My Year of No Beer- Sprint 3

These blog posts will document my journey of abstaining from alcohol for a year with the help of the One Year No Beer program. Please feel free to comment because I know there’s others that could benefit from hearing your voice as well. I would be thrilled if we could be on this journey together. I started this blog about 60 days in, so there’s plenty of time for us to be goal friends.

Sprint 3- November 13- November 26, 2021

Day 29

Today’s inspiration was another reminder that the goal of the challenge is not willpower. This is not a Dry January or Sober October… This is a change in my lifestyle and relationship with alcohol. At this point, I’m sold on this. I want what an alcohol-free life that can add to my health and relationships. Over the last 29 days without alcohol, I’ve also been able to devalue it’s need in my life. I have celebrated and have been super stressed out. I don’t think alcohol would have made any of those events better. Going alcohol free is now truly more of a preference than a challenge. 

Day 30

Today’s inspiration was about finding flow or being in the zone. The idea is that if I find flow,  I can obtain more joy, happiness, and contentment. Ironically… I was just thinking of how I felt more in the zone recently. I hadn’t had that feeling at work for some time, but I had it just a few days ago. I was churning through consults, but I was still able to do what needed to be done and felt I was helping my patients. I had bursts of energy and happiness and ended my shift with a smile. The inspiration also challenged me to think of things that gave me flow in the past. Another thing that came to my mind was solving physics and mathematics problems. I would get so worked up finding the answer… Especially if it had a cool application like potential space travel or how something trivial worked on a micro level. I also used to love crafts, movies, sports, and games. As I keep writing, I remember a major time I find flow… Theme parks, museums, zoos… Anything interactive on that level. I want to do ALL the things. My challenge is incorporating flow on a daily basis. I often feel like I have to wait for the next vacation or day off to embrace being in the zone. I hope this program not only introduced this concept, but continues to help me develop it’s usefulness in my life. 

Day 31

Today’s inspiration was to avoid the following statements: “I’ll be happy when I have (fill in blank)””I’ll be happy when I don’t have (fill in blank)”
This hasn’t been the first inspiration to mention this and I think it’s worth repeating. I haven’t made those statements related to my alcohol journey, but I’ve made them for so many aspects in my life. The trick is I don’t use those exact words… My words are usually : I’ll be more relaxed or feel good when ( fill in the blank). I use less provocative words, but the impact is the same. I’m waiting for the next “thing” to feel “something” when the something could be felt NOW. In terms of alcohol, I believe I’d feel “satisfied” with my journey once I reach a certain amount of days. I’ve rationalized that the amount of days on this challenge will justify to me or others that I should be content or happy with any “real” change happened by that point. Instead, I could be content and happy with what’s happening now and celebrate now. I’ve been through weddings, birthdays, sadness, stress, and someone stuff without picking up a drink. That’s worth having that feeling of accomplishment now. 

Day 32

Today’s inspiration was about viewing willpower as a finite resource. The analogy was that willpower is like a muscle. It can get better as I train it, but can also fatigue with overuse. I think the take home point for me was the concept of viewing willpower as a general thing. I use it for so many aspects of my life, but the reserve is from the same pot. So when I’ve exhausted all my willpower reserves in one area, I’m likely to say “eff it’ in another area. Some of my previous drinking habits were like that and my eating habits definitely reflect that. After I’m depleted by one thing I find it hard not to go YOLO on something else. I could see anytime I have the urge to go YOLO as a sign that I’m depleted. That extra attention to what’s happening may help me take a break before acting on my depletion or worsening the diminished stores.


Today’s inspiration was about marginal gains. Over time, cumulative small gains make remarkable gains. Each day with the challenge, I’ve be making little changes to my mindset and habits to make this challenge easier. Another way I’ve seen this in my life is with Weight Watchers. I’ve been tracking everything I eat… Even the “cheat” foods. I’ve found myself making little adjustments here and there to improve my habits. Grilled vs fried. Fruit vs another dessert… Unlike real life, I can see the effects each change makes immediately if I look at the points. Seeing less points is positive reinforcement to change my ways. However, without the immediate reinforcement, I’d still see the gains overtime with weight loss and wellness. Thus far in my no-alcohol journey, I’ve also made small changes like trying new non-alcoholic beers or looking up fun drinks I can have anywhere. My hope is that these small changes will make a non-alcoholic lifestyle resemble the parts of my life that I currently enjoy. Thus, making this journey seamless. 

Day 34

Today’s inspiration was about brunt confronted with negativity. I understand this challenge isn’t for everyone and may trigger some people. I need to be cognizant of that. Everyone has responded with understanding when I tell them I’m avoiding alcohol. I’ve had people question it, but those people were also supportive enough to add that it’s not for them. Part of me feels like my journey will be an inspiration to some. I hope my journey can be an example to others who struggle with their relationship with alcohol. I also hope that this breaks the cycle and my kids won’t feel like alcohol is the way to get the fun started like I did. I want this freedom for them and for them to see it at freedom instead of a yoke. 

With that said… I had my first temptation today. I was reading the email to prepare me for a flight and it contained the seasonal offerings for the complimentary drinks offered on the fight. Apparently complimentary and remotely unique offerings are my weakness… I contemplated having some crafted Bourbon drink and just restarting the challenge after my vacation… Thank goodness this challenge is legit and helped me easily reflect that I’m not on a sober November. I’m on a sober life and healthier lifestyle. I’m not going to have that drink and 3-4 others to get some feeling. I’m here for the long haul. It was refreshing to have the lapse today because it reminded me that I’m on a challenge. This isn’t easy and I’m making real change. This vacation will be my first without alcohol in years with the exception of when I was pregnant. My thoughts could have scared me, but I’m ready to confront this. I will have a great time on this vacation and I’ll do so without a drop off alcohol. 

Day 35

Today’s inspiration was about taking the day off and relaxing. This was great timing because I start my vacation today. I kicked off the vacation with dinner with my mom. So much for taking the day off of thinking about the challenge… We went to a chef’s table and I was so tempted. I associate these types of experiences with excellent food and service. However, the biggest association is with the wine pairings. I thought about it being a big deal beforehand and picked a place with a temperance menu. Me and my mother started a little late, so I was able to see the other parties get their courses and accompanied wines. I thought about how that would be me..  Enjoying my wine and chopping it up with the sommelier about how the wine complimented the course. The beautiful part was that the temperance menu allowed me to have a comparable experience. I was able to enjoy my meal and appreciate the flavors from my beverages without having slurred speech, disinhibition, and reflux by the end of the night. Moreover, my drinks were so much more fun to see made. They branded ice, added smoke, and mixed it up. It was worth riding that initial wave of temptation and seeing how great staying alcohol free could be compared to my norm. This also made me think of how the rest of the vacation will bring up additional feelings and temptations. The other restaurants may not have the luxury of a temperance menu and the specialty drinks at the various settings look so good. Regardless, I will come out of this victoriously because I want this lifestyle. It’s a choice for the better. 

Day 36

Today’s inspiration was about preparing for the unexpected. The skill presented was visualization. Inevitably, I’ll encounter temptation along this journey. It would be in my best interest to work through tempting scenarios before they occur. I start vacation today and will be tempted in so many ways… Disneyland, chef tables with advertised wine pairings, and more opportunities where the drinks will be flowing. There’s nothing that made me overindulge like “free” alcohol and an “experience.” Reminding myself of why I’m doing this and how beneficial it has been thus far to resist alcohol will be clutch. 


Today’s inspiration was about a wellness baseline. This is the state at which a person operates most of the time. I’d say I’m about a 6 or 7 out of 10. The crux of today’s inspiration was that the work done and skills learned in this challenge should help reset that baseline. Part of me wonders what it feels like to live more optimally. I’m not unhappy, but my baseline is grossly defined as being busy, stressed, of stretched. I’d love to feel more relaxed and less tense. I’d also like to have my baseline to be high enough that when dips occur I don’t bottom out. I want a good enough baseline to sustain the hard times, but also thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the good times. An 8 out of 10 sounds perfect. 

Day 38

Today’s inspiration was about slips ups. Essentially, they happen and it’s not a reason to give up on the challenge or restart. I’ve thought about this a lot. One day, I might order a mocktail and end up with an alcoholic drink or somehow open the wrong beer. I also think about if I “relapse.” There might be something I haven’t expected that causes me to cave in. Yesterday was about visualizing tempting situations. It might be helpful to visualize a slip up and what I’ll do next. I don’t want another YOLO moment to dictate my actions, but it happens. I want to be ready to dust myself off and keep going. 

Day 39

Today’s inspiration was about finding a goal friend. So… other than this challenge, I don’t have any established goals. I have desires, but I haven’t made them measurable or have time constraints. Once I get a goal together, I’ll get a goal friend. I’m terms of this challenge, I’m hesitant to ask someone to join. I’ve done challenges before and asked people to do it with me, but this has been different. Normally, I’d tell someone I’m doing a challenge and they’d say it’s cool. They might even ask to join me or express interest. That has NOT happened with this challenge. At most I’d get, “That’s good for you. ” There’s potentially someone giving it a second thought after we’ve spoken about the challenge. There might also be someone reading these blogs that would interested. Nevertheless, this feels like finding a goal friend for this won’t be that easy and honestly I’d rather find one for another goal. At the end of the day, I can’t get discouraged about changing my lifestyle alone. This is a choice I made independent of others, but if anyone comes along I’d be more than happy to enjoy this experience with them. 

Day 40

Today’s inspiration was about the concept of people being boring when they aren’t drinking. Somewhere along the way, we as people have equated drinking with have a good time or a better time. Ironically, I can do all the things I do when I’m drinking, but without the side effects. I’m definitely not boring. That’s not my struggle. My struggle is FOMO… yes… Fear of missing out. The irony is that I don’t feel that often, but when something “special” is happening, I’m heavily tempted. Yesterday, we went to a lovely restaurant. They had wine pairings with the meal. Been there done that… I thought I was fine until they mentioned a LEGENDARY pairing. I almost lost it. I talked to myself, started fidgeting… I even asked Arlinton if he’d tell anyone if I drank something. The only thing that calmed me down was reminding myself why I wasn’t drinking alcohol. Even a legendary pairing wasn’t worth hampering my efforts to change my life. I eventual said no and asked if bar could do a pairing for me with non-alcoholic options. Ironically, the option was available. Riding that wave of temptation helped reinforced that I had options and was in charge of my choices and actions. I’m still tired because of an early flight home, but I’m not sick or drained from drinking. I got to enjoy a vacation without drinking. As I reflect on this, I realize that I likely won’t go to certain places that revolve around drinking.  Doing my favorite things didn’t involve an alcoholic drink. I feel very good about myself and choices. 

Day 41

Today’s inspiration was about cultivating flow. The focus today was on making time for the things that fulfill me and cutting out the things that don’t. Some suggestions were waking up earlier, outsourcing tasks, and scheduling quality time. This resonated with me because today is Thanksgiving and I didn’t cook. My excuse for not cooking was that I just came from vacation, but the truth is that I don’t feel cooking the glorified Thanksgiving meal would align with what I want. I want to spend time with my family, rest, and not feel burned out. This Thanksgiving was a relaxing one and set the tone for the rest of the week. I want to spend time with my kids and will likely play video games with them this weekend instead of yelling and lamenting about how tired I feel. This inspiration also made me think about how important it is to be intentional about making time for things. If I have to schedule playtime with my kids or quality time with my husband… So be it. Nevertheless, I think my loved ones and I will enjoy the additional time we have together. My planner will look super insane now, but my life will be more fulfilled. Time to dust that planner off and put it to use! I like the open ones that make you insert the date because there’s no waste. 

Day 42

Today’s inspiration was a recap of the skills learned in Sprint 3. Over the course of this challenge, there will be 26 sprints!!! As I listened to the review, I realized how much the one year no beer challenge is more than just just an abstinence program… It’s a life changer. One of the concepts that intrigues me the most is flow. As I reflect, I have less flow in my life compared to years ago. I want flow back. Having flow feels good. The most recent times I’ve had flow was when I used my planner. Using my planner has come to my mind multiple times and I can’t understand why I stopped using it or why I’m reluctant to pick it back up. Planning took no more than 15 minutes a day. Yet, it made a huge difference in my day. I really want to figure out this reluctance because it might be key to reuniting with flow. 

If you want more information about the One Year No Beer program. Check out this LINK. I strongly recommend this program if you question your relationship with beer. Even if you’re doing a “dry” month, it could be helpful for you to meet your goal.

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