“I love a success story, but even more than a success story; I like a dude who fucks his life up and gets his life together again story.” - Joe Rogan
Having worked in and around building sites for 10 years, I very well understand the nature of blue-collar workers and drinking culture. In fact, as a first-year Carpentry apprentice in Sydney, I had the pleasure of working alongside another tradie (it was just the two of us) who had a very heavy alcohol habit, the smell of which made working in confined spaces together shithouse.
I remember thinking at the time, that’s just what tradies do, right?
No, not all tradies are pissheads. And not all pissheads are tradies. But there are a lot of blokes out there whose relationship with alcohol is doing them far more damage than good. And there are a lot of blokes that will be toying with the idea of changing their relationship with the bottle right now, for 2020.
Scrolling through my social media feed recently and a post caught my attention. In capital letters it read:
**ONE YEAR NO BEER**
I was intrigued so I continued reading. It was focused on a man who’s drinking had spiralled out of control to the point where he lost his family due to it. Anytime he drank it went from 0 to 100 very quickly. He identified contributing factors such as depression, anxiety, immaturity and simply not giving a fuck about loved ones around him or the consequences which included losing his wife and kids.
He made a phone call in tears, pleading for help.
In the space of 12 months without touching a drop of alcohol, and with the help of professional mental health support, he made huge inroads in addressing his mental health conditions, he learnt about will power, determination, motivation but most of all he learnt about maturity. He excelled at work, was promoted to supervisor, got fit, saved money, bought a new car and incredibly, got his family back. All by-products of changing one major aspect of his life that wasn’t working.
WHAT ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE ARE NOT REALLY WORKING FOR YOU?
Self Assessment (definition) – the assessment or evaluation of oneself or one's actions, attitudes, or performance. – Oxford Dictionary
Self-assessing is not something we often put too much conscious time into. When I say conscious time, I mean purposefully assessing where you are at with life, what you like, what you don’t like, what you want and what you don’t want. Subconsciously, I think a lot of people regularly find themselves either comparing, negatively reflecting or just simply wanting to be better but haven’t yet found the will power or drive to act on it. This creates a whirlpool of negative thoughts that swirl around in your head, and the weight becomes an extremely heavy burden to bear. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
In the instance of the fella above, there were several factors in his life that were suffering because of his alcoholism. Setting the goal to cut out the booze naturally had so many positive flow-on effects that became a by-product of that goal.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
This requires genuine self-assessment, but you are the only one that will know the truth. Will power and commitment is something that gathers momentum. Once you start to see results, you become motivated to do more and suddenly self-belief grows, empowering you with the feeling that you can do just about anything.
If you think 2020 is the year that you want to make a change, here are some tips:
- Be present: Set aside 20 mins this week with a pen and paper - switch right off from distractions like your phone, your mates, your family. Just be present with yourself and no one or nothing else.
- Self-assess: Consciously think about what’s working and what’s not working, although if you’re at this point then I dare say you already know what you want to change.
- Visualise it: “If you have a clear picture in your head that something is going to happen and a clear belief that it will happen no matter what then nothing can stop it. It is destined to happen. It’s perfect.” - Connor McGregor
- Write it down: Everyone who has ever had a goal and achieved it all talk about writing it down. It helps continually visualize the goal and is the first part of making your goal a tangible result. It's also a really great way to switch the mind on to the process. If you can commit to writing things down then you're more likely to commit to following through. HOT TIP: TAKE A PHOTO OR SCREENSHOT OF YOUR GOAL AND SET IT AS YOUR SCREEN SAVER ON YOUR PHONE.
- Chunk it up: Focus less on one big win. Focus more on consistent small ones. Get yourself a good diary or use your phone notes if that works better for you and start getting into the habit of writing down the things that you must do today - this is the absolute bare minimum action to regularly complete if you’re going to give yourself a fighting chance. Then move to weekly, then monthly. FOCUS LESS ON ONE BIG WIN. FOCUS INSTEAD ON CONSISTENT SMALL ONES.
- Keep Visualizing: Even on your bad days and when things aren’t going well – give yourself some time (20mins) and go back to doing the daily tasks you initially set yourself, then think about the big goal you set yourself. After that 20 mins of self-assessment, you’ll be back on track in no time.