On my daily scroll through my Facebook newsfeed last week, my eyes stopped at an ad with the title Never Hungover next to a bottle of alcohol. Assuming this was a new non-alcoholic beverage, I clicked on the link to learn more.

I was greeted with the tagline, “Party Tonight and Feel Great Tomorrow.” This anti-hangover company encourages users to drink Never Hungover before or while consuming alcohol. One bottle of is to be used for every four alcoholic drinks. Celebrity endorsers include Paris Hilton and Seth Green.

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Never Hungover even uses the body-damaging effects of alcohol to sell their product. They explain that their product helps, “neutralize and process the toxins cased by alcohol in the liver and kidneys, by turning them into acetic acid which is flushed out of the body, thus drastically reducing the cause of the hangover.”

Admittedly, I’m a novice with alcohol. I’ve never been hungover. I drink wine 3-4 times a year and beer has never touched my lips. It’s become a personal game for me to refrain from drinking that tall frothy glass or bottle of suds.

The counselor in me, however, was immediately struck by patterns I see over and over again in my work with people. Whether in nutrition and fitness coaching or one-on-one counseling there are common barriers to good physical and emotional health.

Here are 5 things we can learn from Never Hungover:

(1) We Like Instant Gratification. We want it when we want it. When numbers don’t change on the scale quickly enough, we give up. When relationships aren’t fixed quickly, we stop trying. We want to feel good fast and we want to be rewarded. Without immediate results, we are easily discouraged and lose focus on the impact of healthy changes for our long-term life.

(2) We Like to Say Yes. We are created to be in relationship with one another. We want to connect. We want to be loved. One of our biggest fears with the word “no” is that it will make us unpopular or drive a wedge between us and others. Maybe they’ll laugh or make fun of us. Maybe they’ll stop wanting to hang out with us. Often, we do things we don’t want to do to avoid standing out from the crowd.

(3) We Like Easy. Hard work is, well… hard. It requires effort to change. New habits take concentration and focus. Losing weight, moderating alcohol, getting out of debt, and building better relationships requires doing things differently. Old habits are what got us where we are now. If we are discontent, then we have to work to re-write the future.

(4) We Like to Feel Good. Is there anything better than experiencing pleasure? We seek it. We crave it. This desire can benefit us when we quench the desire through exercise (endorphins), an emotional experience in a church worship service (hallelujah), or intimate relations with our spouse (ahhhh). But destruction comes when we find pleasure in excessive drinking, overeating, or casual sex. Choosing the best outlet for our craving is critical for our overall health.

(5) We Like Our Buts. How often do we kinda, sorta take responsibility for something, only to add a disclaimer to the end of our explanation? Conversations like, “Yes, I ate too much, but…” or “I did forget to call her, but…” These excuses shift the responsibility from us to something (or someone) else. It sounds like we’re admitting wrong, but we’re actually pointing a finger at something seemingly outside of our control. These “buts” allow us to continue to repeat our behavior and justify our actions.

Recognizing these patterns is half the battle. Doing something about it is the other half. If you’re struggling with your physical or emotional health, choose to make just one small change in the new year.

If you would like help with the “doing” part, connect with me on Facebook or email me at unstuck4life@gmail.com.

Here’s to being living a Hangover & Quick Fix free 2015!

Question: Which one of these 5 areas is most challenging for you? Comment below!

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