Giving up something you like, for a while!

I had some ideas put down to start this piece off a little differently. I think it’s more appropriate to say it’s what is actually happening right now. It’s 5:10am and I’m drinking a double Nespresso (intensity 10) on Monday 2ndDecember. We’ve had a night of very little sleep here as a our little 11-and-a-half-month old boy has been a bit sicky over the weekend and temperature fluctuations overnight have meant very little sleep. For all of us. Poor little lad. He’s sleeping now but this pomodoro 25-minute effort might be cut short.


A month ago, I would have said the double shot of coffee would be all that might get me through this morning. That the caffeine would come to the rescue. But that’s one of the few interesting things I’ve learned from full 30 days without coffee. That, at least for me, it isn’t the saviour that I thought it was or meant to be. As I take another sip of this double though, it does taste good.


Today’s post is a bit of a lessons learned you might say. Some of the things I noticed from a self-imposed coffee ban for NOvember.  Here’s what stood out.


  1. Missing the experience: Every Saturday morning for the last couple of years I’ve been going to Bikram Yoga in Cork. On the way home, as a reward, I get a large Cappuccino in McDonalds drive-thru. It’s become something I look forward to. The couple of Saturday’s I did get to Bikram in November, this was difficult to pass by. I even tried to replace it with Hot Chocolate the first Saturday, only to learn McDonald’s done do Hot Chocolate! Other examples of this experiential piece of the coffee drinking ritual come into mind too. And even though I can replace them with Green-Tea or a Smoothie, it’s just not the same. But it did get easier.


  1. Eyes-wide Shut without the Caffeine: as briefly touched on above, I expected to be a lot more tired without the 5am pick-me-up. But it didn’t materialize that fully. I was pleasantly surprised that the herbal tea replacement either had a placebo effect or, more likely, just diving into my morning routines was enough to get me going and perked up. I mentioned before the ‘rule of 3’ where I aim to do 3 personal tasks each morning before the responsibilities kick in. This habit has been in place for a while now and it’s one I look forward to every morning so that’s more likely what fires me up.


  1. Upside outweighs the downside: I’ve said it many times over the month. Giving up coffee was harder than giving up alcohol. I drink multiple cups of coffee every day, whereas booze was on occasion. Coffee brought me lots of joy. Alcohol was more mixed bag. I could go on. I was very tempted to quit half-way through the month and just say this experiment was a silly one. But my stubbornness kept me going. But, as I said in the One Minute Monday out today, it’s good sometimes to give up something you like a lot, for a little bit at least. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.


  1. The shared accountability in the RotG Slack group for NOvember was a big help.


  1. Making the No Coffee NOvember public definitely helps me achieve my goal more.


There are more to be added but in the interest of time (I’ve got 2 minutes left), I’ll leave it at that. A worthwhile experience. Probably not one I’ll do again to be fair. When it comes to coffee I mean. But at least I know I can do it. I just don’t know why I would!


Is there anything you think you couldn’t give up for a month? It might be worth giving it a go and see how you get on? Join up to the RotG Slack group if interested.


Till tomorrow. Happy Monday,


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