I'm Ryan Waggoner. I build things. I blog about how to work harder and smarter to build the life you want. You should subscribe.

Let’s make a change together in February (we can always revert in March)


Posted in Goals, Personal, Posts by

I have an addiction to candy. That’s completely stupid and embarrassing, I know. I’m a grown-ass man and I watch Mad Men; my addictions should be alcohol or hookers, right? But ever since I was a kid, I’ve been a big fan of candy and it hasn’t stopped since then.

This addiction hasn’t been kind to my teeth or my waistline, but I haven’t yet changed. I’ve cut back at various times, but I always end up back where I started.

I’ve recently cut out 80% of all candy, because Sunday through Friday I’m no longer eating refined carbs of any kind (thanks to the 4 Hour Body and Good Calories, Bad Calories). But on Saturdays (and when I cheat), I still eat candy. This makes it harder to not eat it during the week, because I start craving something sweet.

The conclusion I’ve ultimately come to is that I can’t really trust myself to eat candy at all. So why haven’t I tried to cut it out completely?

We often put off changes we know we should make because it’s overwhelming to consider making that change forever. Not eating candy for a week or even a month isn’t terribly difficult. It’s the thought of never having it again that makes it difficult, so we often don’t even start.

So I’m not going to worry about that for now. For the month of February 2011, I’m not going to eat any candy of any kind, including chocolate (which I don’t really even care for much). After that time is over, I’ll evaluate whether I want to continue with that habit, or figure out something else. And if I do decide to eat it again, I won’t view it as a failure. Success will be getting through the 30-day test habit, not building a life-long habit.

If you have a change that you’ve been trying to make, let’s do it together for the month of February. Yours might be more serious than candy, or perhaps it’s just something that you’d like to accomplish. No judgement of any kind either way. Post in the comments or email me and we can keep each other accountable. Don’t worry about whether you need to change your lifestyle forever, let’s just take this first step together and see where it goes.

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19 Responses to “Let’s make a change together in February (we can always revert in March)”

  1. Kathleen says:

    When you were little you always said when you grew up you would have a tractor trailer of candy! I'm with you on giving up something in February, but give me a couple of days to decide what…..

  2. Kathleen says:

    I guess I should have said "make a change" instead of give something up.

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Waggoner, HN Firehose and News Bloom, Steve Morin. Steve Morin said: Let’s make a change together in February (we can always revert in March): I have an addiction to candy. That’s c… http://bit.ly/hzrQOE [...]

  4. Chantella says:

    I'm on the other side of your one month goal and it was difficult. I have given up sugar and the majority of refined carbs and I lost 11.4 pounds and one jeans size in that first month! Mike lost 10. I too allowed myself one day a week to fulfill my craivings in moderation. The weight loss has motivated me to stick with the change and I have just completed week 1 of month 2. I can feel my body detoxing from all of the junk I was putting in it and I feel fantastic!

    • ryanwaggoner says:

      Wow…good for you! That's a great accomplishment, and it's nice to know that my theory about just doing it for a month isn't completely crazy :)

  5. I just started a low carb low sugar diet. I am counting carbs not calories. The first few weeks were tough but now I don't feel hungry or crave carbs any more. The weight is coming off slowly but the scales are moving in the right direction.

    Best of luck in your diet change.

    Tracy

  6. Chantella says:

    oops! forgot to throw my "change" goal in there! My goal for February is to exercise for 45 minutes – an hour each day instead of "whenever I feel like it"- which unfortunately usually ends up being about once a week. This will be quite a challenge because I will need to wake up about an hour and a half earlier each day and I LOVE my sleep.

  7. Jay Bobzin says:

    Good idea, Ryan! I recently had a lot of success with this tactic. In particular, I gave up smoking cigarettes on July 4th until Jan 1. I had "mostly quit" years before, but that couple cigarettes a week just hung around, preventing me from reaching peak health.

    I can't count the number of times this deadline saved me. Every time I was tempted to have one, I thought, all I have to do is make it another few months, then if I REALLY want one, it's fine.

    Ok, well, I did cheat once on Halloween. But I was REALLY drunk. ;)

    Now, it's the New Year, and I still haven't had one. I'm not making myself promise anything anymore, but it's definitely reset my consumption, so we'll see what happens!

    Not sure what's next on my "quit list". I'll give it some thought, and maybe join you for Feb!

    Really been enjoying your blog the last few months. Cheers!

    Jay
    @bobz44

    • ryanwaggoner says:

      Thanks for the kind words about my blog, and congrats on the big accomplishment! Quitting smoking is extremely difficult, so you should be proud of yourself. Don't forget to come up with your Feb habit :)

  8. susan2009 says:

    It is hard to just pick one thing. However for February I choose to declutter for 30 minutes everyday. Thanks for posting your idea. i am hoping I will feel a sense of accountability and follow through on this.

  9. Lee says:

    O.K. time for a daily B.H.A.G. I'll design a website (or some form of UI) every day for the entire month. I'll really need your help with this. I'll email you a jpg every day and in exchange you do a 1 minute review of ui/ux. I think 1 mimnute works because it's just a glance and only gives enough time for broad strokes. We're like 15 or more sites stacked up right now and everyone's on me about being such a bottleneck.

  10. Sarah S says:

    this is my first visit and I just wanted to stop by and say hello everyone!

  11. [...] month, I gave up eating any candy for 30 days (well, 28 days, actually). I have good news and bad. The bad news is that I forgot one night and [...]

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