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A YEAR WITHOUT ALCOHOL. EASY FOR SOME, DAUNTING FOR OTHERS AND DOWNRIGHT IMPOSSIBLE FOR MANY.
At the end of 2016 I decided that I’d give up drinking for 2017. It’s going to be a big year and I need my wits about me. While I don’t drink heavily or regularly (anymore) I still have many conversations with myself about drinking and whether or not to drink. I’m also profoundly affected by one or two drinks nowadays too. So I posted a little something on Facebook, predominantly to hold myself accountable. I started getting some amazing feedback and before long, No Beers? Who Cares! was initiated.
It isn’t some kind of new prohibition designed to make people feel bad about drinking. It’s a movement towards shifting how New Zealanders drink, socialize and helping people become more aware of their beliefs and habits.
We want people to step back and look at how and why they drink. We’re all about creating a supportive, open network of people who are committing to seeing what their lives are like without alcohol. There’s nothing worse than people who have recently given something up and become all judgmental and annoying.”
Starting on February 1st, 2017 participants will give up booze from three months to a year. The community will sign up for weekly online support, monthly social events and tips and hacks to keep them on the wagon.
Inspired by similar international movements like the UK’s One Year No Beer and New York’s Hip Sobriety, the non-drinking movement is catching on around the world. I believe the shift is long overdue in kiwi culture.
Alcohol is knitted into the fabric of how we socialise and function. It’s believed to be a way to de-stress, seen as a social lubricant and for most, an integral part of life. One of the quickest ways to change a habit is to bring it out into the open where you can expose its true worth. Clever marketing and years of social conditioning lead us to believe that alcohol offers us many benefits when they’re generally a myth. If we take some time to really consider alcohol’s role in our lives, very often we discover the truth – it offers so little yet takes so much away.”
In 2010, I decided to give up the booze for a year and see how it felt. For the first few months I found it shockingly challenging, but eventually the year extended into almost two and I’ve decided to do it again. This time, with a crew of likeminded people wanting to shift habits and evolve.
What I’ve learned is that giving up alcohol is a keystone habit. A keystone habit is one that unlocks your full well-being potential. Just a few of the benefits of going alcohol-free, such as extra energy, motivation, vitality, productivity, money, and time, will begin to pave the way to the life you always dreamed of.”
Even people who believe they have a ‘healthy’ relationship with alcohol can get something from this initiative. If you only have a few drinks a week or are an occasional drinker, small changes to habits and routines can have a profound effect on our lives. In a ‘time-poor’ society many hours/days are wasted from the after-effects of too many drinks, not enough sleep and people functioning from a compromised place.
For me, in the my twenties I was a big weekend binge-drinker and now in my thirties even one or two drinks effects my clarity and focus. On an energetic level, alcohol is a massive depressant and disrupts the flow of energy within our systems. It’s can be really tricky to give up those one or two drinks, and to be honest, once you look at why people have those one or two drinks it becomes clear that very few people actually have a healthy relationship with alcohol.”
One of the trickiest parts of consciously deciding not to drink are the social pressures. Saying ‘no’ to a drink or two is really hard for many people, especially in certain groups or situations like weddings or the ubiquitous 21st. Learning to say no and feel good about the decision is incredibly liberating. Having a reason such as being part of #nobeerswhocares will give people more accountability and support if and when, it’s needed.
We want this year to be life changing and hugely positive for all involved. We don’t want it to be about avoiding social situations, sitting at home watching Netflix for a year. No Beers? Who Cares is about completely the opposite. The social calendar will include monthly social events, outdoor activities, mindful speed-dating and much more.
Each month we’re hosting incredible events at local hotspots where people can mix, mingle and practice their sober socializing. Believe it or not, the best version of you isn’t the drunk version. Often you find you’re a funnier, more relaxed, open version of yourself without alcohol – we just need to practice and feel comfortable at it. Your feel so much personal power when you realize you don’t need booze to have a good time.”
Around the world the non-drinking movement is growing, becoming more and more popular with younger generations and spurred on by the growth of the healthy and wellness industry. I believe Kiwis are ready too.
I meet more and more millennials who don’t see drinking until they’re comatose or vomiting every weekend as ‘normal’ like it was when I was in my twenties. They’re more mindful of their bodies, their health and abusing alcohol doesn’t make any sense to a lot of them. It’s wonderful to see.”
An exceptionally important part of this initiative isn’t about demonizing drink or making people feel bad about having a few beers every now and then. It’s about highlighting how our habits can hinder and restrict our lives.
Changing routines and looking at our personal beliefs about ourselves is hugely confronting. I believe that if there is any part of your life where you have locked, immovable beliefs, it’s important to look at them. Being flexible and open creates amazing pathways and new life experiences. We as humans are designed to evolve and grow, adapt, learn and change from the day we are born, until the day we die.”
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up here.
Basic NBWC $30 – includes access to the closed Facebook Group, outdoor events, start up booklet, and weekly tips and hacks.
Basic NBWC $50 – includes access to the closed Facebook Group, outdoor events, start up booklet, and weekly tips and hacks
Full NBWC $150 – includes access to the closed Facebook Group, outdoor events, start up booklet, and weekly tips and hacks, invites to all NCWC monthly evening events (Auckland based) and mindful speed-dating.
VIP NBWC – $310 – includes access to the closed Facebook Group, outdoor events, start up booklet, and weekly tips and hacks, invites to all NCWC monthly evening events (Auckland based), ambassador evenings and mindful speed-dating, yoga and Mindfulness 101 course.