We conclude our three-part series in my current streaks.
No Caffeine (324 days in 2022)
I had quit caffeine for many years. I realized the amount of Coke and Mountain Dew I was having was contributing to my weight gain. I started losing weight and correlated the lack of caffeinated drinks to improving my health. I saw my Dad pounding coffee every day and swore not to be hooked like he was. Since then, I realized that large amounts of sugar were probably the problem. Neither my wife nor I drink coffee, and I have never found myself craving it. I also don’t keep caffeine in the house.
However, when I’m at someone else’s house or driving on a long road trip, I will have a Coke Zero.
Verdict: Set a goal of 300 days caffeine-free in 2023
Sobriety (187 days in 2022)
I like margaritas and beer with pizza. I will also drink when at a sporting event or social gathering. Similarly to my avoiding sugary drinks, I find drinking calories to be an expressway to weight gain. When I got out for Tuesday night trivia, I often won’t drink to help me from having to wait longer to eat the next day and not feel like crap in the morning.
Verdict: Set a goal of 200 days sober in 2023
Reading (1732-day streak)
I don’t read directly from books for more than 10-15 minutes daily. Instead, I bounce around from different subjects I’m interested in and read online articles frequently. This goal helps me remember to get my head away from my usual screens… to my other screen.
Verdict: Keep reading
Vitamins (312-day streak)
I have been taking vitamins for over a year. I missed a day by accident, but it is hard to say how much they have affected my life. As a vegetarian, I know how vital getting iron, B-12, and D are. I will continue to take them as I don’t see a negative besides cost. But since it is not excessive, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Verdict: Keep taking my vitamins
Meditation (924-day streak)
I have been meditating for years now. I have missed a few days randomly, but it has been a constant in my life. Over the last year, I have been doing it almost exclusively as the first thing I do when I wake up. Afterward, I lie in bed and put the phone under my pillow. I also really struggle with not letting my mind wander. I often see it as just me taking a break from screens and activities, which is valuable but not the true purpose of the session.
It has made me more mindful and allowed me to step back when I recognize that I don’t want to be in a harmful state of mind.
Verdict: Fight those thoughts and focus on the breath.
Food Tracking (1520-day streak)
My weight can be correlated closely to my food photos and food tracking. If I am not holding myself accountable for what I am eating, I treat it like I’m on vacation and kid myself about how much I eat.
I run eight miles a day but can then be completely sedentary. Recording my calories and reminding myself of how much I eat helps me.
Verdict: Record those calories!