Twelve months ago, I was burned out. My business was failing, my relationships were uninspiring and I woke up every day with the feeling that things weren’t getting done.
Walking into my apartment one evening, I did my customary routine of grabbing a beer from the refrigerator. While swallowing that first cold gulp, “Do you think that drinking might be getting in the way?”
My ego instantly repulsed that idea, but then I started asking myself questions.
Do you drink when you are stressed? Yes.
Do you drink at events to make socializing easier? Yes.
Do you drink to celebrate your victories? All the time.
Do you think that alcohol may be getting I the way of creating the life you want? I couldn’t answer that question.
As an experiment, I decided to remove alcohol from my life for 66 days. The University College of London did a study that says it takes, on average, 66 days to form a habit. I wanted to break the habit of drinking from my lifestyle to see what effects it may have on my life.
These 66 days changed my life. My business started gaining a pulse again, my relationships got stronger and a newfound energy emerged inside of me that I never knew I had.
These were the three most impactful results from living 66 days without alcohol.
Before giving up alcohol, I never realized how much time I wasted. Without alcohol, watching the game on television or spending the night at the bar with friends wasn’t as much fun. At most, I could handle two hours participating in such activities.
I never realized the effect alcohol had on my ambition. Every day without alcohol compounded my desire to get more done and use my time more efficiently. I no longer wanted to take breaks or have a day off. Every second of every minutes there was a desire to fill it with meaningful activities.
Mornings were no longer this process of hitting snooze and rolling out of bed. Most days I started walking up before the alarm because I was excited to get the day started.
Catching up with friends was no longer a three-hour bar session filled with small talk. Instead, we grabbed a coffee, had lunch or went for an hour walk. The discussions were more satisfying and I began to connect with my friends on a deeper level.
My productivity skyrocketed over the course of these 66 days. I easily gained four additional hours each day that was filled with activities and action items to push my life forward.
“Liquor courage” was something that I’ve always believed in. Whether it was approaching the attractive girl at the bar or making the cold call for work, I believe that alcohol made such actions easier.
The first couple of weeks that was the case. I couldn’t get myself to do anything that was uncomfortable, especially in social situations. But once I pushed through my fears and took action, I realized that I was telling myself a big lie.
Alcohol wasn’t putting me into action. It was numbing my anxiety, so that I never had to learn to push through such feelings.
Without having alcohol as a crutch in these situations, I had to start getting comfortable not always be comfortable. It was amazing how much fear was holding me back.
I started confronting my fears head on and learned that most of the things holding me back weren’t actually that difficult. Things that would take me days to due out of anxiety were addressed immediately that uncomfortable feeling arose so I could move on to other things.
That feeling of anxiety started changing into excitement because I knew it would take me to new levels in my life.
Over these 66 days, I generate more sales in my business than ever before, I going on dates with higher quality women and areas of my life were being addressed that I was avoiding for years out of fear.
It’s amazing how taking impactful action every day compounds into massive momentum. By the end of the experiment, I was walking through life with a new vision of the potential opportunities.
My old fears seemed juvenile and I knew that my new fears would only be defeated by taking action. Each day seemed to become easier, even though my goals were loftier than ever before.
When I did get knocked down and things weren’t going right, it didn’t matter so much anymore. I wanted to get up each day and try to jump that hurdle once again.
Finally, I started to experience the momentum that so many entrepreneurs that I followed talked about. I even reached out and started actually having conversations with some of these individuals!
Removing alcohol for those 66 days changed my life. Near the end of the experiment, I was looking at my three year goals and realizing that most of these could be accomplished in 365 days. I just needed to build on the momentum that I was creating.
Those 66 days ended up turning into six months without having a drop of alcohol. I do drink today, but not to the extent I did before my experiment and never in an attempt to numb my internal anxieties.
I encourage everyone to go two months without drinking as see what kind of effects it has on their life. Many people never drink again. Others go back to their old habits. But everyone I met that has experiment life without alcohol has seen life from a different lens.
What might be possible in your life if you removed alcohol from it for only two months?
Originally published at medium.com