Alcohol has never controlled my life on any level. I’ve never longed for a drink, I’ve never gone days unable to stop drinking, and I’ve never been an alcoholic. That said, in the past I’ve definitely had more than I should while making less than great decisions and disrespecting the people I love. Well, in 2017, it’s over. Moderation is the new normal. As of January 1st, I’ve cut back almost all the way, and here’s what I’m noticing.
I have more energy and stamina for nearly all activities. My mental fortitude is enhanced, my focus is sharpened, and I perform better in tennis (my favorite athletic activity). Most importantly, I don’t wake up in the morning lacking motivation or feeling fatigued from that pint of IPA I consumed the night before. In general, it’s a heck of a lot easier to make myself get up and go!
This is the biggest upside. Drinking less has made me happier in general, mostly because I’m noticing so many positive externalities—that I’ll discuss in a second. This happiness is resulting in an improved treatment of those around me especially friends and loved ones. Happiness is contagious. When you’re feeling good it tends to reflect well on others.
Ready for Challenges
Any change in behavior presents a personal challenge. It’s a lot easier to slink along, continuing the poor behavior than it is to overhaul it and start anew. But once you get there it feels amazing, giving you the confidence to tackle the next challenge or pursuit in your life. Which leads me to the next added benefit… time.
More Hours in The Day
Okay so there aren’t literally more hours in the day when you stop drinking, but it sure feels that way. When your limited hours aren’t spent getting your buzz on it’s a lot easier to find time to get important things done—like cleaning the house, learning a trade, getting fit, or spending more time with loved ones.
Not Becoming A Statistic
The top 10% of drinkers drink enough to drive over 50% of all alcoholic purchases. Pretty startling. While I was never even close to this category, where the average is 10+ drinks each day, it’s better not to ever gravitate even remotely towards it. Especially if your family has a history of alcoholism, like mine.
Finding Great Taste in Other Things
If you’re not constantly snacking on beer or cocktails, it gives you time to appreciate some other delicious—and healthy—drinks. For me, sparkling water has become my new obsession for some reason. I never really drank it until this year, but have quickly learned to appreciate it’s subtle taste. I’m sure others could realize the same effects from juice, or any healthy alternative beverage.
And that’s about it. I’m not trying to sound too heroic here as I really did NOT have a problem. But even cutting back from the amount I used to drink feels too good not to share with you.
Here’s a video that offers some nice advice as well.