As featured in the CITY SCENE
Say ciao to “Dry January” and #NEXT to extreme New Years’ resolutions.
There’s a growing movement quietly gaining momentum—one that embraces the concept of being ‘Soberish.’ It’s not about black-and-white sobriety, but rather finding a delicate balance in a society that constantly tempts us with excess.
If you’re seeking a mindful and intentional approach to living in a world that can sometimes feel like a blurry cocktail of choices, read on…
Let’s be real. We all have the best of intentions for our health, wealth, and relationships. We want to exercise more, we want to make more money, and we want to be happy within ourselves. It’s wired in us to have desires to improve our lives vs. stay complacent. In the words of Tony Robbins, “Progress equals happiness.”
And I couldn’t agree more.
So, let’s dive into the details of designing a realistic plan for you in 2024. Let’s reframe and take on a new perspective by defining what your version of ‘Soberish’ will be.
- Define Your Balance. Everyone’s version is different. You can peer over at your neighbor’s life and compare their life to yours. In fact, it’s damn near impossible not to (unless you don’t have neighbors or a Smartphone). Humans love to compete. We have eyeballs, so we compare – A LOT. My best advice is to try something I have implemented to my own morning routine in order to establish a focus or “theme” to my day. Every morning I ask myself three important questions that give me a greater success rate at thriving and establishing balance. I do this in order to rewire my brain and in hopes to kill-off my old, primitive way of thinking that would lead me down a negative spiral.
- How can I make my son laugh today?
- How can I show my husband how much I appreciate him today?
- How can I live today with more self-compassion?
This strategy was something I have implemented after experiencing an immersive event called, “Date with Destiny.” These specific questions have been a game changer for me because in the past I used to live day-by-day feeling like I was never enough. I was constantly letting myself down because I was comparing myself to the people who I viewed as more successful than me. And, many people are. So what! The energy we waste on stories we tell ourselves in our little brains is at best awful. My hope is for you to have a little light bulb turn on and say, “Ok! My version of balance is _______. And the questions I will ask myself daily in order to achieve my balance are ________.” I have a journal that I write in briefly every morning and I write these questions out nearly every day. I make it a priority to make my son laugh; I make a conscious effort for my husband to feel genuinely appreciated by me; and every morning before I brush my teeth, I make myself smile in the mirror and I say out loud, “Good morning, I love you.” This ritual has grounded me and prevents me from going to extremes when I am most vulnerable or stressed. The reason this habit is so effective is because we often use our external environment to numb ourselves. We can do this through food, clothing, drugs, alcohol, sex, and so on. When we are out of balance we seek these to the extreme to feel good. Just like any habit, it takes practice to gain the discipline we deeply desire to reboot. Now it’s your turn. What will your new morning ritual consist of in order to achieve a better version of balance this year?
- Hire a Coach. Are you always crying poor? Or are you a broken record of complaining about your weight? Maybe you struggle with sustaining healthy relationships? We hear complaining constantly. All of the excuses on why we “cannot.” Would you believe that I do not believe in excuses? Instead, I call them FACTS. When we complain we are presenting evidence that has now become our truth. When we list reasons why we cannot achieve a goal we desire, they turn into facts. And that’s OK…until it’s not. When it becomes our new identity and we are now living a life that freaking sucks, it’s time to write a new story for ourselves. However, breaking a pattern is tough. And even though the pattern is not a positive one, it IS a familiar one, so we keep it going. For example, you regularly go through the Starbucks drive thru and order the ridiculous latte that is only good in the moment or you continue to stay at the same employer group only because you’ve been with the company for over a decade. Part of what I do for a living is to help people change their behavior. I am successful at it because I know how to fold in simple techniques that anchor one new habit to a habit that already exists. Any good coach will understand how to do this too. Let’s say you are an entrepreneur and want to take your business to the next level. Your coach will have you focus on ONE THING at a time over the course of a year in order to successfully get you to change your current habits and form new, money-making ones. Also, a good coach knows that at the root of every problem (no matter what category it falls in) is the fact we as a human beings are not reaching our fullest potential because we feel deep down that we are “not enough.” Moral of the story – this month take massive action and pay the money for a professional to help you achieve the thing you have pined over for the last 5-10 years. A business coach, wellness expert, therapist, etc. Lean into your sore spot. And, I’d urge you to continue to pay someone for the thing you desire the most for another year after you achieve it – maybe even longer so you don’t go back to your default habits! As a wellness coach myself, I am constantly hearing people telling me, “I know what to do, I just won’t do it.” Come on now! Get some skin in the game and freaking fix your life! I have done this literally in all aspects of my life. There is no shame to my game. If I want to become a millionaire, I am going to hire someone who has done it. If I want to take my relationship with my husband of 13 years to the next level, I’m going to hire a sex coach. If I want to have a spiritual awakening, I’m going to find myself a shaman. And that is what I have done. All of these experts have taught me so much about myself. I have grown and evolved and I am able to help others improve because I have improved. Trust me there is no better feeling than that of achieving something that you once deemed unfathomable.
- Identify Your Kryptonite. What is your weakness? Booze? Drugs? Food? Porn? Retail Therapy? We’ve all got one. One that tests us. One that feels so damn good in the moment we are euphoric. However once that moment passes we crash either emotionally, physically, or financially. Here’s where we must own our shit. Depending on how far to an extreme your vice is you may be able to get away with simply setting a limit on your kryptonite. e. Having 4 drinks per week and not having alcohol in the house vs. going cold turkey and not drinking at all for the next 30-60-90 days. A technique that I have used in the past has been again asking the question, “Aubrey, do you NEED this or do you WANT this?” If the answer was NEED, then I would proceed to allowing myself to partake. If my answer was WANT, then I would practice the art of saying “NO.” NO to myself and NO to others and NO to things. NO is a complete sentence. The deeper question to ask is, “WHY?” Why do I overindulge in ____________.
I have also implemented the “5 Why’s.” The “5 Why’s” is an effective strategy to get to the root of your real issue. Yes, I know you’re not a robot or machine, but try it anyway. The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a problem by repeating the question “Why?” five times. The answer to the fifth why should reveal the root cause of the problem. For example;
- “Why do I binge watch TV every night?” Answer: “Because I want to unplug from my day.”
- “Why do I want to unplug from my day?” Answer: “Because work stresses me out.”
- “Why does work stress me out?” Answer: “Because I feel like I can never get ahead.”
- Why do I feel like I can never get ahead? Answer: “Because I get caught up in distractions easily.”
- “Why do I get caught up in distractions easily?” Answer: “Because I do not know how to manage my time effectively and need to ask for help.”
To put a bow on all of this, as we pursue of a more balanced and intentional life, the concept of ‘Soberish’ emerges as a refreshing departure from extreme resolutions and the rigidity of sobriety. As we delve into 2024, let’s embrace ‘Soberish’ living—striking a balance that fosters growth, resilience, and a life well-lived. E-mail me directly at email@example.com and commit to your commitment. Send your new morning ritual plan my way and receive free accountability follow-ups to help you make it happen!
Cheers to being ‘better-ish’ than last year!
Aubrey Worek-DeStephen is a wellness expert and transformation coach based in Pittsburgh. She shares her life with her husband Dan and their energetic 7-year-old son, Roman. Owner of a boutique pole dance studio, FitnessEnvi, in Greensburg, PA, Aubrey’s passion for holistic well-being transcends physical boundaries. She is a Fitness America and OCB Pro athlete and the Fitness Expert for the Pittsburgh Today Live morning show on KDKA. She offers a variety of results-driven coaching programs to busy women everywhere. Contact her directly to see which of her services would be ideal for you at firstname.lastname@example.org.