Whether you’re quitting drinking, quitting smoking, no matter what habit change you’re making in your life.
Consistency is going to be the key, either way.
You know in any habit change, you have to be consistent about what you’re doing.
You’ve got to be consistently doing something or consistently not doing something right?
That’s how all habits work.
It’s how all habits are constructed or deconstructed; is in the consistency of either doing something or not doing something.
When you’re quitting drinking it’s sort of difficult to think of it in terms of consistently not doing something.
It’s difficult not to do something, if you know what I mean, to focus on that.
Because of – just the nature of – not doing something.
Do you get what I mean?
You know, not doing something is – what do you focus on?
There’s an old study that deals with trying not to think about something and it basically goes along the lines of – if I say to you don’t think about the pink Elephant, wearing a tutu, doing a ballet dance.
It’s very difficult not to think about that.
So, the way your mind works is that you actually have to think about it, in order to tell your brain what not to think about.
It’s like a vicious circle – it’s a pointless exercise.
Obviously you have to think about it.
So even when you’re going through this, you’ve got to say to your brain – “well am I thinking about this pink Elephant, wearing a tutu and doing a ballet dance, in order to not think about it.”
And you need to keep checking the image against not thinking about the image.
So, it’s sort of a similar situation here.
In order to not think of something, you’ve got to think about it
In order to not do something, you’ve got to think about not doing it.
So you’re much better off focusing your energies on something else.
Which is why they always say that your best defense is a good offense.
So you focus your mind on something that you want to bring into your life, while at the same time getting rid of something.
So you get rid of the alcohol by focusing your mental energies onto bringing in a new habit.
Having said that, it’s important to try and keep your focus down to one thing in the beginning.
Now that one thing might be quitting drinking alcohol.
So this is why I say – focus on not getting rid of something by bringing something in – so you can focus on, all your attention on let’s say nutrition.
On giving your body the fuel that it needs.
And this is an important one at the beginning, because your body is going through all these processes, all the time.
When you’re drinking your body is going to be in reparation mode – all the time – because it is trying to get rid of the alcohol
Your body can only process one unit of alcohol per hour.
So what does it do with the rest everything else that needs to go on.
Has to do a certain amount of that.
Has to go through a certain amount of cleansing and detoxification to keep you alive.
It has to go through the digestive processes, you have to walk and you have to convert the food you’re eating into energy and it has to go through all these other things.
But, I used to drink a lot.
One unit an hour, is basically half a pint.
So if I drank ten pints. that’s twenty hours of dealing with that toxin.
A lot of the times I would drink more than ten pints.
You know it wasn’t drinking ten pints a night, maybe it was six cans of beer every night or maybe a bottle and a half of wine and sometimes I would have the odd night off.
But in general, my body was going through the process of just dealing with this all the time.
The majority of the time anyway.
And while it’s doing that – this is unnatural – your body doesn’t do this.
In the natural world when you eat food there’s a certain amount of alcohol going to be generated as part of the digestive processes.
And one unit of alcohol per hour is more than enough to deal with any meal, to deal with any of the alcohol that’s produced in your colon or your digestive tract in general.
So, there’s – your body is more than capable of doing that and carrying on dealing with the rest of what it needs to deal with.
But when your body is dealing with this amount of toxin.
There’s going to be a short-fall elsewhere.
So there are going to be things that your body can not deal with.
So when you stop drinking, your body is going to be all of a sudden.
It won’t be – there’s no more toxin going in – so all of a sudden your body is going to be like…
Is there any more going in; is this going to continue; seen this before.
So it puts a little bit maybe on the back heel and doesn’t commit everything to recovery in the beginning.
But I think in general, once your body does stop, once your body gets through.
Once it knows that there’s not going to be any more toxins coming into your body.
I think your body is going to go into immediate recovery mode, in the sense of its going to start dealing with the toxins that’s already in there, getting rid of those.
Then start to go into reparation mode, so dealing with repairing what it needs to repair before it can go back into normal mode.
Your normal mode is what you were before you started drinking
Just basically dealing with normal day to day functions.
And you can really help your body in the beginning by feeding it good nutrition.
Giving it the energy that it needs to do it, giving it the nutrients, the vitamins, the minerals that it needs to.
I mean these are all the building blocks of your bodies recuperation.
So, when your body has to – let’s take your Kidney’s for instance or your Liver.
Let’s say your body has got to build back up certain parts of your liver.
That is all coming from the food that you’re eating.
So the majority of it is coming from the food that you’re eating.
So the better food that you can eat, the quicker this process is going to happen.
The more complex this process is able to happen and at the end of the day, the better results that you’re going to get.
So if you are going to do one thing in the beginning, I would suggest that you concentrate, changing your nutrition and trying to get as many fruits and vegetables, whole grains, as many good nutrients into you as possible, because this is really going to help.
So the point is that you just do one at a time.
So don’t try and maximise the nutrition that’s coming into your body and maximise your exercise levels.
This is taking on too much.
Don’t try and quit drinking and smoking at the same time.
It’s taking on too much.
Leave at least thirty days between attempting something new, because after thirty days it’s enough time for your system to get used to it.
It’s enough time for your mind to get used to it and everything that you take on requires a new routine.
It requires a new habit to be formed
You’re not going to form a new habit after thirty days, but you’ll get a few, enough routines established after thirty days, in order to carry you through.
One of the ways that you can build a second habit onto a first is by a process called – I’ve heard it called “habit stacking” or “habit building” – where you basically put one habit, you use one habit to fire off another habit.
So if you want to go out running in the morning.
Say if you want to drink water which is a really simple one, it’s one that I used myself.
You want to drink water in the morning and you want to make sure that you’re drinking every morning, you stack that habit onto a habit that you’re already doing.
So you already get up in the morning and you brush your teeth, you go into the bathroom, you use the bathroom and you brush your teeth and etc., etc.
So leave your Water Bottle, or Jar, or Glass or whatever it is, beside the sink in the morning and it reminds you to drink it, to drink that water down and its done.
And eventually you’ll get into a routine of doing that and it will automatically come.
As soon as you brush your teeth, you’ll feel like you need to have water.
So on and so forth.
But as I say you’ve got to consistently do the same thing over and over again.
To build a habit you’ve got to consistently do it. You’ve got to have two things – which is persistency and consistency
Persistency is that doggedness, that you are completely determined that you are going to do this, no matter what happens.
Consistency is that you do it every single day.
You do it a certain amount of times, certain time of the day and you follow through by doing the same thing.
If you switch around and you start doing one thing, and then you know, as long as it’s very similar.
You can learn from the experience, make a mistake and then build on that and you can consistently do it that way.
But it is consistency and persistency.
This is what’s going to build a habit.
And if you keep doing something, you will get the habit, you will establish the new habit.
By establishing one habit.
It’s the same way as the other way around.
Your persistently and consistently don’t do something.
So, you’re dogged about it no matter what happens, you’re not going to put alcohol into your mouth.
And you can – going to – consistently do this.
And the more consistency you have, the quicker and more concrete the determination will be in the long run.
The quicker your habit will disappear from your life.
it’s as simple as that.
You’ve to put up with the discomfort, consistently put up with it, consistently put up with it and eventually that consistency and persistency will pay off.
The discomfort will grow less and less as the days go on.
And eventually you won’t even think of it anymore.
You’ll have a thought.
If I said to you in the beginning, all it is is thinking about alcohol and having the odd thought about it and you just put the thought aside
You’d take that. Well, that happens very quickly you know.
Thirty days and you’ve no more real thoughts come in, no more real cravings or anything like that.
You get the odd craving and you get the odd thought.
The thought is going to depend, whether that thought turns into a craving or how deeply that thought affects you, will depend on you.
How much you dwell on it. How much credence you give to the thought itself?
Whether you think “oh well, the thought is me turning into an alcoholic.”
Or whether you know, it’s what your draw from the thought and what you perceive from the thought.
If you think to yourself, “well this is only a thought. I can brush the thought aside. Everyone gets these thoughts no matter how strong they are, no matter how long they’re off the alcohol, everybody still gets these thoughts about the alcohol every so often.”
It’s a habit memory coming back up and showing its arse to you and that’s basically what you have to do back.
Give it a moonie, you know.
So look, you have to build this through consistency.
You have to build this through just by not doing something over and over again.
Or building a habit by doing something over and over again.
Persistency, plus hard work. plus consistency, brings success.
I’ll say that again without getting tongue-tied.
Persistency + hard work + consistency = Success.
Till next time…
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“It’s not what you do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently”
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!