Extra Dry January though, I got a lot of questions concerning whether or not THEY should be following my example and dropping all of their major vices cold turkey for an entire month. That answer is a plain and simple, HELL NO! And here’s why.

Goals are an incredibly specific and personal thing. Whether I’m writing my own or looking at the goals of a client, it’s imperative to consider every aspect of their lives. Here are some things to ask yourself:

What is my starting point?

What is my long term goal?

How long do I want it to take to achieve this?

What am I willing to sacrifice? What am I NOT willing to sacrifice?

How motivated am I?

How can I break this down into achievable steps?

It’s not until we break it down into reasonable short term goals that we can look at what aspects of your life you should change. All short term goals are habit changing, and they should be progressive in nature.

For example, if you’ve eaten an entire cake every day for 5 years, cutting that out cold turkey isn’t going to be very effective. Cutting it out cold turkey for one month is going to be even less effective. For starters, you’ll be miserable, and not very likely to keep with it. Once the month is up, you might feel like you instantly want to splurge and end up right back where you started.

A more manageable goal would be to eat HALF a cake every day, or to cut out cake ONE day a week at first. Then you can gradually continue to decrease your intake.

But why wouldn’t I practice what I preach? How can I say that YOU shouldn’t do it, and when it was my January Goal and worked for me?

For me, this is what helps to motivate me. I respond highly to extremes, and it fit into my long term and yearly goals. Having a month to take a break from the things that usually bring me instant gratification gave me the opportunity to reevaluate my priorities, my time management, and gave me the chance to expand what I felt gratification from.

I’ve also given up these things for short amounts of time before. At first, just cutting it out one or two days a week, then a week or two at a time, and have done lengths up to several months even. But I’ve never cut out TWO of my favorite vices for one month before, so it was time to take the step toward this challenge.

The point is, you need to focus your goals on just that… YOU! And I can help with that.

If you or someone you know is struggling to achieve their health, wellness, fitness, or nutrition goals I can help. What I do is so much more than “personal training”. It is all-encompassing health & wellness specifically focused on YOU! If you’re ready for real change and not afraid to put in work, I am currently taking new in-person clients. You can contact me via the ways listed below.

Be well!

Stephen Cornely
Facebook: Triad Wellness Philly
Instagram: @stephenjcornely
LinkedIn: Stephen Cornely

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