Day 16 – The Quality Question

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The quality of your life is dramatically affected by the quality of the questions you ask yourself on a daily basis.

I am on day 26 AF and reading chapter 16. It’s a great one… that asks us about ‘how’ we ask our questions and that asking starting with ‘why’ is not the best but rather – we should ask ‘what’ or ‘how’ … Here are some great examples taken from the companion website – and I’m adopting this one as my 30 day Vision Statement Question:

“How can I wake up every day feeling excited, vibrant, and passionate about living a meaningful and fulfilling sober life?”

The quote for today was this one:

Neuroscientists estimate that your unconscious database outweighs the conscious on an order exceeding ten million to one. This database is the source of your creative potential. In other words, a part of you is much smarter than you are. The wisest people regularly consult that smartest part.

~Michael Gelb

I hadn’t read the chapters for some time and I’ve been sick for a few days. I’m feeling cooped up and was having thoughts about having a drink so I decided to read. My goal is to for sure get my 30 days in – after that – I may allow myself a once a week treat to drinks socially with my bf.

When I think of the questions I need to ask myself surrounding this easing back into allowing drinks is “What do I want most out of life?” and the answer is always my health and vitality and to feel good. How will I get that? By continuing with mostly the 80/20 rule of healthy eating, exercising and limiting alcohol in my life so that it never becomes a regular habit as it was for so many years.

I’m going to post some of the other great questions from the website here as I want them in my blog for reference as well… And some I can come back to read regularly.

These are some great questions to ask yourself to get clarity on what you want in life.

  • How can I get excited about my sobriety?
  • How can I meet people that enable my sobriety?
  • How can I get the sparkle in my eyes, so to say, that others seem to have without drugs and alcohol?
  • How do I create pure excitement and joy in embracing everything in this program and the work that I need to do?
  • What truth am I talking about in my life but not quite embodying?
  • When I get to end of my life, what would I have done to feel like I lived, loved, and made a difference?
  • What do I want my legacy to be?
  • How do I want to be remembered?
  • What could I do today that would make today more enjoyable than ever?
  • What can I do to have a breakthrough in my life and sobriety?
  • How can I become financially abundant right now and love doing it?
  • I wonder what will happen today that will make today amazing.
  • What was funny about that that I might be overlooking?
  • What can I notice today that I haven’t noticed before?
  • What can I do today to become financially secure now and in the future?
  • What can I do today to meet my goals of overall health and fitness?
  • What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?
  • What is my dharma/purpose/reason for being on the planet?
  • What is it that I, and only I, can give to the world?
  • If I had only six months to live, what would I do?
  • If I met a genie and he gave me three wishes, what would I ask for?
  • Who has had biggest impact positively in my life and what did they do?
  • If I had all the money and time in the world, what would I do?

Certainly lots of food for thought…

Shift in Thinking (Day 24 AF)

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Here I am on day 24 of my AF days. I am not done reading the 30-Day Sobriety (next chapter to read is day 16) – but it’s obviously worked its magic on me as I’m not craving drinks but rather craving health and energy!

I’m nearing the end of my fitness challenge (Feb 28th is my last day and where I’ll weigh in and measure to see my results). I am already planning my next one starting February 29th.

I know that I will have more success with more AF days and still debating if I’ll completely abstain until March 25th when I visit back home or if I may allow myself 1 day on the weekends to try my hand back at a regular patter or normal/social drinking. Time will tell. Honestly, having this long streak in – it kind of would be a shame to break it before I beat my own best which I think was 33 days. AND – my ultimate goal is to be in great shape for my trip to Barbados… in 52 days!

It’s amazing how I have shifted my thinking … from thoughts of drinking to thoughts of health!! I’m realizing all that I CAN do with my sobriety rather than focusing on what I’m missing out on by not drinking (honestly – it’s overrated lol). All kidding aside – I do miss being able to enjoy a couple of drinks with my bf – who is a very moderate drinker. What I don’t miss is that obsession about thinking about drinking – when, how much, etc.

I think the fact that I know my life will change greatly when I move in with him this coming August – that I’m kind of mentally preparing now. If I had continued with my drinking habits as they were – if he had witnessed how much I actually drank and at the times I did – he would certainly have had some concerns. The exercise in the 30-Day Sobriety that has you looking at yourself continuing in the same pattern versus the person who has control over your drinking was a great tool for me. I have lived on my own since 2002 with no one looking at my habits or knowing what I really do. My kids saw some of it – but not all of it and it would definitely be harder to hide from a partner.

This relationship has been great for me … life changing really. He has shown me what it is like to be really loved and cherished and spoiled. Something I’ve always longed for. I no longer need to use alcohol for comfort in that area of my life.

As for the issues of using it as a coping mechanism with the stress with my kids – I know that I can be stronger and more effective with them when I am sober. I am now leading by example – showing them that health is the way – not coping mechanisms like alcohol or other substances.

I’m quite proud of this shift and for the first time in a long time hopeful about really making many of my life dreams come true! This thanks to my THRIVING in sobriety!!

Thriving in Sobriety (Day 19 AF)

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I’m behind in the readings of The 30-Day Sobriety but the lessons learned are being practiced daily and I’m finding myself noticing the positives of Thriving in Sobriety and thought I’d share some as a reminder (if not just for myself to look back on when I get down or have wicked cravings)…

  • Being sober means I do more – am more and simply feel more – my productivity skyrockets, opportunities arise and I don’t miss out on them because I’m sober and clear headed and even passionate about taking on new things as I strive to find ‘new’ habits and daily practices that will support my thriving in sobriety!
  • Being sober means I can drive anywhere I want – when I want – spontaneously.
  • Being sober means even though I didn’t get a good night’s rest, I’m not hit with a double whammy (including the lack of rest with a hangover or that day after feeling even with just a few drinks)
  • Being sober and not hungover means I don’t have the crazy day after EAT junk food binge and thus I stay on track with my health plan more
  • Being sober means I am braver about trying new activities (attending my FIRST live hockey game last night), paint nights without the booze
  • Being sober means looking at the weekends as an opportunity to do more as I have more time being off work
  • Being sober means planning to maintain my healthy routine through the weekend despite the social activities surrounding drinks – I am planning my sober way
  • Being sober means being able to deal with stress with a clear mind
  • Being sober means dealing with migraines in a rational manner (get sleep/rest instead of drinking to numb it out)
  • Being sober means making better decisions in all areas of my life

While being sober doesn’t mean I’m perfect and I still have cravings and temptations and vices (sometimes turning to food when I’m trying to be AF). The point of this 30 day Reboot is to simply take that time to re-evaluate my drinking patterns. I know that I don’t want to continue down the same path as I have been the past 12 years. My future and my NEW ME is better, brighter and super successful! I want to be sober to welcome that!

I will enjoy drinks again – but with a new view on what it’s all about and knowing that this thriving in sobriety stuff is pretty cool and actually catching on more and more. Life is GOOD and it gets better every day!

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Day 15 – Phase III

visualizeCREATING AN UNSHAKABLE BELIEF IN YOURSELF AND YOUR DREAMS…

Today’s reading Day 15 was called the 4 Minute Mile Solution which basically told the story of someone who broke a running record by visualizing and putting aside limiting beliefs that he COULD do it.

They ask us today to envision some vivid images/pictures of ourselves thriving in sobriety. I have to say this is something I’ve been doing all along as I am striving for my goal… seeing myself perform with loads of energy at work. Being ‘on game’ and clearheaded and super productive.

I see myself finally reaching my health/fitness goals – leaning out and toning up – feeling more confident than ever. I have this fitness coach summit coming up in July that I’ve been visualizing – imagining how it will feel to be there as a success story and meeting some of the trainers I so admire.

It also speaks to creating vision boards – I currently have 2 – one in my bedroom focused on my health and coach summit and the other one focused on my Fit by 50 Motto – including other things like travel I want to do and other items.

I have been contemplating updating it – and I believe I will when I go into March. I’m currently 59 days away from my ‘family’ trip to Barbados – one dream come true.

I give credit to the Law of Attraction and practicing visualization of the things I want as so many have come into my life. The thriving in sobriety was one of the puzzle pieces that was missing and is finally finding its place…. because I am already there!

Loa

 

 

Day 14 – End of Phase II

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From the companion website: “In Phase II you learned one of the most important concepts taught in The 30-Day Sobriety Solution, The Sobriety System. When you reconnect with your core values, uncover and change your limiting beliefs around drinking, and utilize the power of your subconscious mind, you pave the way to thriving in sobriety for good. You also learned how willpower has held you back, how to overcome procrastination and take action, and finally the breakthrough technique of tapping to overcome cravings and reprogram yourself for success in all areas of your life.”

I’m pleased with completing this 2nd phase and feeling strong going into Phase III which I will begin reading tonight. Today marks day 17 AF for me.

I’m also on my 7th week of consistently working out – using mostly the new program The Master’s Hammer and Chisel. I’m striving to lead by example! So far I’ve lost 11lbs … Staying sober will make me succeed in ways I couldn’t if I kept up with my regular drinking habits (as I’d regain what I worked so hard to lose during the week).

 

 

Day 13 – The Tapping Solution

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I have heard of the Tapping Solution but have never tried it -until now (although my craving for alcohol today is already at a ZERO). There’s a demonstration here with Nick Ortner .

Below is some of the material from the book and the website:

After you watch the video, here are some reminder steps to get you started:

The Basic Tapping Protocol
1.) Decide what issue you want to tap on (use your Most Pressing Issue, or MPI).
2.) Determine your level of discomfort—the intensity of the feeling or belief.
3.) Create your “setup statement.” (example: Even though I really crave a drink so badly I am not sure I can abstain, I totally and completely love myself)
4.) Choose a “reminder phrase.” (example: this craving to drink)
5.) Tap through the points: in the order as pictured above
6.) Add a positive choice statement to say while you are tapping. (example: even though I have this desire/craving for alcohol, I choose to be free from it… I choose to have a glass of club soda… I choose to be free from this craving)

If you find yourself having negative thoughts when you are repeating your vision statement or affirmation, then simply use the tapping technique to tap them away. Here’s an example:

  • Eyebrow: Even though alcohol makes me feel happy and relaxed…
  • Outside of the Eye: I choose to wake up feeling excited, vibrant, and passionate about living a meaningful and fulfilling sober life.
  • Under the Eye : Even though I have a lot of stress…
  • Under the Nose: I choose to wake up feeling excited, vibrant, and passionate about living a meaningful and fulfilling sober life.
  • Chin: Even though alcohol makes me feel happy and relaxed…
  • Collarbone: I choose to wake up feeling excited, vibrant, and passionate about living a meaningful and fulfilling sober life.
  • Under the Arm:  Even though I have a lot of stress…
  • Top of the Head: I choose to wake up feeling excited, vibrant, and passionate about living a meaningful and fulfilling sober life.

Tapping Away Your Cravings: Sometimes troublesome thoughts and feelings may arise when you are tapping on a craving. If this occurs, tap on those feelings as well. Tapping on cravings themselves is often successful, but identifying and clearing specific childhood events that underlie drinking is the deepest, most thorough way to apply tapping to cravings and addictions.

In reading this chapter, they talked about the reason I was using alcohol – and asked us to review the forgiveness solution (Day 4). For me it was all about forgiving myself for all the ‘stuff’ that happened. They gave examples… and of those I could say I had experienced the following – the job loss, the bankruptcy, the cheating husband who left me for another woman, the divorce, the loss of a loved one…

But where I stand today – is not where I was. I am much stronger and I am proud to say I’ve completed my 16 AF day!! My desire to drink is still there – and I know I will have some again, but I do believe after this reboot – my view on it will have changed to a point where I can truly enjoy it with a take it or leave it attitude, knowing that there’s so many other great things that make me feel good! I’ve got a LOT of great ‘right’ things going on with me now! And for that I’m truly grateful!

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Day 12 – The Subconsious Mind Solution

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I wanted to copy this particular passage from Day 12 because it’s so true:

The Elephant in the Room (Say No to No)

The subconscious mind doesn’t understand negatives, so if you tell yourself “I will not drink,” your subconscious only hears “Drink.” Instead, tell yourself, “I will be sober and happy.” Whatever you consciously and repeatedly think about, accompanied by strong emotions, will reprogram your subconscious over time.”

Action Step 1 for today When you get into bed each night, take 5 minutes to visualize all of your goals, dreams, and desires-and make sure you include your thriving-in-sobriety goals. Doing this right before you fall asleep is one of the best ways to reprogram your subconscious.

I generally do more of this first thing in the morning, but I’ll start the practice of reviewing it before bed as well.

Action Step 2 was to listen to the guided meditations (available on the site). I have done these and won’t repeat at this point.

I think for me the last action step is one that is worth more of my time/reflection:

Action Step 3 – Think about when you used to drink and write down any situations, times, places, and emotional states you were in. Then recall any incidents from your childhood that helped create these links.

Remember, whatever you consciously and repeatedly think about, accompanied by strong emotions, will reprogram your subconscious over time.

I think for me the whole ‘drinking’ thinking was developed as I observed everyone around me drinking – every situation, event, gatherings – all about and around drinking. I saw my aunts and uncles intoxicated. I saw my own parents intoxicated and even to the point of harming themselves (my dad fell once on a glass which broke right above his eye and the ambulance came and he was to drunk to go – I was the one who tried to convince him to go). My mom when she fell down some stairs and had my dad not been there – she could have died as she was in a position that would have prevented her from breathing. Watching other very traumatic events.

I saw how they used the drinking to ‘cope’ or what they called unwind and grew to associate it as the thing to do.

I see now as I see my own kids struggle with issues in life that this is not the model I want to be for them. I want to lead by example – a healthier and sober life. I want to show them that moderation is the way if we choose to drink as my own goals involve cutting down – not quitting.

This weekend I pushed through and remained AF. It was harder as the cravings and social situations called for drinks but I pushed through. Today especially I felt fidgety and wondering what to do – opting to ‘eat’ instead of drink – not the best but as the book says, I’m trying to tackle one thing at a time. For today it was more important to NOT drink and ok to allow the cave to food cravings.

Tomorrow is a new day and tonight I finish 15 days AF … intending to reach 50 to 53 days of sobriety before my visit back home where I hope to enjoy a few drinks – perhaps even some planned intoxication and come back to some AF days for a stretch to ensure this new pattern is etched as my way of living and thriving more often as a sober happy healthy person!

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Day 11- The Lie Detector Solution

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Another very useful solution today. Action 1 involves looking at our limiting believes (the lies we tell ourselves). They listed 11 and of those these ones were some I had adopted at some point.

11. Sex and sobriety suck – I used to drink to feel more at ease and thought I would appear sexier if I was more at ease – but I have so many experiences that prove this lie to be wrong. Drinking during this lowers inhibitions but sometimes in a negative way allowing bad things to happen.

10. Drinking reduces stress – Yes I used to drink as a coping mechanism to do what I thought would lower stress when in fact it can contribute to my stressors by not allowing me to function to my full potential or be as productive as I can be. I know now that there are many better ways to cope with stress – most of what I am enjoying now is by being fully present and clearheaded, able to take on any difficult issues and this week has been proof I can do this without alcohol (as I was tested with two major crises with my daughters).

6. I have an addictive personality – This is an excuse I’ve often used with my drinking. That once I start I can’t stop but it’s all in my head and it’s the choices I make for myself. I can change this and I am with this 30-Day Sobriety Solution.

3. I am not fun or likeable without alcohol – I used to think I had to drink to fit in to so many social situations where drinking is the norm, but having been sober at some of these has taught me that I can have just as much fun and maybe more because I’m free to do as I please (including being sober to leave / drive away from a situation that I am not enjoying).

2. Getting sober is too hard – I believed that my desire to drink was too strong because most of my days were planned around when I’d have my drinks, what I would do if there wasn’t enough – always thinking about drinking. Having 11 days AF this time and some longer stretches in the past (my longest was 33 days a few years ago) – I know that I can do this and that at some tipping point I see how being sober is wonderful because of how I feel. The success of staying sober feels amazing.

First one (they were listed in reverse) – It is not possible to be sober and happy and excited in life. This is perhaps the biggest lie we tell ourselves. I can tell you – how I feel today is very exciting and rewarding. Being able to function at a level of clarity and be able to manage all the difficult situations thrown at me this week… and thrive and even develop closer bonds with  both of my daughters as a result of this has been PRICELESS.

There are other things we sometimes believe .. like drinking gives you freedom when in fact it ties you down and limits what you can do/accomplish. The belief that I can not be a ‘normal’ drinker is one I’ll tackle when I decide to end my AF stretch and prove wrong … I CAN BE A NORMAL DRINKER and have the take it or leave it attitude.

Yes society and many activities revolve around drinking but what is true today too is that MANY people are choosing to be sober more. And that’s the ‘IN’ thing as we strive to be healthier.

There were other actions steps for today … that included thinking about the sober people you admire the most, cross examining your limiting beliefs (lies) and introducing your NEW beliefs ….

I do believe that it IS possible to finally make the changes in my drinking habits that I have strived to do for so many years. Thanks to the 30-Day Sobriety Solution… it seems I’ve finally found that book/resource that will work for me and make me a success story!

Day 10 – The Core Values Solution

quote-the-strongest-force-in-the-universe-is-a-human-being-living-consistently-with-his-identity-anthony-robbins-292022Today’s solution is one that’s very important to me. I know that when I’m not following my own core values – I feel out of sorts in so many ways. This will often happen when I have drinks and just numb myself to life – sometimes that includes missing out on some really good stuff.

The Actions Steps are some that really may take more time to reflect on but I want to post my thoughts for now.

First here is a list of the core values from what they provided as examples that really speak to me:

Accountability, achievement, appreciation, courage, creativity, dependability, excitement, freedom, friendship, fun, happiness, health, honesty, humor, integrity, JOY, Love, openness, passion, peace, strength, and success.

They then ask about us to reflect about situations, people, movie or TV characters that really upset, offend or anger you. That’s a tough one for me to pinpoint. I don’t want too much TV and I don’t generally watch a movie if it’s something that I don’t like.

In general – I don’t like dishonest people. I dislike people who are ‘two-faced’. I hate when people are not on time or not respectful. I have a hard time being around people who are chronically negative or those who complain without ever offering a solution.

Then they ask us to reflect on the people we admire the most (dead or alive) – and for me the list is long but Louise Hay is the first one that came to my mind as her books and her entire Hay House Authors helped to turn my life around. I love Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins (as above ;), and in my own life – I truly admire my own boss. I love his drive, organizational skills and how responsive he is to people. I love his honesty and while some find him blunt or harsh at time – I like it ‘tell it like I see it’ ways. I love that he starts in a position of trust with new workers. I respect his family values. I have great respect and admiration for how he never takes credit for things without sharing the acknowledgements of all who contributed. I love how he highlights others’ successes!

If I look at my list and evaluate how drinking has messed up some of my core values well there are many:

Honesty, accountability, friendship, fun – I have lied about how much I drink, when I start – sometimes way too early in the day. I hide my alcohol at times so people don’t see how much I’m drinking. I have at times opted out to meet new people or friends because I had been drinking – and likely missed out on great opportunities. I upset people because I’d back out of plans and make lame excuses.

Success, passion, openness… When I drink I feel like I am not accomplishing much and don’t feel like doing much. I procrastinate and the long list of to do’s stays there…

Health – my health and goals get left to the side when I drink too much as my motivation dies down and I just don’t feel like doing anything. When I drink it also triggers bad choices with foods as well.

I could go on… there’s so many disadvantages when I drink regularly than when I’m AF for a longer stretch.

In terms of adding the core values to my goals – I believe I already did that in my vision statement (I am sure I could embellish it more but I’m happy with it).

All I need is within me now to live an exciting, vibrant, passionate and sober life where I am attracting meaningful relationships, career opportunities, health and financial success. I am grateful for my continued sobriety.

For my goals… I think I’m good there too… This is definitely a day that could be a longer assignment to really expand and explore on everything about our core values and how drinking most certainly does NOT align with them.

 

 

 

Day 9 – The Action Solution

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First off – I’m posting this on Day 10 (I will read today’s chapter after work). I had a really difficult day yesterday dealing with a family crisis – but I did NOT drink! I opted for different coping mechanisms, like talking to friends and hanging out with my amazing bf who is incredibly supportive. I’m so grateful to have him in my life!

Today’s chapter really spoke to me. I’m the biggest planner and thinker there is and up until now – I would contemplate many things but didn’t quite delve into action as fully as I am now.

Today’s action items:

  1. Write down my top three worries related to problem drinking: First would be how it can affect my health (weight gain issues, family members who died from their own alcoholism), Second would be how it can affect my ability to be a good parent and partner (family life affected), and Third is how it can impact my ability to do a good job (I currently have a great job and don’t want to risk it by having to miss work due to too much drinking)
  2. Start a tiny habit – well as they suggested, I’m back to reading my positive affirmations in the morning including my 30 day vision statement. I’d like to add a physical thing in there – by adding in some abdominal work daily (so 100 reps of some form of abdominal exercises).

I really enjoyed the additional info on the website today too Day 9 – check out the bonus solutions section at the lower part of the page.

I also really enjoyed today’s inspirational quote!

The most successful people are long-term thinkers. They look into the future as far as they can to determine the kind of people they want to become and the goals they want to achieve. They then come back to the present and determine the things that they will have to do– or not do– to achieve their desired futures.

~Brian Tracy, author