Are you still holding firm to your New Year’s Resolutions? I hope it is going well for you. If you’re like me you’re probably starting to waver some and struggle with your new goals. I usually find myself starting to find a brick wall in progress and motivation about this time of month each year. I can start out determined and strong but I wear down and that only leads to caving in.
For years, I have been a diet soda drinker. It was supposed to be a treat but more of than not it was what I drank regularly. Yes, I know it is horrible for us especially with those artificial sweetners but it was my go-to beverage. I would start out my day with coffee (and still do) and then I would switch to diet soda. I would say I needed to drink water and sometimes I would but not nearly as much as what is recommended. I can proudly say that as of this month it has been over 10 months since I last had a diet soda.
There are many ways to kick the soda or diet soda habit. Any of them work well and I believe it really comes down to finding the one way that works best for you. When I did this, I actually tried a few times and finally got one way to work that gave me momentum to continue making progress. I truly believe the key to living naturally well is honoring what our body and heart need but also holding ourselves accountable for not wimping out on things that require us to put in some work for our goals. There is a balance between these things that can give us just the right mix to support achieving little and big goals.
For example, how easy is it for you to scold yourself for failing at keeping a diet commitment or skipping a workout? Do you fill your head and heart with all kinds of negative self-talk and then end up feeling even more guilty that you messed up? It’s so easy to fall into this trap and then before we know it we are self-soothing with some carbs and Netflix. It becomes easy to ignore the problem than endure what we now see as impossible to make progress on. So many of my goals were trashed at the sideline doing exactly this!
Yet when I took the time to not only figure out why I wanted to change something but found the right tools and support to achieve it, things just clicked. The work could still be challenging but I wasn’t giving up so easy and I learned to shut off that negative Nancy voice in my head about failing and not being able to do it. More than the method I chose to use, it was my own mindset that made the difference more times than not on how far I was able to do in pushing towards success.
When it came to diet soda, I already knew I had failed many times before. Negative Nancy in my head was gearing up like a battle warrior to remind me of all those times as well. This time was different because I changed what I expected from the experience. I didn’t set a time limit or some far fetched reward if I achieved it. Instead I just focused on one day at a time listening to my body. When a craving or habit came up where I would normally reach for a diet soda I asked why and dug into that. I accepted it would take some time to let my body know diet soda wouldn’t be coming in anymore. I had grace for myself when there were days I struggled with it and almost gave in.
Soon one day became a week, then two weeks, followed by a month. I didn’t measure the time but I acknowledged this milestone. I gave myself a mental high five in Negative Nancy’s face and then focused on repeating it a second month, then a third and more. There were still days it was hard but I was getting stronger. I experimented and found essential oils I liked and added them to sparkling water and regular water. I had a glass of lemonade or iced tea every now and then. Soon I no longer even considered buying diet soda anymore when we built our grocery list. (I only recommend doTERRA essential oils for ingestion because of their purity and the company’s commitment to high quality for safety reasons. For information, please refer to my website dragonspitapothecary.com)
I knew I had made it a new habit when one day I was out in our fridge that is in the garage and I saw a can of my old diet soda. It had been in there this entire time tucked in the back like an emergency supply. All the days I was craving one and really struggling I could have had this single can. All the times I wanted a little pick me up that I would have once turned to through diet soda would have been fulfilled with this hidden can. I knew I had achieved my goal when I realized I no longer thought about diet soda in those times. I felt so good about myself, that I left that can in the fridge as a reminder I could conquer hard things.
During this time of kicking the diet soda habit, I also started working out with a virtual personal trainer a few times a week. After a few months, I was really feeling better, actually enjoying drinking water and taking in a lot of it. At the end of my 3 month program with her, I signed up for a harder one! I was feeling good and knew the small steps I had taken by kicking diet soda from my day was leading to even bigger progress I wanted to make in my health. It started though by one day saying enough excuses and actively working on it a little at a time every single day.
The trick to living naturally well is realizing it is not an immediate transformation. Our problems will still be there and there can even be more a few new ones we encounter. The difference is we stick with our plan taking it minute by minute, day by day realizing even when we don’t see changes they are happening. We are evolving and changing with each little step we take in improving our health and finding real achievement of our goals. Releasing the pressure of time and expectations for what that looks like greatly influences our ability to keep progressing especially on those tough days when we are struggling.
If you’re ready to start living naturally well by taking those every day steps, come explore my website to learn how: dragonspitapothecary.com