Day 1 – Your first n=me scores and what brought you to the MOB

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Download the paper version of the form

Measuring progress is a really important motivational tool, and will also help you recognise the possible impact alcohol has had on various parts of your life.

As well as your overall goal about drinking, we recommend that you track a number of more personal variables as part of your n=me personal experiment – your well-being, productivity, and physical health (to explain “n=me”: in statistics, “n” is often used to indicate the number of participants in an experiment – in this MOB experiment, it is you!).

Exploring why you decided to do The MOB in the first place is one way to identify the bits in your life you think may improve as the result of your decisive action!

In the n=me tracker form we have also identified a number of  other aspects of your life that you may see small and subtle changes in as the weeks progress.

Sleep, energy levels, productivity, moods, emotions, coping, spending, relationships and confidence are all covered.

I am working with you on this bit of personal data gathering. So whizz me an email if you have any questions.

What reasons brought you to signing up for your MOB?

changed prioritiesWe have a separate post about the longer-term effects and risks of alcohol on the body and brain, and what the benefits of stopping for a bit are.

Are you concerned about how much you are drinking generally?

It happens. The number of days per week we drink, and the amount we drink when we do, can really creep up. Alcohol is legal, affordable, and, seems at times, to be everywhere. Many of my clients tell me how wine has become a regular accompaniment to even the most basic of meals at home, and certainly when out. Others regularly drink with clients or colleagues after work during the week for ‘business purposes’ and have social events all weekend. Some people have just got into the habit of buying alcohol every day – whether to mark ‘adult time’ or ‘me time’ once the kids are finally in bed, or just to drink alone ‘relaxing’ watching TV.

This latter character was me (Helen). I had a stressful year doing a masters degree in psychology alongside a full-time job in the city.  During this time I never drank because there just wasn’t time, but by the time I had finished the job and the studies, I was burnt out. Then my mum suddenly and unexpectedly died and I found I was drinking a bottle of wine at least 5 days a week, mostly alone to ‘unwind’ and ‘process my grief’. I held off my first drink until 8pm and chose 12% whites rather than the 14% reds that I preferred. Thus I could convince myself I was ‘controlling’ alcohol. But I wasn’t, and I eventually had to address it.

You can use your MOB to understand more about your relationship with alcohol and the reasons why you drink, and learn strategies that can help you stop for a bit. The types of strategies you use to stop for a month can be used in the future, whether to cut down permanently and have days off alcohol each week, or even to stop completely. All of the course material and webinars are available to you for life – so you can use anything that you have found helpful in your MOB to make longer-term changes to your drinking habits.

Are you getting everything done that you want to? Or is alcohol holding you back?

Alcohol is the enemy of productivity and feeds our natural bias for procrastination. Evenings spent drinking are evenings we are not doing the things we planned to do – gym, running with a friend, decorating, studying, writing a blog article, developing a new business idea, putting the kids to bed, spending time with our partner. People often plan to have ‘just the one’ – but that’s all it takes to weaken our self-control. One becomes many and we decide that although today is not the right time, tomorrow for sure will be. But of course, with a hangover, tomorrow probably won’t feel like the right day either…

During your MOB – in fact starting from today – we will be encouraging you to set and regularly track and check-in with some personal goals and areas of productivity that are important to you. We know that alcohol isn’t the root of ALL evil – there’s a lot involved in battling our natural instinct to procrastinate or our preference to relax and have fun. But we think that having a clear head and feeling more energised in the mornings, combined with having the opportunity to do other things in the evenings, will help you do more of the things that are important to you, and learn what you might be capable of achieving longer-term.

Maybe you feel in need of a health-kick?

Alcohol makes it harder to exert self-control, and causes us to care less about the consequences of our decisions. So after a few drinks we are more likely to smoke when we have quit, or eat a burger on the way home when we are trying to eat healthily – that’s on top of the (nutritionally pointless) calories in alcohol itself. We almost for sure won’t be hitting the gym after a few drinks, or getting quality sleep, and will be dehydrated. Hangovers also aren’t especially conducive to making healthy choices – many people will crave sugary, starchy foods when they are hungover, drink too much coffee, and lack the oomph to do any exercise.

You can use your MOB as a foundation to a healthier month more generally. You won’t be drinking so can look at doing other things with your evenings, such as exercise or sport, and hopefully you will feel you have more control over your food choices too. We will be encouraging everyone to track things like sleep quality, and you should be feeling more hydrated if you swap alcoholic drinks for soft drinks and water.

Is this MOB just a personal challenge?

It is becoming more common for people to take months off alcohol as a personal challenge. January is popular for obvious reasons, in some countries July and October are ‘dry’ months with a charity focus, and some people give things up for Lent. Maybe you just want to see what it is like, and see if you CAN go a month without alcohol – alone or as a challenge with a group of friends.

Even if your MOB is just about the challenge and you don’t have any concerns about your relationship with alcohol, you can still track any changes you notice in areas such as sleep, health, productivity, emotions and moods – and might be pleasantly surprised what a month off does!

Your actions for today

  • Reflect on your own reasons for wanting to have a MOB – What areas of life, productivity, & emotional or physical health do you hope to have improved on in 31 days’ time?
  • Setting your n=me scores. Measuring progress is a really important motivational tool, and will also help you recognise the possible impact alcohol has been having on various parts of your life. As well as your overall goal we want you to track a number of more personal variables as part of your n=me personal experiment – your well-being, productivity, and physical health and so on. We will use the information we gather from the progress updates from Club Soda MOBs (only at aggregate level and anonymously), so we can see just what a MOB does for our community. You’ll be doing this once a week from now on. Click on the button below to get started (and please type in your email address into the form, so that we can connect your scores week by week):

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Coming up

Tomorrow we’ll introduce the daily ritual that will help you keep sober for 30 days, and list some quick and easy ways to get started on your MOB.

5 Responses to “Day 1 – Your first n=me scores and what brought you to the MOB

  • Katrina
    3 years ago

    I avoid staying overnight with friends and family because I enjoy an evening drink or two and because I do not sleep well.

    I tend not to go out and do things in the evenings like a film or a meal

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