I shared my intentions with one of my best friends, and she seemed surprised when I said I wasn’t going to drink at all. "Not even one?" She asked.
“Not even one,” I replied.
It might help if I tell you a little bit more about who I am. I’m a lifestyle coach who supports successful women who struggle with alcohol. I help women find freedom from alcohol on their own terms, which often means teaching moderation strategies instead of focusing exclusively on abstinence. For the past several years, I have embraced a mostly sober lifestyle, though I do occasionally drink in moderation.
Due to the focus of my work and the accountability I feel toward my clients and community, on top of the fact that I was traveling to New York to launch my book, I certainly wasn’t going to go overboard and throw away everything I’d worked so hard for on a wild night out.
However, the combination of the city that never sleeps and a girl with a propensity to pile way too much on her plate equals lots of potential to fall out of intention.
How incredible (though possibly challenging) would it be to try this city completely alcohol-free? Though I had traveled to New York more times than I could count, this would be something completely new for me.
I already know what it’s like to order a $20 cocktail at the Hudson, to get giddy on prosecco at the Pier, to feel fuzzy after too many glasses of red at a wine bar on the Upper East Side, to shoot astronauts in Brooklyn (don’t ask), to get drunk from some random spicy home-brew at a speak-easy in the East Village, to slurp sickly sweet maraschino drinks at the Dominican joint in Queens, to share a bottle of Patron with on-duty parking lot attendants in SoHo (again, don't ask), and of course, the rounds of the seemingly requisite mimosas at brunch.
I’ve never been to New York and sought juice over booze.
I’ve never sipped handcrafted jun mocktails.
I’ve very rarely been to networking events completely sober.
I've never given myself the chance to feel confident without alcohol in the Big Apple.
I never considered what kind of adventures and experiences might come my way once I stopped following the alcohol and started following my intuition.
I am proud to say that I (mostly) followed through! I was 98 percent alcohol-free during my time in New York (more on the booze-filled 2 percent in a bit).
I was at countless events with free booze, and I didn’t take a sip.
I was in high-pressure situations, and I didn’t rely on alcohol to ease my nerves or break the ice.
I felt lonely and isolated at times and didn’t use alcohol to open the door for permission for connection.
I connected with tons of influencers and VIPs and knew it was ALL me and not the alcohol doing the talking for me.
So, what worked for me? Here are the strategies I used, which might be helpful if you want to try something similar: