Earlier this year, I was inspired when Nicole decided to quit drinking for five weeks for a number of reasons, one of which was to see how that decision affected her ability to get a decent night’s sleep. Then, in August, Jenny and I (and some other fabulous women) did various levels of a cleanse: for some, it was 21 days of no carb, no sugar, no booze. For others (myself), it was seven days of no booze, no carbs, no pork/beef, and easy on the sugar. Conversations with both of these crazy amazing women have stuck with me, and I finally see what Nicole meant when she said,
“You won’t decide to quit drinking, for example, or to change any habit, until there’s a reason for YOU to do it. Not my reason, not someone else’s reason, but yours. Until it’s important to YOU, it won’t matter. It’s that simple. It just won’t change.”
Casual drinking (happy hours, a glass of wine at the end of the day) has just become a part of my routine. When I got sick last month (sinus infection, upper respiratory something-or-other) and it was significantly affecting my quality of sleep, I decided to skip out on any and all booze for a few days so as to sleep with a clear mind/body.
It worked. I slept like a baby, Chris finally slept well (because I was finally sleeping well), and I realized that even a single glass of wine in the evenings can affect my sleep quality, my mental alertness, and how I choose to spend my time.
Cold turkey doesn’t work for me. Neither do arbitrary timelines or goals. Maybe I’m afraid of failure; I don’t know. I just know that’s not how I do things.
I’m not about to take a 21-day or 5-week hiatus, but I have re-evaluated what I want my weeknights (and subsequently a large portion of my waking life) to look like in 2012.
I’ve been saying for a long time that I want to pick up more hobbies: sewing, knitting, pole-dancing classes (I hear it’s a killer workout! Cross-training!), web design classes, etc., and I often lament my “lack of time or money” to do more yoga or to take cooking classes. The truth is, I have the time and the money, but I’ve chosen to spend it elsewhere: on happy hours, cheap wine, and being lazy.
I’m too old to still be drinking cheap wine. Unless it’s good. Then it’s ok that it’s cheap. But I’m too old to not be drinking wine that legitimately tastes good.
So, my Numero Uno personal goal (business goals will be addressed separately) is to replace the bulk of weeknight happy hours and/or other social drinking activities with hobbies, classes, and relationship-building that’s based on learning and shared experiences.
Sure, there will be exceptions to this here and there, but generally I’d like to reallocate my budget of both time and money to activities that are going to keep me healthier, involve learning something (because when I get bored, I get cranky), make me a generally more interesting person, and provide a more opportunities to spend time with other people with shared interests.
I pitched this idea to some girlfriends here in Portland, and I’m stoked that it was met with such enthusiasm. I have running partners, pole class partners, sewing class referrals, and girlfriends interested in a knitting circle.
Here’s to a RICH new year filled with new interests, deeper relationships, and creative experiences.
What’s your #1 goal for 2012?