A few weeks ago, I set a few goals for 2018, one of which was to run at least one mile every single day. Last week, that goal got derailed when I was diagnosed with pneumonia. The doctor ordered me not to run for at least ten days — perhaps longer.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that I'm doing well with my other goals. I'm eating more plants. I'm reading for pleasure. And my alcohol consumption is way down.
You see, I had started to worry about my drinking. Over the past few years, alcohol has become a larger and larger part of my life. At the start of the year, I resolved to drink fewer than 500 servings of alcohol in 2018, which averages to about 10 drinks a week. This seems like an awful lot to some people, but trust me: It's a sharp reduction. It's less than half what I drank in 2017.
So far, so good. Through 23 days, I've consumed 22 alcoholic beverages (including eleven days with zero drinks). That puts me on pace for 350 drinks in 2018.
How have I managed to make such a drastic shift to my drinking habits? In reality, I've made only one change: I've stopped drinking beer.
I didn't realize it when I made my vow to give up beer for ninety days, but drinking beer is — for me — a “linchpin habit”. Changing this linchpin habit has had a positive ripple effect throughout my entire life.