The Power Of A Personal Challenge

As the year draws to a close, it’s normal to glance back and appraise how it all went. Alongside the successes and celebrations, you might be taking a closer look at some of the habits that did not add joy to your life, or whose pain outweighed their pleasure.

I have certainly been examining 2018, and while this year has been a wild one, in the shuffle, I picked up (or amplified) a couple of habits that I know are not serving me in the long-term.

The first one was bingeing on sugar. I find it almost impossible to moderate my sugar intake. If it’s “allowed”, I go nuts. The final straw for me came when I opened a family-size block of chocolate I’d brought back from Italy and easily demolished it within about half an hour. Couple my insane sugar habit with inconsistent workouts and I really wasn’t feeling good about what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I stopped eating sugar the next day, and at time of writing, I’m now 11 days off sugar and I don’t even miss it. (Truly.)

Most people decide they’ll change their life on January 1st… But that’s silly. If you’re doing something right now that you already know you want to quit, why not quit right now?

My second challenge is something I’d love for you to join in with me on, if you feel so called…

NO SHOPPING IN JANUARY. 

The rules are simple: no gratuitous shopping. For me, this means no clothing, cosmetics (unless I’m replacing something I use every day), no shoes, no wigs, no books, no homewares, no “ooh that looks cool” late-night 1-Click Amazon purchases. Nada!

I exclude anything I had already committed to, like travel, or active subscriptions. Obviously, shopping for food is allowed, ditto replacing toiletries or anything I need for my house. (The key word is need. It’s an amazing mental exercise to see the ways your brain will try to trick and convince you that you “need” something!)

I’ve issued this challenge to myself before and it always blows my mind. I know that shopping is my main vice, but it wasn’t until I tried cutting it out a few years ago that I realized just how much shopping I was doing. It also shocked me to discover how much time I was spending browsing, clicking, comparing, and contrasting. (Any time I commit to not shopping for a month, I do so much writing!)

A few years ago, I combined no sugar and no shopping for a month and I legitimately felt like a new person. I had so much time! I felt really good in my body!

If you’re down to join me, please do. You don’t have to quit shopping and sugar if those aren’t your vices. Why not stop drinking, smoking, or — everyone’s biggest addiction — obsessively scrolling through social media?! (Here’s how to delete your Facebook account, if you’re interested!)

Every time you remove something that is sucking energy from your life, beautiful new experiences, people, and healthy habits rush in to take its place.

You are officially invited to commit to your own personal challenge for the month of January. And — as long as you’re not deleting your social media accounts, haha — feel free to follow me on Instagram for updates and support!

Love always,

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@galadarling on Instagram

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