Hi, I’m Jacqueline!
On June 21st, I got so fed up with Facebook and online dating that I dramatically quit all social media and dating sites for forty days. It was weird, and hard, and transformative. By day forty and beyond, the affects on my health and happiness proved so profound that I wanted to question more learned habits that maybe aren’t serving me so well.
I sat and took in the realities of my life:
I am thirty-four, single, sick with a chronic illness, and in debt.
Could questioning and removing my habits change these parameters?
On August 1st, I decided to devote a Year to studying habit abstinence. To taking out instead of adding it. To saying no, instead of saying yes.
How do the habitual actions that flood my days – often without me even noticing them – affect 1) my health 2) my social interactions and 3) my overall sense of self? How do these things, in turn, affect my productivity? My financial stability? How I see the world and myself as a part of it? I’d choose “Challenges” that interact with these questions, and put journal entries here to track my thoughts and hold myself accountable.
As time passed and I got even more curious about the habits removed, I started exploring studied folk who’ve come to conclusions in medicine, neuroscience, psychology, culture and the like, to see how my shifted habits compare to others out there, and what explanation there might be for why things have so changed. Some of their lessons now dot these entries.
I continued with a ninety-day quest of cutting out the purchasing of any non-essential items. Then I took all sugar and alcohol out of my diet for thirty days. During the holidays, I pondered Christmas commercialism while not exchanging gifts. Recognizing I had fallen into a dark emotional pit, I removed negative thinking for thirty days at the start 2017 (this one takes some explanation). Thirty-days exploring Zero Waste immediately proved so profound I expanded it to sixty. I then did a month exploring one-week Challenges reframing morning and evening routines. And finished with 40 days of single Challenges that shifted reality every day, moment by moment.
Spoiler alert: I’m still single, sick, and broke. But my life is completely different now than it was on June 21st, 2016. On June 21st, 2017, I stood a woman transformed.
Cheers to choice over routine.