I think of my alcohol-consciousness in terms of months and years, not days.
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali
When I made the decision to quit drinking back in November of 2018, I really didn’t know how long it was going to last.
At that time, I just knew that I had to make a decision if I was going to give everything I could to my business or if I was going to allow myself to fail without KNOWING if I had given it my all.
Ultimately I still ended up having to shut down my business and return back to corporate America, but only after a year later and experiencing the tremendous value that an alcohol-conscious lifestyle can yield.
From the very beginning, I didn’t count days in relation to my sobriety because, to me, I knew that could be a trick that would subconsciously allow me to feel good about the number of days I was abstaining and encourage me that I had done it long enough to prove my point.
Instead, I only thought in terms of months and told myself I would do it for at least one month at first to see how things progressed. Of course, one month turned into two that will shortly be 3 years on November 10th, and I’ve never used a counting app of any kind during this time.
There are a few reasons that I feel like this has helped more than hurt in relation to remaining alcohol-consciousness over this time.
It made me think more long term
As shared, when I started down this journey, the original thought process was that I would do this for one month and see where it took me from there. I started on November 10th, so mid-December would roughly be my one-month window.
As the four weeks elapsed and I began to realize all of the great effects that alcohol-consciousness yielded, I began to think of how much more that would be compounded if I continued on this journey for two months or three months or even six.
Therefore, I automatically begin to think of the growth I could experience in terms of months and years and where I could be in 10 years if I continued on the current path of my sobriety.
I began to dream about all the things I could accomplish if I continued on my current path of development and growth and didn’t allow anything to distract me.
For me, months and years were the targets, as those were the timeframes in which I was going to see the most growth.
It made days seems like a given
Related to that, it made the concept of days almost seem like it was a forgone conclusion.
Once I made it through another month, I wasn’t thinking if I would have a drink this month or not. I automatically considered the new month a foregone conclusion and wondered if I would make the decision to drink next month.
I think this is one of the reasons that I didn’t find it immensely hard to stay on the path. With each new month, the only time I would even consider if I would go back to drinking or not was during those few days before another month would begin.
Therefore, instead of each day being a battle because I was individually counting how long it had been, the only times of decision and debate came in those 2–3 days before the turn of another month.
This made the decision to not drink much easier for me, as it wasn’t something that consumed my thought process each day but was only regulated to that small window when another month was approaching.
Once I got through one month and had made the decision to not drink to start it off, getting through the next month was a piece of cake because those were the only terms in which I would allow my mind to register my commitment.
It created new goal posts that stretched out my commitment each time
And lastly, the reason I didn’t use any sober counting apps for the days is that as time progressed, I found myself changing the term in which I would consider where each goal post would be for me to make a decision to go back or not.
Originally, the thought process was that I would be focused on month to month as my barometer. This continued up until I hit about the six-month mark.
After that, the race to one year became the goal post, and now that I’ve hit that, the goal post has changed to a decade.
While I don’t think I can see myself drinking again in 10 years, it’s this type of continual goal post increasing that has removed the thought of drinking from my consideration set entirely until that time has passed.
I have no idea how many days it has been but am immensely excited about the growth that I’ve made in almost three years and can’t wait to see where I will be in three more years.
As the goal post changes, my commitment changes to see this lifestyle out as long as life continues to be amazing and better with time.
And while there’s nothing wrong with sober-counting apps as they work for many people to keep them focused on how far they have come and the progress they’ve made, for me, I prefer to count the months, years, and decades on my own to remind me that this journey is going to be a long one that isn’t ending any time soon.