Synthesis : Scott Becker

January Challenge Complete

January is over, which means the challenge is complete!

Over the  holidays I was inspired by the coming new year and made up a few rules to impose on myself for a month. Why? To see what I could accomplish in a month, instead of a longer term, unrealistic  resolution. It was a test of willpower and a forced break in habits. The challenge was to eat out only once a week, be vegetarian except the occasional fish, drink no alcohol, consume less sugar, stay away from coffee and drink tea instead, and stop all recreational internet surfing.

How did it go? Overall, quite well. The first week was the hardest – I’d developed a habit of going out to eat nearly all the time, and having a drink or two a few times a week. Changing that habit was tough at first. Humans develop grooves, like records, and you can go outside those grooves for a couple days, but you naturally fall back into your old way, and it was hard not to. By the second week I was more used to it, and by the third and forth it became normal.

For example – I’ve been drinking tea this past month instead of coffee. My morning routine now is to go fix myself a cup of tea, and when I arrived at work this morning, I just automatically made tea without thinking about it. Then I realized “hey! I can drink coffee! I’ll get a latte later!” but I never made it to the coffee shop. No guarantees for tomorrow.


Overall I’ve started a few good habits – especially the meal planning bit. Cutting back on things you normally do makes space for new kinds of experiences to happen.


One response to “January Challenge Complete”

  1. Been following your blog since Asset Packager days and must say that your challenge sounds intriguing. Weekly meal planning is a big help at our house too, and I completely hear your “pain” about all the awesome food to eat out here in Portland! You should check out the “Simply in Season” cookbook. Don’t let the name mislead you into thinking it’s gimmicky! The recipe lists are almost all quite reasonable, and well over half of our go-to meals come from this gem!