When I heard about this 101 token things a few years back the first thing I thought was “this would have been something I needed in my early 20’s”. But as a happily married man with 3 kids (4, 2 and almost 3 months) and a business, I never gave it any serious thought.
With the boys
My thinking was why should I give up having a beer after a long hard day at work. I’d earnt it! It’s not like with 3 kids I’m getting to the point where I get drunk or hungover more than once every two months.
As some of you may already know from the video (See below) Benny and Glen shot a while back I had the opportunity to make a bet with Glen that he would fail the 101 Token challenge for 2018. Even at this point I had no intention of starting the challenge myself as I was happy to just bet that Glen would fall flat on his big beer drinking arse.
Glen and I some years back in Germany
The main reason I didn’t was to do it was I didn’t want to give up after work beers and I knew I’d fail anyway if I couldn’t give them away.
So after a few beers on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of January I was clearly happy to have a couple beers most days and not committed in any way to change my ways.
It was about the 4th when I was talking to Glen and he was pushing me to give it a go because he wanted to make the same bet with me. I can only assume he was doubling down on me as he was confident that he would be fine and that I would fail miserably (he was probably right). Why would I go from using 101 tokens in the last 5 months of the year (more likely last 4 months) to now only having 98 Tokens to use from the 4th Jan onwards?
For reasons I still really don’t know, I agreed to start 101 tokens for the year and honour the 3 I’d already dusted.
So as the afternoon of the 4th then 5th and 6th rolled around I was thinking what the fuck have I got myself into.
The sun would set over the pool at my In-laws and all I wanted to do was crack open a beer. I was struggling to adjust to the habits I had built over 14 years.
So after finishing our Christmas and New Year break on the 9th January having only added 1 further token to my tally I was pretty happy. I truly didn’t know how I would go once home and back at work. Would I fall back into old habits? Would I find other vices to replace the beers?
I can honestly say I’m surprised how easy it has been. The distraction of having a new baby and wanting to be home as much as possible might be a blessing that gives me a kick start into taking this concept seriously and not just something I’m doing for a bet.
Worth laying off the beers for this little one
As I’m writing this it’s almost midnight on Sunday 28th January and I’ve only used a further 2 tokens.
Here I was thinking I’d be using 12-14 in January. Then have to create a dry run strategy to reduce that each month from there in. It’s hard to imagine I’ve gone a whole week without having a drink ‘twice’ since I’ve been back, something I’m sure hasn’t happen since I turned 18.
I’ve been able to pass up free beers at work because it didn’t warrant losing a token. The me of 2017 would have stayed at my customers house until they ran out of beer if I didn’t have to drive.
Looking back and thinking was it worth having that beer the next day has been big for me. Knowing I’m going to have to answer that question means I’ve become very conscious of the limited tokens I have and to make sure I use them wisely. I’ve still enjoyed a few beers after work to use those tokens and both times in my mind it has been a ‘YAY’.
Could I have avoided alcohol on those two occasions? YES
Did they add to my experience? No
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t 100% enjoy them. They were almost like a reward to myself for where I am in my tokens journey.
If you told me on the 4th January I would only drink twice until the end of the month, I’d have laughed at you. If you told me you would go the Australia Day long weekend without having a drink I would have pissed myself laughing at you, yet here we are.
With the fam
So what started out as a bet has already changed my mindset on alcohol. I don’t need to have a beer after work because it was a long or hard day, I don’t need to have a beer because I’m stressed. I choose to do that, it wasn’t a requirement as I had thought.
I now look forward to having a drink knowing with a little planning, I’ll hopefully be knocking out a lot more YAY’s.