Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is it so easy to start a bad habit and more difficult to stop one?” You are not alone, and actually, you shouldn’t be alone. Evidence shows that having a buddy to engage with and hold you accountable for health, nutrition and fitness habits and goals is helpful.
Over the holidays I had been contemplating that my one glass of wine almost every night was easily turning into two. One, while I was cooking dinner, and two when my children started driving me crazy (in a good way of course!); God love them. Because I am a rule follower, most of the time, I understand the moderate alcohol consumption rules according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men. In addition to that rule, it is not recommended to begin drinking if you do not already for the potential health benefits. On the other side of that coin is the potential increased risk of breast cancer among other less than appealing potential things.
At a Christmas dinner party in December 2012, my friend, Jennifer, said she felt she was drinking way too much wine over the holidays and that in January she was going to dry out. I was thinking the same thing. However, I was already half way through January keeping my same habits until I spoke with another friend, Leah, that was “on the wagon” with Jen for the month of January. KABAM!!! The buddy system! That was exactly what I needed to hear!
My two friends decided together that they were not going to drink at all for the month of January and they hadn’t! I told Leah I wanted in on their game, which of course for me was way easier since there were only two weeks left in January. Less suffering! Yea!
In conversation, Leah said she would resume after January, drinking only on Fridays and Saturdays and her major boundary was to have one glass only. She noticed her trigger to pouring herself a glass of wine was when she started cooking dinner at night (Oh my gosh! Me too!), and she replaced that with a glass of water with lemon for the sake of ritual (I chose green tea). She reported that Jen was having equal success with no alcohol in January.
I improvised and made my own rules for my January two weeks of pain. I decided that I would not drink at all Sunday through Thursday and I could have one glass of wine on Friday and one on Saturday. I have had great success. The fact that I had been thinking about reducing my wine intake in combination with having two other friends doing what I wanted to accomplish, pushed me over the edge to achieve. There is something to the buddy system, and these two friends live in another city! I texted Leah everyday, “One day down”, “two days down”...and so on. For me it was the idea that I was not alone and it provided a cheering section.
As I continue my new good habit, I have allowed myself some normalcy and flexibility here. There have been occasions where I am invited to grab a drink after work. My goal was for my new normal to be not drinking during the week.
There are other benefits that come with this healthier habit:
What healthy habit do you want to work on? Consider the buddy system; grab a buddy, make it fun and achievable!
My passion and purpose is helping people reach their full potential and master their wellbeing.
Disclosure: Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before beginning any diet or exercise program and ask whether you are healthy enough to engage in a diet and exercise program. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider concerning your overall health and wellness, including your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or condition, please contact a qualified health care professional immediately. It is your choice to follow the suggestions, opinions and advice given by a Health Inspires wellness coach.