One Year No Beer Podcast Episode 016 – An Adventure Focused Approach with James Fell
You can still be a social butterfly without drinking. One of the biggest challenges we see people facing with One Year No Beer is how to deal with the big changes to their social calendar. All of those old experiences with friends – drinking together at the pub, late nights after the party – those things are going to change, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have a great time!
Once you are alcohol free, your social life is definitely going to change. It’s going to be your job to get the most out of the happy moments. One of our best pieces of advice is: Have an exit strategy. You want to be there when everyone is merry and having a good time, but you want to leave before everything gets sloppy. So book your taxi ahead of time, know when the last train leaves, and have a goodbye script ready. Or be like Andy and leave without saying goodbye. Do a social experiment and see what happens if you just disappear.
Our guest today is a health guru who is familiar with social experiments like that one. His decision to go alcohol free for a year was to see what would happen if he just stopped drinking. James Fell, American author and health writer for the LA Times and Men’s Health, took on the One Year No Beer challenge because he wanted the adventure.
“Things could be better if the alcohol wasn’t there.”
James was curious if removing alcohol would make a big change to his life. He was never a big drinker to begin with, but one difficult year and too many beers later, James decided to look for a different perspective. He wanted to see how his business would change, how his approach to exercise would change, and if he would gain any other new benefits to his lifestyle. And what he found was that the worst thing that ever came from quitting drinking was that your body and your mind become healthier.
“Quitting drinking really made it easy for the old passion to come back.”
James isn’t more productive or more social without alcohol, but he is more motivated to get back into doing the things he really loves. He skips fewer workouts and he’s been able to run back-to-back marathons because of his newfound energy and sober enthusiasm. Now he’s back in shape and running at the physical peak he was at before he started drinking. “I’m putting all my mental energy into exercise as my hobby,” he says. That means that all the time he once spent drinking, thinking about drinking, or being hungover after a night of drinking is now invested into something that is both physically and mentally rewarding.
James Fell takes an adventure-focused approach to not drinking, and we think this is a great perspective. Approaching your new sober social calendar with a sense of curiosity will make it much easier for you to get the most out of your happy social moments. If you know you aren’t having any fun at two in the morning shoveling your drunk friends into a taxi, pull a trick like Andy and leave early without saying goodbye. Or be like James and invest your time in new hobbies and experiences. Try meeting your friends at the bar for an hour or two and then you take a date to a movie while the rest of them continue the pub crawl. When you change up your approach to life’s experiences, you’re bound to experience something more than you bargained for. And there’s no greater benefit than learning something new.
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