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The month without temptation 

As a part of my website I have a Monthly Challenge that I send out to people around the world. In August I sent out a discipline challenge. The rules were you had to choose one area of consumption that you thought you were weak in and for the month of August you had to go without it. Some people chose chocolate, some coffee and some went without alcohol.  

As the month went on I got lots of feedback from people doing the challenge. What I found really interesting was that everyone seemed to be giving me the same comment: ‘it’s actually not that hard’. It seemed to be that once people had committed to a month without their weakness the weakness disappeared. How could it be that these people could totally remove the thing they normally consider their biggest weakness and not even find it hard?

Because I believe you need to walk the talk I did this challenge the month beforehand. I removed fizzy drinks, potato chips and sweets. While there were a couple moments where I wanted those foods I, like the others found it pretty easy to resist those temptations. But as soon as the month finished I had a couple of days where I went crazy and submitted to my weaknesses, it was like I was trying to catch up on what I had missed out on. I quickly realised that this had to stop and I had to really think about what I had learned in the discipline month. 

When I had a rule that I wasn’t allowed my chosen weakness my mind would come up with ways for me to be successful. My mind seemed to be able to create solutions for me to avoid the temptation. But once the rule had disappeared it was like my mind had lost this ability and I lost the strategies I had developed.

What I learnt from this experience is that I need to have some rules around my temptations. I set myself these rules: I can have a small bit of sweet food every day and once a week I can have all of my temptation foods at one time. Once I set these rules my mind went back to creating ways for me to be successful around them. 

What are the rules you have around your temptations? If you don’t have any maybe you need to sit down and work some out. You may want to remove them completely or you could choose to consume them at a healthier level. You’ll find that once you set these rules your mind will help to you to find creative solutions so you can be successful. This has got to be good for you. 

Let me know what some of your rules are in the comment section. I'd be interest to see what you guys are doing.

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Reader Comments (6)

That's what you describe, Bevan, is very true.
Well, it's rather easy to commit ourselves for one month without doing those weaknesses but..

The thing is too keep doing it consistently.

As for your previous challenge month : the press-ups challenge, I still do it from time to time, well not that level of the challenge month but still..


September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBao Trung

Hello Bevan, liked the post. OK here's what I struggle with. I can cut off anything it doesn't matter what it is, it could be the thing i would jump in front of a bus for, easy, once i set my mind its done! DONE!... but come 11pm I stop thinking to the point where I'd let the bus run over me, i don't care. My mind gives up and my will power disappear as well as everything else to the point where I would not be able to sleep unless I eat everything that's anything in the fridge. by that time it wouldn't matter if I had worked out 2 hours that day, by that time... nothing matters! I don't know what happens to me its like i gett possessed by the devil when i eat during that time and it aint pretty.... help. any advice?

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM

Hey M

This is a really hard thing to over come. I'm going to create some content on this over the next few months. I know that this doesn't answer this question right now but I think it needs a some thought and time to develop some methods to help. I'll probably do it in the podcast. Keep an eye out.


September 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterBevan James Eyles

Thank you :) I will keep an eye out. I enjoyed the last podcast. Greatt work. (y)

September 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterM

I am the same as M but with pot. It sucks. This morning I threw all my pot away but now it is past nine in the evening. I have done everything I needed to do for the day. And I'm kind of lonely and bored and thinking about going out and finding that stuff just so I feel better about myself. But then it'll be temporary and I'll feel like a loser, then a part of me will also be disgusted at what I just inhaled, especially unfiltered.

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlmnop

Love this challenge idea Bevan. We think alike!

I have done this before with chocolate and desserts when I was building up to my Ironman race and it helped me drop 4kg.

The bottom line is that it needs to be fun. For me, this means that I need a reward at the end of the month. A blow out day where I can eat whatever I like. This helps with the motivation.

I also had a temptation box where I threw in the chocolates that I could not resist buying - this acted as a block and put the treats somewhere out of reach. Setting up these little games with yourself helps sustain the change and maintain the motivation.

All the best,


October 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWarwick John Fahy

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