Guess what it is guys?! It’s no-sugar-November!
Since I can’t grow a moustache (at least not one society will oo and ah at), I have set myself two challenges this month. My roommate is joining me for both of the challenges in preparation for December.
- No adding any refined sugar to anything you make at home. This includes white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, coconut sugar, and whatever other crazy sugars you can think of. This does not include normal amounts of honey or blackstrap molasses (a teaspoon or tablespoon in your tea, on your bagel, or in your oatmeal, not half a cup in your muffins).
- If you finish a container of honey or molasses there is no buying a new one.
- No artificial sweeteners (although I am making on exception because I have some tea that already has Stevia mixed into it that I will still drink).
- Any pre-made product (read: you bought it at the grocery store) must have less than 10g of sugar per serving and you can only have one serving. This makes finding a cereal really fun–I recommend Kashi Go Lean Crunch in the cinnamon flavour.
- Fruits are allowed and encouraged but only one serving of dried fruit a day.
The goal with this isn’t to eat less necessarily, but to eat better (that said, because my calories have more bulk to them I do think that I am eating less calories but the same volume as normal). This week my roommate and I have been battling carb cravings due to our decreased sugar intake!
Hopefully, come December, this will make one cookie taste and feel like five!
This is sort of student centric but apply it to something you’re trying to improve at, or your favourite hobby and you could be ahead by leaps and bounds by the end of the month! There is a bit of prep work and you probably want an accountability partner for this.
- Choose a main task for the month (a skill to get better at, a book list to read, a particular project or hobby). I chose studying because I want to see what I’m capable of with my marks.
- Write down all your normal weekly activities and approximate how many hours are spent doing them, guess a little high otherwise you will regret it later. My list looked something like this (all numbers are hours): Young Adults + CVM Bible Study- 5, Church- 3, Swimming- 9, Stretching- 5, Food (buying, preparing, eating, and cleanup)- 10, Transit- 3, Class- 36, Leisure Reading- 1.
- Now at the top of a piece of paper write 168. This is the number of hours in a week. Below that write your time allotments for your activities. Subtract your weekly activity time from your 168 hours, and subtract an additional 64 for sleeping time and getting ready for bed. I have a really basic morning routine so I also include that in the sleep time. I came out of this step with 37 hours left over
- Allot the majority of that time to the task you indicated in step one. I chose 30 hours, which allows me 7 leeway hours for time wasting, or unexpected time needs (about an hour leeway per day).
- Divide the allotted amount of time by 7 days. For me this came out to 4 hours and 20 minutes/day. Now, this number is not very practical for some days, and is sort of low for others.
- On your paper write out, on separate lines, all the days of the week and think about when you get home, making sure you eat, whether you have time during the day at school or work to fit in a bit of the task, and what your evening looks like. Start penciling in how much time you can spend depending on the day. Any day that you can’t spent the whole amount of time write a note beside it saying how many hours need to be “shifted”. As you find periods of time where there are lots of open hours, take the shift hours and move them to those periods. For example: Monday- 3 hr (1 hr 20 m shifted to Wednesday).
- At the end make sure the number of hours you have scheduled in the week match the time allotted from your previous work.
- Now post these daily values to a tracking board (cork board).
So, you are now prepared for the challenge!
- You and your partner (told you you would want one!) will agree on a time each night to check in. For me and my roommate the magic time is 9 pm at which time the question is: Did you hit “it”? (As in your goal! What on earth were you thinking?) Not hitting it on a particular day is no big deal, but you will want to make up those hours somewhere else in the week!
- At the end of the week the ultimate question is- did you get in all the hours? If you didn’t you owe the decided upon punishment! My roommate and I chose house work: if one of us doesn’t meet our hours said person must do both the vacuuming and clean the bathroom (normally we each only do one of these) by the following Wednesday. If you both hit it: Yay! Nobody suffers. If neither of you hit it: Boo! Both of you suffer (for us that means no cereal that week–we’re addicted). Add a note to your tracking board that indicates whether you were successful or not for that week.
- At the end of the month the person who failed most often has to perform a task for the more successful person. We chose cooking or buying a special dinner for movie night (depending on the broke-ness level of the less successful participant).
Good news with this challenge though–no matter whether you fail or succeed you improve! Either you improve at doing nice things for your friend or you improve at the task you chose to work on!
Hopefully, when finals role around in December, or the dreaded string of Christmas parties, you will me killing those tests, or rocking your friends with your new skills!
Now, I have to give a shoutout to my amazing roomie for being such a boss and joining me for all this madness! She’s so amazingly game!
Let me know if you’re joining us too! Or maybe you already have a personal goal this month–I’d love to hear about it!