My Year of No Beer- Sprint 8

These blog posts 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 are 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 the challenge, so there’s plenty of time for us to be goal friends.

Sprint 8- January 28, 2022- February 10, 2022

Day 105

Today’s inspiration was about how every journey starts with a single step. I find this to be true when I run on my treadmill. Once I start, I’m in the zone and committed to finishing the run. A goal I’ve had in mind for some time was starting my own show. I’ve started by blogging more, but I’m still not comfortable with my appearance and voice on film. It’s not rational and I’m working on it. I feel pretenses and imagined requirements also get in the way of my goals. The single step I could take is recording myself and getting more comfortable. It doesn’t have to be for a set purpose… Just record and talk. 

Day 106

Today’s inspiration was about the second big question to finding meaning. The first was: What would you do if money wasn’t a factor? Today’s question is :What would you do if you gave up your career today? Honestly, I wouldn’t give up my career. I would love to treat patients and promote mental health awareness, but on my own terms and for less of my day. I would spend most of my time with my children. We would explore the world as I teach them the foundations of education. I would go on vacations with my husband. I would have the kids tag along, but have someone there so we can savor our times alone. Much of my day would be spent enjoying them and not being consumed with work. 

Day 107

Today’s inspiration was about pining for a prior life or life that I imagine. Thankfully, I no longer see alcohol as something I desire. I ironically no longer look back on those days of drinking lovingly. This did take time. For a long time, I still desired to let loose and get drunk. However, overtime, that has lost its appeal. It’s very subconscious now that I don’t want to drink, but whenever the urges do come I have defenses. First, I don’t want to be sick. Getting drunk used to make me sick. Even moderate drinking could leave me with awful reflux. Second, my kids love that I don’t drink. They were too young to have an opinion about my drinking, but they love that they can have an order what mommy’s having. Third, I don’t need alcohol to cope. This has been proven by my resilience with all the stressors I’ve had the last few months. I was able to rise out of all the sadness without a drop of alcohol. I’m thankful that I chose to go alcohol free for long enough that I don’t long for or glorify the life I once have. Instead, I revel in moving forward. 

Day 108

Today’s inspiration was about not believing  everything that is said. It’s in my best interests to make informed decisions about the information I receive, whether it be from OYNB or anyone else. Nevertheless, there were some things from the OYNB exercises that have had a huge impact on me. My top three would be thinking about this journey as a hero’s journey, finding flow, and breaking away from a deficit mindset. The hero’s journey helped me value my alcohol free journey as a story worth sharing and celebrating. Finding flow has helped me to prioritize the things I once enjoyed and loss throughout the years. Breaking away from a deficit mindset was major. I shifted from giving up alcohol to gaining wellness and peace. 

Day 109

Today’s inspiration was about finding those things that bring me meaning, purpose, and fill me with energy. Things that fill me with energy include spending quality time with my husband and kids, running, watching a good show, going for a walk, eating good food, catching up with a friend, going to theme parks, museums, and zoos. Things that zap me of energy are alcohol, too much junk food, talking to people that refuse to reason, negativity, and trying to help someone that doesn’t want the help or know how to receive it. I largely already avoid the things that zap my energy, so my real work will be prioritizing and pursuing the things that give me life. Another observation is that the converse of my energy zappers can all be added as additional things that bring me purpose and energy. 

Day 110

Today’s inspiration was about leading by example. Living an alcohol free life is a testimony and inspiration to those around me. I’ve shown people that sobriety doesn’t mean not having fun. I’ve shown people that you can enjoy life and live fuller without alcohol. I’ve shown people that you don’t need alcohol to relax or cope with life’s stressors. I also showed others that choosing to change your relationship with alcohol does not make you a zealot or define your prior use of alcohol. My decision to stop drinking alcohol is a lifestyle change for the better as opposed to me depriving myself of a substance that I need or crave. 

Day 111

Today’s inspiration was about random acts of kindness. I was encouraged to do a random act of kindness over the next week. After hearing the inspiration, I realized that I have been practicing this. Recently, I’ve been intentional about giving positive feedback to my children. My children are great helpers and I make sure that I acknowledge their diligence. I also help them to reflect on their day and the good aspects of the day when they are in a funk. They respond very well to this feedback. You can see the joy and contentment on their faces when they know their efforts are being appreciated. 

Day 112

Today’s inspiration was about finding my why. I was prompted to watch a TED talk of Simon Sinek discussing the power of leading with why. It’s a common habit of people in organizations to lead with what they do, how they do it, and why you should believe in them. Successful people and companies lead with why. They put an emphasis on having people believe what they believe. As a result, the people won’t be reacting for them, but for themselves. This program is a great example of that. I first tried this program because the initial advertising aligned with what I wanted for my life. As I move through this program and develop my why for living an alcohol-free life, I not only fuel my desire to live this life, but will be better equipped to inspire others to consider an alcohol-free life. I loved how the talk ended with the fact that there are leaders and there are those that lead. I want to be a person that leads by inspiring others with my why. 

Day 113

Today’s inspiration introduced the concept that eternity is now. Therefore, our current life may be all we have. If we assume this is true, it’s in our best interests to live this life to the fullest. The inspiration ended by mentioning that half of our time is usually spent dwelling on the past or focussing on the future. Hence only 50% of our lives is lived in the present. In theory, mindfulness could help with living more in the present and in some ways increase our life span considering that we’ll be living more of our life in the moment. I find this to be interesting. I would say I spend more time than I’d desire replaying old events or trying to make sense of things. I would hate to come to grips with that taking up 50% of my life. I still haven’t started meditating regularly, but I think that’s extra support that I may need to start. I have a habit of reflecting on anything that isn’t the present. It’s difficult to be present, but there’s peace in it once it’s practiced regularly. 

Day 114

Today’s inspiration was a reminder of the habit loop: trigger, routine, reward, craving, repeat. I’ve changed my relationship with alcohol, but that doesn’t mean temptation won’t return. It’s helpful to remember that I’m vulnerable to returning to old habits. Triggers for me were celebrations, stress, wanting to relax, free alcohol, “special or fancy” alcohol, and not wanting to miss out. My routine was to indulge. My routine now is to ride the emotions or do something else pleasing. Unfortunately, that sometimes involves food, but I’m working on that. The reward before would be to escape and let loose. The reward now is that I fully feel emotions and process my situation. I’m also less sick and don’t have to experience hangovers. I have more time from not having to recover from alcohol. I hope to repeat my new habits that involve not making alcohol an option. Repeat reminds me that drinking again will likely not be a one off and I’ll likely turn to drink regularly again. I don’t want that life anymore. My life without alcohol, although not perfect, is more free and fulfilling. 

Day 115

Today’s inspiration was about the importance of setting goals. About only 20% of Americans set goals and setting goals is what sets successful people apart. The inspiration referenced the book, “Think and Grow Rich.” In the book, readers were encouraged to write down their goals and what they were prepared to give in order to achieve them. That last part got me. I don’t know what I’m willing to give for my goals … time, money, energy. It’s hard enough to develop goals, but going that extra step seems beyond.  I also decided to listen to the highlights from the book on Blinkist. The two main points that struck me from the highlights were that positive emotions are key to a successful life and that only the persistent will succeed. I would say I’m more positive than not, but my need to be realistic or pragmatic sometimes gets in the way. Persistence is something I’d definitely want to work on. When something seems too big or unattainable, I back out.  I’m not proud of that, but I’m so hurt by failing that I’m likely limiting myself and potential. Part of me is scared to venture into the unknown because I’m comfortable with being apt and appearing capable. 

Day 116

Today’s inspiration was about  goals vs projects. Although there is a distinct difference between the two, it might be worth reframing goals as project. In the Mastermind program, I’m working on the goal of having my own Television show, internationally recognized vlog, or internationally recognized podcast. Another way of thinking of this goal could be Project Recognition or Project Getting Out There. The power of reframing it in this way is removing my goal from being merely a target. It’s now something I’m actively working on now. Projects have more of a “here and now” feel to it. Projects feel more like a work in progress than something I either achieve or don’t. The best part of projects are the process. I absolutely need to learn how to enjoy the process of reaching my goals. 

Day 117

Today’s inspiration was about sorting goals based on what I should have done, could have done, or would have done. Nevertheless, I want to reflect on the weekend ahead of me. I have no desire to drink, but I will be around people that will be drinking. It’s my husband’s birthday and the drinks will be flowing. I’ve changed my relationship with alcohol, but I shouldn’t judge others who still enjoy celebrating with a few drinks. The coming weekend reminds me of past inspirations that discussed not being a stick in the mud. I need to check myself for sure this weekend. I need to allow others to enjoy their time without being judgmental. I also need to know my boundaries and hold fast to them. No alcohol means no alcohol, but that doesn’t mean being a boring, butt hole.

Day 118

Today’s inspiration was a review of Sprint 8. The inspiration that stood out to me the most was “Find Your Why.” This stood out to me because I revisited my old why and how it has evolved. It’s amazing how you can have the same goal and resolve, but the reason behind it can change dramatically. The power of finding and knowing my why was also intriguing to me. Through my why, I’m more able to inspire people before they even know how or what I plan to do. The Ted talk associated with “Find Your Why” inspiration gave famous examples of people and organizations that were successful because they led with their why. This made me think about how this manifests in my life. My mother came to mind immediately. For most of my life I didn’t question anything my mother advised or planned because I knew her why was rooted in love for me. Even today, I’m less likely to blindly follow my mother, but I’m more likely to hear her out because I know her heart. 

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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