Well, in 3 days it will be done.  At the end of October, I embarked on the challenge of not drinking coffee for the month of November.  Not that I’m an obsessive coffee drinker, I wanted to reset my body. Over the last few months, I noticed an increase in my coffee drinking.  It’s funny how I used to not really like coffee and then would occasionally partake in the last few years.  I’m very much a tea connoisseur.  However, with early and long days, awkward sleeping or minimal sleeping habits and at times increased crunch time with my work, I found myself starting to drink coffee 3-4 times a week in the last weeks. I know for most that is not a lot, but I found myself not wanting to create a dependency on needing or wanting coffee to get me through my mornings or days.  And with the fall/winter drop in temperature, it became very likely to pour or purchase a cup of coffee many mornings.

So, upon the close of the month of October, on came “No Coffee November”.

Why am I sharing this? Well, for a few reasons…

Some of you may be wanting to cut coffee or something else and to share insight on how I’ve been succeeding at it may come in handy. I also want to share what that journey has been like, as well as why.

First and foremost, when “giving up” something, as it relates to eating, fasting, changing eating habits (temporary or permanent), I like to have the mindset of focusing on what I can have so it’s not seen as a negative. Finding alternates to that which I’m changing works for me.  There were 3 things I considered which include 1) having hot drinks for the cold weather, 2) fulfilling the creamy taste I get from the types of coffee I would drink (ie vanilla latte, mint mochas, coffee with hazelnut creamer), and 3) fulfilling the caffeine or “kick” I would get from coffee.  So these are the alternatives I’ve been drinking:

1) Mint tea with chocolate syrup (replacing the mint mocha)

2) Vanilla chai tea with almond milk (for warmth, creaminess and caffeine)

3) Hot cider

4) Hot chocolate

5) Other various teas (for warmth)

To be honest by day 6, I was thinking, hmm, maybe I will just do a week, because I really wanted some coffee by then.  However, another thing I did was to tell people at work and various friends about my challenge. This way it forced me to be accountable.  Yes, I could sneak and drink coffee anyway and it’s not like anyone else was really holding me to doing it, but I find that when I share things with others, it’s easier for me to hold myself accountable. One, I want to serve as an example, to encourage and inspire. Two, I have a strong sense of integrity in doing what I say I’m going to do, in particular when I tell others. And three, well, you know what they say about the power of the spoken word. I put it out into the universe.

Towards the second week, I started to not miss coffee at all. I was having fun with making my different concoctions and having the diversity of tropical teas, honey-bush caramel tea, and other flavors.  I even thought to try green tea for the caffeine, however, I’m not a fan of the way it tastes.

Now as to why?

These last few weeks I’ve been relaxing more, eating, and enjoying my 2019 post-race season. I’m preparing to start my winter training, which means getting back to a more disciplined scheduled and cutting back on some of the things I’ve been enjoying (food & drinks). To get me started, I decided to temporarily eliminate coffee.  In the next weeks, I will be decreasing or limiting some of the other things (ie. alcohol, sweets) so this past month has been setting me up for the mindset to do so.

As we enter the holiday season, it’s easy to get carried away eating all the celebratory dinners, indulge in many holiday parties and events flowing with food and drinks, and then of course to enter the new year with resolutions.  And it’s great to enjoy this time of the year, the food and celebrations. However, why wait until the new year to refocus on goals, reset, and start building habits to get you towards your goals.

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