In 2019, we’re exploring energy. How it affects us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We’ve hooked up with a series of experts who set us an experiment each month to help us discover a new way of managing our energy.
In September we’re partnering with One Year No Beer (OYNB) to explore a life without alcohol and looking at how taking a break from the booze impacts our energy. They’re not only an awesome bunch of folk, but they really understand the phycology behind how to take a break from alcohol and make it stick.
Week 2 is all about keeping up the commitment, so we don’t fall at the first (or fifth) hurdle!
Every now and then, one of our many perfectly human imperfections will catch us out. We eat the cake, drink the beer, smoke the cigarette and what do we do? We say to ourselves ‘What the hell’ I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. This opens the floodgates, the wheels come off and so begins a massive session.
This weeks about avoiding those slips-ups if they happen and accepting them if they do and keeping going, so the guys at OYNB have set us two challenges this week:
1) Habit Hack – The best way to break bad habits is to dress them up as new ones’
This is all about uncovering the triggers, routines and rewards that lead us to want a drinks, and then about creating new, healthy habits.
Check out Andy from OYNB talking about the Habit Hack…
Step one: What’s your trigger?
Our lives are so busy, trying to find a trigger amongst the noise of our day is extremely difficult. Once again science is here to help - almost all triggers are created within the following five categories:
- Emotional state
- Other people
- Preceding action
The next time you experience your craving, use the Five categories above as a guide to help uncover your trigger. It could be any one of the five or a combination of a few. The key is to uncover as many of these trigger situations as possible. Note them down and analyse the findings until you fully understand what’s promoting these feelings.
We’ve all been there…. It’s 7pm at home on a Friday and your partner calls it as ‘wine O’Clock’…!
Once we’re aware of our triggers it’s time to discover the reward you crave.
Step Two: What reward is driving the habit
Very often the reward driving the habit loop is totally unrelated to the habit itself.
For example, the pints after work might be an attempt to relieve boredom or pressure from the lads to be part of the ‘gang’ - rather than the ‘alcohol’ itself.
Once you know your trigger’s take some time to really consider what is driving your habit loop.
Is it the social interaction with your colleagues that you crave?
Or could it be a misguided attempt at stress relief?
Take some time and note down all the potential rewards that could be driving your bad habit.
Step Three: Change your routine and break bad
The best way to break bad habits is to dress them up as new ones. This is the genius of habit change. Once you have your trigger + reward all you have to is change the routine. The loop remains but you trick the brain into substituting the old bad habit with a new empowering one. The grooves of the record remain but the song is different. Beautiful.
Every time you are tempted. Take 30 seconds and walk through these steps.
- What’s the trigger?
- What reward am I seeking?
- What routine can I put in its place?
The more you perform this groundwork the easier your challenge will be.
It’s pretty simple. Look at the next 7 days to reveal when you might be tempted.
Expose the triggers, understand the reward and replace the routines.
2) Go Public - There’s is nothing quite like telling a few people what your new plan for yourself is to make you stick to it.
Remember: This is a challenge and nothing more - there are no labels involved.
Be proud of what you aim to achieve.
It takes real courage to take on a challenge such as this.
Grow in confidence that you can complete this challenge and thrive in the process.
Tell your friends and family what you aim to achieve.
Post your intentions on the social media of your choice.
The decision is yours.
The more people watching the more your pride instinct will kick in.
How could you make your OYNB challenge public today?
We’ll be putting the Habit Loop to the test over the next 7 days so if you want to join us and follow the entire programme for all 28 days, you can sign-up here: https://www.oneyearnobeer.com/takethechallenge
You can follow our progress and let us know how you get on too @UppingYourElvis.
The Upping Your Elvis Team