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Why Cutting Alcohol from Your Life May Be the Best Decision You Ever Make

Why Cutting Alcohol from Your Life May Be the Best Decision You Ever Make

Some of the fundamental problems with quitting or resisting the use of alcohol come from a skewed perception of its usage. With alcohol being promoted as widely normative, it’s easy to forget that many people don’t actually do it. More importantly, it’s easy to be ignorant to the reasons why many people don’t actually do it.

The most recent data from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention shows that there are about as many non-drinkers in the United States as there are drinkers (48.5% to 51.5%, respectively). You wouldn’t assume this to be the case, given how prevalent drinking references there are in popular culture. But if you decide to steer clear of alcohol, you won’t be only one at the party not clutching a cocktail.

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Here are some of the most compelling reasons for nixing alcohol from your diet and lifestyle.

1. Money

This one may appear obvious at first. The drain on your finances caused by drinking isn’t some sneaky side effect working its way undetected through your system. The evidence is right there on the tab.

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Have you ever actually sat down and thought about how much you spend on alcohol, and what you could do with that money were you to reallocate it? Say you buy just three drinks a night, three nights a week. That’s nine drinks at around $5 a drink (a conservative estimate). That means you’re spending $45 dollars every weekend and $180 a month on alcohol.

More expensive than a lot of your bills, no? Drop booze from your life and buy yourself a couple pairs of new shoes—every month.

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2. Health

There are a litany of potential health hazards related to alcohol abuse ranging from physiological traumas like nerve damage and cardiovascular disease, to psychological disorders such as dementia and depression. Then, of course, there’s the very real hazard of drunk driving and the 10,228 people killed in 2010 in the U.S. alone in drunk driving accidents.

The most nefarious health side effects, though, are liver disease and liver failure. In the same year (2010), there were 25,692 deaths from alcohol-related illnesses, 15,990 of which stemmed from liver disease.

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3. Lose Weight

Aside from the more serious physical consequences of extensive alcohol consumption, there are the immediate weight-related effects. The average 12-ounce beer has about 150 calories, the average shot about 100, and cocktails can run into the hundreds of calories. Not only that, alcohol is detrimental to other efforts to keep off weight and stay fit. Research shows that alcohol can inhibit muscle development and cancel out a lot of hard work put in at the gym.

4. Sleep Better

You may associate drinking with stumbling up the stairs to your house, collapsing into bed, and passing out. And while alcohol does act as a sedative for casual drinkers in the beginning stages of the night, studies show that for heavy drinkers it actually contributes to sleeping disorders. This is because after an initial sedated period, alcohol disrupts the crucial deeper stages of sleep and keeps sleep from being as restorative as it should be. Waking up tired after excessive drinking is clear evidence of this effect.

These are all good reason for letting go of alcohol, but quitting is definitely easier said than done. If you’re looking for help, you may want to talk with a doctor, a friend, or seek guidance from those who have been there before when developing a personal recovery plan. Remember that there are far more people living soberly than you might think.

With all of these facts in front of you, it might be time reconsider alcohol’s real impact on your life, and whether it’s giving you the health and happiness you need.

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Simon Andras

Simon is an entrepreneur who blogs about lifestyle.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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