December Challenge

December Challenge

After finishing up my November Challenge (enjoying every bite of food I eat), I’ve decided to extend the challenge series through December; after all, it’s our final challenge for the year, 2017!

First, a recap of my experience in November: Although, at times, I failed miserably to stay present while eating; nonetheless, I’d like to start with the successes!

There were moments where I noticed transformative patterns while eating. For example, while out at dinner, where my default habit would be to consume all of my food, regardless of how hungry I was, I found myself only eating 3/4 of the way through the meal, because not only was I conscious of the fact that I was satiated, but that I had the presence to act upon it. I credit this largely to our November exercise.

The most notable difference that staying present had, while eating, was that I enjoyed my food more. Savoring a piece of chocolate could leave me feeling satisfied for hours, simply because—in real time—I derived a great sense of pleasure from that small and simple experience. In doing this, I also realized how often I used to eat mindlessly.

In other ways, I failed miserably. I let my guard down and binged several times throughout the month, forgetting the exercise entirely. Other times, I simply ate too much in a given sitting.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the results and realize that attempting to eat consciously is a process that will last a lifetime.

I find that merely setting an intention to do something helps toward achieving it; moreover, your defined and stated intention focuses your mind and provides you with a point of reference and a single-mindedness that becomes a guiding force toward achieving the desired result.

So here we go, for December, I’d like to make my challenge to be giving up one bad habit. Nothing profound, rather just identifying and choosing an unwanted habit that I can immediately take action on, and ambitiously cure in a month. I’ve read that it takes 21 days to create a habit or to break a bad one. I’m not sure if there’s any truth to this, or it’s simply great marketing, but my hopes are to rid myself of a silly habit this month.

My bad habit: biting my nails. I’ve done this since childhood. I credit it to my parents taking away my pacifier before I was ready. As an adult, it’s become a way to release stress. (Hey, it beats smoking, right?); nevertheless, it’s quite pathetic at this point. I’m no longer a 4-year-old child, and I don’t need to have my hands in my mouth, regardless of the means. There are other ways of releasing stress, such as, deep breathing, which can be far more functional.

To strategically achieve my challenge, I plan on placing my intention at the forefront of my awareness, and committing myself to taking a deep breath when I find myself feeling stressed; I may try a classic Pavlov’s conditioning technique, and put some foul-tasting liquid on my nails, as well.

I’ll report back in January with the results. I’d love it if someone else wanted to join me. Feel free to leave comments below on how you’ve overcome bad habits; finally, please share what intention you’re going to focus on, in December?

Thanks for the support, and Happy December!

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