The Next Round: What happens after you change your drinking?

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Work, alcohol, gym

One year, no alcohol

Meet John. John and Club Soda crossed paths through cyberspace, we stumbled on a similar enthusiasm for changing drinking behaviour to reach potentials. Earlier in October John has embarked on a journey – to stop drinking for 12 months in order to accomplish some of the things he wants to achieve for the next year. In this blog, John talks about his one year no alcohol challenge.

I’ve given up alcohol for a year

I’ve given up alcohol for a year. Sometimes I have to say that slowly to myself so it actually sinks in. This isn’t a New Year resolution whim which I set myself in January. It wasn’t even on my agenda back then. In fact, my latest personal challenge is only four weeks old, having consumed my last pint on October 19th.

I’m not a heavy drinker nor am I reliable and dependent on alcohol. But I do love real ale and I enjoy social drinking to the tune of about five pints on most Friday nights and give or take a few bottles during the week. I’d say pretty average for a man in his mid-40’s. So why then, have I given up something which I enjoy, but don’t rely on?

2016 is going to be huge for me. I own one business which will be taking a quantum leap next year and will be expanding geographically and I am also launching a second business. That, together with raising a family, has meant that something has had to give. And that thing is booze.

Personal goal

It sounds really odd, but to help 2016 be a successful year for business, I needed to focus on a personal goal. In the past I’ve given up smoking, shed four stone and apart from sleep, which let’s face it, none of us get enough of, booze was the last thing standing in my way.

I’m four weeks into this booze free thing and it’s already been hard at times. I mean, you try and walk into a Sam Smiths pub and order a green tea! And every time I go into my garage there’s a crate of Timothy Taylor’s ales staring up at me, thankfully with a best before November 2016 date on them.

But I’m determined to do this. And the reaction from friends has got me thinking more about exactly how much alcohol we consume, especially those in my 40 to 50’s age bracket. In fact, it’s quite worrying when people tell me that they couldn’t do without alcohol for a week, never mind a month and God forbid, a year. Just how dependent are we on this thing called booze?


I know I am going to have my challenges during the remaining 11 months. Christmas, birthdays, work social occasions, family get togethers and those moments when nothing else seems to provide solace then a trip to the pub with your mates.

And I know I will see people in a completely different light. Me sober, they full of alcohol. For me, nothing was more challenging then packing in a 40 a day smoking habit eight years ago, but this 12 month booze free journey I know is going to come a close second. I look forward to sharing my thoughts, challenges and achievements with all the other inspirational people at Club Soda.

Text by: John Quinton-Barber

Illustration by: Cassie Gibson

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