Turning to Yourself: January’s Focus

Hello Readers!  Well, it’s a new year.  Now, the old saying is “It’s a new year, new you.”  But rarely do we ever see “a new us”.  Sure, we may try to portray a better side, but often we revert to old habits within a matter of days, sometimes hours.  That’s a struggle with those pesky resolutions: they never last!  We often revert back to our old ways almost instantly, and it often results in depression.

I know.  I sound cynical and negative, but this struggle between “a new you” and the old ways are why I am not a fan of resolutions.  However, I am a big fan of monthly goals and working toward a better me every day.  So, instead of a New Year Resolution, I like to work on January’s goals and focuses.

For me, January is all about returning to my normal schedule.  Hear me out.  The holidays have finally ended, and I have noticed that they really messed up our usual schedule.  My typical meal plan hasn’t been used in weeks, my house is a disaster between the holiday mess and ignoring my cleaning list for days, my family is all off their routines, and we are all starting this year off a little frazzled.

Right now would be the worst time for me to try and tackle a new habit!  I’m sure I am not alone in that respect.  So, instead of trying to do anything different, I focus on returning to my old routine first.  But, this isn’t all for the worst.

You see, I typically start a new habit in December when it’s busy and I’m strapped for time or peace and quiet.  I figure that starting a new habit when it’s crazy and I have to really focus on sticking to the new habit when I’m at my busiest means that I’m more likely to stick to it when things slow down.  By mid January, the new habit becomes a common part of my schedule.

This past December, for example I started a couple of new habits.  The first should’ve been a normal routine but wasn’t.  I started a water challenge where I set a goal of drinking 96 ounces of water each day.  I know.  This should be an automatic.  I have a difficult time buying bottled water.  And I gag every time I drink straight tap water, especially with the lingering odor of chlorine in it.  So, I typically use a water filter.  My favorite is the Zero Water Filtration system, but I was out of filters for quite some time, and then I kept forgetting to get them until I finally stopped drinking so much water.

However, in early December, in preparation of my first juice fast, I purchased my replacement filters.  While the juice fast didn’t take, the water intake did.  I had set a goal of just 64 ounces per day, but within a week I was drinking at least 96 ounces.  And I felt much better when I drank that much water in a day.  Since then, I’ve stuck to my hydration challenge.  I also have not had much soda since then.  In fact, after a week of no soda, I had one.  And the next day I felt puffy and bloated, and I felt severely dehydrated.  Since then, I’ve avoided soda and have chosen water in restaurants.  I do still drink coffee every day, but I limit myself to two cups before switching to water.  Once my daily challenge is complete, I can drink whatever I want.  Sometimes I’ll drink another cup of coffee or a cup of tea, but often I’ll stick to water for the rest of the day.

Anyway, this challenge lasted me through the crazy month of December, which makes it much easier to stick to after the holidays.  As for the juice fast, I know I had promised to try it in January.  Well, I tried it mid December.  And it didn’t work.  I suffered from severe headaches every day all day.  I was extremely queasy and dry heaving toward the end of the second day.  I couldn’t stay awake and kept falling asleep, which is not good with a toddler in the house.  I gave up after two days.

But, we did develop a new habit from this.  I actually like juicing, and I find the juices really tasty.  As a bonus, our son Sean loves the juices I make.  Sean often turns away from veggies.  But, the juices I make are typically 70 percent vegetable and 30 or less percent fruit.  Even though they are sweet, most of them contain more vegetables.  And it’s a great way to get more veggies in his diet without his turning it away.  Our favorite juice is called the Citrus Winter Warmer and contains oranges, grapefruit, beets, and sweet potatoes.  It’s perfect for our little one to get some more nutrients in his diet.  As a side effect, I have developed a higher craving for produce.  I love eating healthy already, but I’ve started opting for more healthy meals and dishes.  And I’ve decreased my carb intake.

So, basically right now I’m focusing on my old routine and on getting back on track.  I’m also focusing on keeping my water intake up and my carb intake down.  And for this month, these tasks are great starters for the year.  Next month, however, we get started on more goals to achieve.

Until next time,

-BBM

P.S.> As a reminder, the “Self Awareness” category will also include the previous “Health and Wellness” posts.  I will no longer dedicate a separate day for health and wellness topics.  Instead, they will be incorporated into my posts on the self.

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