I have not eaten chocolate of any kind since December 31st, 2018.
That’s 95 days including today.
For a 2019 stretch-goal, I decided to go chocolate-free for the entire year.
This is kinda a big deal.
Americans are addicted to sugar. I am addicted to sugar, and especially chocolate.
I’ve gone without chocolate once in the past for up to 4 months to cure some newborn baby tummy issues when I was nursing, but it has been infinitely easier this time. Other than that one time, I rarely have gone without chocolate for more than a day or two.
So what is different this time?
This time I used the power of identity.
I just told myself “I am not a chocolate eater in 2019.”
And voila! Very few cravings, and it has been- dare I say it– EASY.
James Clear talks about this in his new book Atomic Habits:
“Behavior that is incongruent with the self will not last. You may want more money, but if your identity is someone who consumes rather than creates, then you’ll continue to be pulled toward spending rather than earning. You may want better health, but if you continue to prioritize comfort over accomplishment, you’ll be drawn to relaxing rather than training. It’s hard to change your habits if you never change the underlying beliefs that led to your past behavior. You have a new goal and a new plan, but you haven’t changed who you are.” (pg 32)
At the time I made the goal, I had an inkling about the power of identity shifts, but I had never put it into action in my own life.
And I have been thoroughly surprised by how quick and deep this shift has been.
I don’t think it is quick and easy every time for every person, but it is worth a try if you have been struggling with a habit for a while.