I’ve never really been one for new year’s resolutions. Unless you have picked up some really anti-social habits in the previous 12 months such as chain-smoking, chewing khat or compulsive public masturbation, then I can’t see the point in starting a new year with a new ‘you’. And why wait for January if you want to make a lifestyle change?
But times have changed. To prove that I’m
a hypocrite open to new ideas, I’ve decided to start the new year (well, from the 3rd actually) with a self-imposed ban on alcohol. And I can assure you that it has nothing to do with my recent trip to a Muslim country, where booze was harder to come by and expensive. Neither is it due to a worry that I have a drink problem. I don’t.
I have, in fact, thought carefully about my reasons for taking on this challenge, and they are (in no particular order of importance):
Health – clearly alcohol has no health benefits, except arguably for the occasional glass of red wine every so often. But then I’m more of a beer man myself, which means that I run the risk of, at least, an unsightly beer belly if I drink too much or, at worst, a multitude of health problems. Plus, I seem to have developed an allergy to beer. No kidding, fate has dealt me the cruellest of hands. I now suffer from nasal congestion and the worst hangovers, from drinking as little as four pints of beer. How has that happened?
Money – booze is becoming more expensive by the year. I now have to shell out more than £4 for a bottle of beer in some places. That’s less than a pint! So perhaps, I can protest in my own small way with a self-imposed prohibition, and register a micro-wave on the beer Richter Scale of the British Beer and Pub Association and, in the process, save myself a few quid.
Education – I am currently studying for exams so the denial of alcohol for one month makes perfect sense. Even if I only have a few drinks, they still disrupt sleeping patterns and induce a degree of lethargy the following day. All of which makes for a less productive day, which I can do well do without this month.
Willpower – I want to find out if I can socialise without the demon drink and actually enjoy myself, make intelligent conversation (because there’s a first time for everything) and feel at ease in such scenarios. I also want to discover if I have the mental strength to ignore the inevitable peer pressure to break the beer ban. And if I can, then there is no reason why I can’t take exercise more seriously and return to the four times per week routine of previous months.
Future lifestyle – let’s face, I’m not getting any younger. So, if this month-long booze deprivation is successful, then I see no reason why I can’t take on board what I’ve learned from my experience and use it to affect some permanent lifestyle changes. Although nothing too drastic. I couldn’t ever give up alcohol completely. Ugh… what a dreadful thought.