Hello! I’m Jacqueline!
I love used books, my dog Mitra, hugging trees, New York City, and my family.
I also love to ponder life and love and how to be the best me I can be…. Which is how I got here.
On June 21st of 2016, I was stuck. At almost thirty-five years old, I was broke, single, and battling another siege of my chronic illness. I was happyish… but sorta going through the motions. I needed something to change in love, money, or my health, but no cleanse or life coach or meditation or work ethic seemed to shift anything in a major way.
Then a few random things clashed together and I got so fed up with Facebook and online dating that I quit all social media and dating sites for forty days. It was… weird… and hard. I journaled and over-thought the entire time. But day forty, I was a changed woman. The world felt tactile, like I was moving in three dimensions again.
Staring down this single-sick-broke trifecta, I decided to question what other habits that maybe don’t serve me as well as I think they might. By taking out one thing after another, maybe something new could come in?
I slapped a goal and a title on it and here we are: My Year of Abstinence: Abstaining and Observing. Every Day. For One Year.
From June 20th, 2016 to June 21st, 2017, I dedicated a Year to studying habit abstinence. I took things out instead of adding things on. By doing so, I observed how the actions that habitually flood my days often without my even noticing them affect:
- My health
- My social interactions and
- My overall sense of self.
I chose “Challenges” that interact with these questions, and put journal entries up here to track my thoughts and hold myself accountable. As time passed, 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 might explain why things so changed. Some of their lessons now dot these entries.
How To Navigate This Site:
I studied 8 Challenges this Year, posting reactions daily or weekly. If so inclined, breeze through post titles within the topics you’re most curious about:
- 1. No Social Media (40 Days)
- 2. No Shopping (90 Days)
- 2.5 Find True Love in 27 Days
- 3. No Sugar (30 days)
- 4. No Holiday Loot
- 5. TeleWonderWoman (Negative Thought) (30 Days)
- 5.5 Everything Bagel Days (4 Days of ALL)
- 6. Zero Waste (60 Days)
- 7.1 No Coffee (7 Days)
- 7.2 No Television (7 Days)
- 7.3 No Comfy Clothes (7 Days)
- 7.4 Quitting Time (7 Days)
- 7.5 Everything Bagel Focus Days (4 Days)
- 8. Zero Daily Habit (Final 40 Days)
- Chronic Illness Living (posts related to this study and living with illness)
Some posts are a bit more user-friendly than others, with wisdom from smart people tossed upon my observations, advice on how to make my lessons yours in a fraction of the time, or simple recipes from things I’ve learned and love. I’m updating these regularly now. Here are a few of the most popular:
- How I Transformed In 365 Days of Taking Habit Out and Letting Life In (the last post)
- 40 Days of Social Media Abstinence (the first post)
- Going Off of Sugar for 30 Days and Expecting No Miracles
- The Minimalist Pantry
- Short on Confidence? Channel Your Wonder Women
- How a Month of Wonder Women Power Poses Brought Me Focus
- How I Make Almond Milk (recipe)
- 3-Ingredient Toothpaste (recipe)
And for those who want to try this idea out for themselves, I’ve crafted a Your Year page to get you going.