So Dry January didn’t work out for you? The Alcohol Experiment is in your future.
No worries. Guess what? Quitting alcohol in January is a bad idea anyhow. There it is buried right in the middle of all those other resolutions and best intentions.
- Lose 10 (20, 30) pounds.
- Exercise more.
- Break up with alcohol
- Save money.
- Eat better- go vegetarian, go vegan, go green.
- Declutter your closet
And you’re going to bury your glorious one month alcohol experiment in with all that? Hell no! Besides, January has 31 days, February has 29 (this year). So lets tee up your alcohol experience.
Focus, Commit and Go! That’s how you just say “no” to alcohol for four short weeks.
Not just for “alcoholics”
It’s got to be said. You don’t have to be an “alcoholic” for alcohol to be getting in your way. Whether you sip on wine more than you should, indulge in a weekly or more binge, are a true weekend warrior, or are finding yourself in deeper than you want to be, nothing bad can come of taking a break. Taking a month off will open you and your life up in unexpected ways. I did my first alcohol experiment a couple years back, and was so surprised at how great I felt that my 6 week experiment turned into 5 months AF (Alcohol Free). Still doing this every couple of months and I’m beginning to think about a longer term change. It’s too darn easy to forget all of the amazing benefits!
What are some signs that it’s time to say “no” to alcohol?
Well, first of all you know. You just do.
But if you’re on the denial fence here it is.
The most simple litmus test ever. Does alcohol ever get in your way? Boom!
- Do you sometimes wake up with regrets about drinking more than you wanted?
- Are you drinking more days in a week than you don’t?
- Find yourself setting limits like “only on weekends” or “only two drinks” and then blowing right past them like a hidden speed trap?
- Do you wake up feeling less than 100% – lethargic, overwhelmed with it all, hazy and just physically off?
- Does drinking – either the act of, or the recovery from sometimes get in the way of your plans? Maybe you were going to the gym, taking a bike ride, decluttering your closet, an afternoon or evening with friends, work on that passion project.
- Sometimes you feel like you are wasting your life, spinning, and not fulfilling your purpose or ambitions?
The truth is we all drink for different reasons – maybe it’s cultural, or to ease pain, stress or loneliness, to cure your (you fill in the blank). But in the end, it’s not the amazing cure-all chameleon we give it credit for. It perpetuates, compounds and generally makes things worse, making it harder and harder to lift yourself up.
Repeat after me. “Alcohol is a depressant.”
Not sure if you’re ready to try the alcohol experiment? Click to check out Blame It On the Wine – 5 Signs Its Time to Break Up With Booze
Take our Alcohol Experiment Assessment to see where you stand! What signs do you have?
Download our assessment checklist and get started! Your checklist will be on the way to you.
What happens when we say “NO” to alcohol?
The benefits of not drinking alcohol, even for a 30 day period are immense.
How does having more energy and focus, enjoying super restful sleep, waking up with amazing clarity, losing a couple pounds, looking better and being hangover (and guilt) free and getting back to having 24 hours in your day sound?
Read on my friend.
Here are just a couple benefits of not drinking alcohol based on my and other peoples’ experiences. Your experience will depend on you, your drinking patterns, your lifestyle and personality.
But here are some things to look for.
There are tons of physical benefits which we discuss below, but something else jumps out for me. When doing my AF thing I enjoy the most delicious sleep of my life. As a long-time insomniac, this is huge! Going to sleep at night gets to be a big deal, and you’ll want to wash your sheets every other day just to savor snuggling in. Once you settle into a pattern you’ll probably wake up without alarm, earlier than usual and looking at lots of “me” time stretching ahead. Take a few moments to light a candle or two, whip up a cup of French Roast with frothed milk and sit quietly in gratitude knowing that for that hour all is well with the world. This is a great time for mediation, reflection and even journaling. That “found” time can feel sacred and is one of the great benefits of waking up at peace and guiltless.
Being AF is the greatest non-narcotic, non-alcoholic mood enhancer you’ll ever encounter. It will likely take just a few days for your mood to change from overwhelmed and tired of “all the things” to being ready to take it all on. Life gets exciting again. Second Mojo finally emerged from being a project I’d dreamed of and struggled with intermittently for a couple years to being a real website, with real content (not enough yet) and soon I was getting emails from people who said they got what I was talking about and that they actually found the content helpful, fun, or otherwise useful.
Some “bennies” that lots of people experience – feeling happier, less stressed and overwhelmed and less lethargic. Hello joy and happiness.
Your energy levels will probably soar and suddenly working out or taking a run may not seem so exhausting. Taking on those passion projects will be back on your radar, and your “to do” items will seem much more “doable”.
And guess what?
Waking up without a hangover or regrets of any kind is a special kind of heaven.
Clarity and Focus
Early morning has become my favorite time to work. You may find the dread of client calls and other projects melting away and giving way to a new found excitement to get on to your “next big thing”. This is a great time to outline that new business plan, (let yourself dream), research or write an article or a blog post, listen to a random podcast that will get you excited about something totally new. Or grab your shoes and get started on that 2020 fitness plan. What’s the big deal?
The risks of drinking even at a moderate level are well documented.
Here are a few health generally accepted risks of moderate to heavy drinking that a simple google search will show you.
Gotta disclaim- no medical expertise or claims here. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor or therapist.
- Weakened immune system – Simply stated, this makes you more likely to get sick.
- High blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Heavy drinking can slow your metabolism – think weight gain and more issues.
- Damaging toxins from alcohol put a stress on your liver and can cause an inflammation of your liver.
- Alcohol can increase our chance of cancer.
Come on! Give your hard working liver and pancreas a well deserved break!
Remember you’ll be sleeping like a baby, be less dehydrated and drinking water like a camel in the Sahara.
- Weight Loss – Let’s talk about weight loss right off the bat. Alcohol contains lots of empty calories, not to mention the poor food choices and snacking that can come from your lowered inhibitions. Your weight loss will depend on your normal habits. All things being equal, if you are eating normally now and continue to, but cut out tons of alcohol calories, well, you do the math. Win-win. On the other hand, if you drink a lot but skip meals, you may break even from a calorie perspective to begin with. But over the period of 30 days, if you normalize your eating, manage the sweet craving with fruits, and skip the poor food choices, you may well see weight loss.
- Premature aging – Alcohol is a diuretic and can cause dehydration. That’s where the dry mouth and and headaches come from. The dehydration can take fluid out of the skin and reduce nutrient absorption. Think wrinkles! Get that healthy glow back.
- Puffy cheeks and face – You know the look. When our body is dehydrated, the skin tries to hold onto water which can lead to bloating and puffiness in your face. In extreme cases you’ll end up with “chipmunk cheeks.” Yep, it’s a thing and it’s not cute except on chipmunks. Watch how quickly your jaw line reappears when you take a break.
- The tell-tale red face and bloodshot eyes. Broken capillaries can cause a reddened face and bloodshot eyes. Not a good look. Lose the alcohol and get rid of those bags you’re packing under your eyes.
- Hair and nails – Dehydration is once again the culprit causing dry and brittle hair and nails. Heavy drinking can rob your body of zinc and even cause hair loss. While hair loss may be irreversible you can get back that shine and bounce
- Feeling righteous! That’s right. Nothing brings the glow back like feeling centered and mindful.
Trust me when I say your world will get bigger when you’re doing your alcohol experiment. I’m speaking for myself here, but I’m famous for having a cocktail or glass of wine at the end of my business day. And it is a slippery slope from a drink or two to melting into the couch and shouting out “Netflix” into the remote. It does not take long to dismiss any ideas of going out.
If you do choose to go out (and I recommend you do) don’t fear being around your gang that are drinking. It’s easy for you to forget that you’re not partaking and believe it or not, none of them really cares!! Your thing is your thing. And forget about the FOMO. You’re not missing anything. Call any of them in the morning. And can you say “designated driver”?
Warning: Don’t go and get all judgy on your peeps. Yes, drinking takes all of us off our game. No, we are not nearly as brilliant and hilarious and we think we are when we’re tipping them back. But if you were in any position to be judging you probably wouldn’t be reading this, right? Just saying.
So…..when I did my first AF stint, I found a handy tool online that tracked daily savings from not drinking. Input data like your average weekly wine consumption, average bottle cost, same for mixed drinks, average weekly spend on cocktails at happy hours, etc. and any alcohol consumed with meals dining out. (Wait til you get that first dinner check with no wine or cocktails. Holy crap, who knew dining out was such a bargain.) Full disclosure, I am not going to make any full disclosure, but when I annualized that expense there was clearly a trip to Capri (First Class) there. Check it out! It’s fun and more than a little eye-opening.
Here are a couple calculators:
How to Start The Alcohol Experiment
There are tons of resources, many of them free that can walk you through your first Alcohol Free Experiment. An entire alcohol movement is growing globally. A new genre of “quit lit” offers lots of options ranging from the very personal memoir to more medical guides of how and why to go AF. Several online courses in various price points can be super useful in providing daily guidance, tips and motivation. There are MeetUp groups, online Facebook groups, and lots of info online, free for Googling!
Want more info on these tools? Click here to check out Blame It On the Wine – 5 Signs Its Time to Break Up With Booze
Does the idea of nights filled with iced tea and club soda leave you feeling uninspired? Me too!
For some inspiration and motivation we share our five favorite Alcohol Free Craft Cocktails including the Kickin’ Pineapple Jalapeno Mojojito. Check them out here. Click “Raise the Bar!” 5 Great Alcohol Free Craft Cocktail
Ready to start your alcohol experiment?
Just jump right in.
Do the buddy system. It can be so motivating.
Life without alcohol does not suck.
By the way, take a quick review of all those New Year’s resolutions above in the first paragraph.
“Lose weight, eat better, save money, exercise more.”
Sound familiar? That’s right- now you’re getting it.
There are few things that you can do for yourself that will pack a bigger punch than deciding to bag the booze for a few weeks, and who knows, maybe longer!
Get started on your 30 Day Alcohol Experiment now and let us know how you do! (Yes, we know there are only 29 days in February. Get started now! )
Download our assessment checklist and get started! Your checklist will be on the way to you.
For more information click on these related secondmojo.com blogs
Blame It On the Wine – 5 Signs Its Time to Break Up With Booze
“Raise the Bar!” 5 Great Alcohol Free Craft Cocktail
We’d love to hear about your alcohol experiment. Please comment below and let us know how it’s going!
And always, “caring is sharing.”
If you found this interesting or helpful please share on your social media or forward to your friends!
Thanks! Very inspiring and well-said!
Thanks….this all changed my life! Glad you stopped by. More to come, cynthia
SO much great advice here. As a recovering alcoholic (sober for 20 years!), I can testify to all that you’ve shared here. I’m so thankful to be connected with you now, Cynthia, and look forward to hanging out more!
So glad we connected. Check out https://www.secondmojo.com/5-signs-its-time-to-break-up-with-booze when you get a chance..It is kind of a fun, but “sobering” look at things. Let’s keep in touch!! Cynthia
This is inspiring. The perspective is really great
Thanks! Wish I had known this long ago!!