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 9 – February 10, 2022- February 24, 2022
Today’s inspiration was about celebrating the changes I’ve made. Many people fantasize about hitting rock bottom as the nidus for change. However, changing habits happens by changing habits. Over the last 119 days, I haven’t had a drink because I changed my relationship with alcohol through habit change. My autopilot is changing from getting a drink to passing on alcohol. I’m very happy with my changes because there are always reasons to have a drink and fall into old habits.
Today’s inspiration was about examining why I don’t do the things I know will make a difference in my life. Most of our inaction is driven by wanting to know how. Many of us know how, but we rather fight it. Change takes action; continued and intentional action. One of my goals is establishing a meditation practice. I can’t understand why I haven’t been meditating. Luckily, today’s inspiration urged me to take action today. Therefore, I will meditate today. No excuses. I’m going to break that cycle and take action. Who knows… It might be the first day of a lifelong practice and journey.
Today’s inspiration was about reflecting on what alcohol really is. In the inspiration they referenced a definition from Google. Merriam-Webster defines alcohol as “ethanol especially when considered as the intoxicating agent in fermented and distilled liquors”. Ethanol is defined as “a colorless volatile flammable liquid C2H5OH that is the intoxicating agent in liquors and is also used as a solvent and in fuel” Reading that definition definitely makes alcohol less appealing. They might as well say it’s a poison with intoxicating effects. I took this inspiration a step further and looked up the safety data sheet for ethanol. A safety data sheet outlines the occupational safety and health cautions for various substances. The safety data sheet for ethanol has the following hazard statements:
Highly flammable liquid and vapor
Causes serious eye irritation
Suspected of causing cancer
Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child
May cause damage to organs
May cause drowsiness or dizziness
The signal word for ethanol is Danger. It’s so interesting that over time me and most people have learned of the risks and dangers of this substance, but still chose to partake. Looking at these facts concretely reinforces my desire to keep ethanol out of my body. Whether we call it alcohol, a shot, boose, nightcap, or a drink, that doesn’t change that we’re talking about a dangerous and toxic substance.
Today’s inspiration was about the impact of every action. Over time, any repeated action could become a habit. Positively, starting a healthy lifestyle can stick, the more we act on it. Conversely, repeated negative actions can stick as well. This inspiration made me better appreciate the impact every action has. As much as I’ve been reluctant to meditation, every meditation I do, gets me closer to it becoming a habit. This challenge is also an excellent example. It’s now a habit for me to avoid alcohol and ask for non-alcoholic options. Seeing this change really makes meditation and other positive habits seem like a cake walk. It’s so encouraging and intriguing to know that everything I do makes a difference now and in the future through habits.
Today’s inspiration was about reflecting on the quote, “How can I fly like an eagle when I’m surrounded by turkeys?” This quote emphasizes how important it is to surround yourself with the right type of people as you try to accomplish your goals. Over the years, I’ve had to prune or fall out of contact with a lot of people. We couldn’t grow into the people we were becoming being in each other’s lives, for better or worst. I currently feel I have a good group of people in my life to motivate and uplift me. However, I’m encouraged to seek out more like-minded and inspirational associates as I grow into this better version of myself. The comforting part is that this is now possible with the use of online forums and groups. I’ve found that my various “tribes” and “families” have been invaluable as I’ve tried to implement change in my life.
Today’s inspiration was about changing routines. I was encouraged to be mindful of the habit loop ( Trigger> Routine> Reward). I was encouraged to keep the reward and trigger, but replace the routine with a healthier option. Alcohol doesn’t seem to be an active issue to brainstorm this with, but I continue to struggle with food. I’m not gaining enormous amounts of weight, but I know could change the habits I have around food. I believe my bad habits around eating start at what I buy. The trigger in this scenario would be needing to get groceries. My routine is to go through every aisle. No matter what I get, the reward is food for the week. I can flip out my routine by going to the perimeter aisles with all the fresh food and reserve the middle aisle in the event I need something for a recipe or ran out of a kitchen staple. This will not only promote healthy eating for myself, but the for the entire family.
Today’s inspiration encouraged me to list 3 good things. I like this activity because it’s simple and still invokes gratitude without much thought. I also like it because the 3 things can be anything. This is great because it keeps me positive about the past and for the future.
Three Good Things
1. A good nap.
2. A good bath… A bath where I can fit in the tub.
3. Hearing a baby cry when it’s first born.
Today’s inspiration was about getting out of my own way. Essentially, I am my biggest obstacle to completing this challenge. Throughout the challenge, my greatest challenges were from within. It wasn’t peer pressure or wanting to fit in; it was my own internal dialogue that alcohol was special and that it wasn’t harmful. Personally, it’s easier to brush people off than it is for me to ignore myself. I really liked how the inspiration also highlighted that I am not all my thoughts. I am not defined by my maladaptive thoughts. I’m defined by the part of me that thinks rationally and challenges those thoughts.
Today’s inspiration encouraged me to think about goals that other people have for me as well as financial goals. The irony is that I could care less about both. I believe it would be beneficial to think more about finances. However, outside of becoming less dependent on debt, I’m at a loss. Once I make a financial goal, I usually want more. The returns and process don’t feel as good as other goals. Yes, I’ll have more money, but in the process I’m usually burnt out. My goal could be to live with less, but I don’t have the bandwidth to downsize right now with my family growing. Everyone else’s goals for me are also equally as meh for me. The drive for most of my goals is a personal reason that resonates deeply. Someone else’s desires doesn’t hit the same. I may be avoiding doing the work today, but I really don’t have much interest in those types of goals right now.
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.