Kate's Blog

Lovely Little Things About Alcohol-Free Living

There are many things to love about being alcohol-free.

Waking up without a hangover. Having more energy. Less anxiety. Looking better. Feeling proud of yourself.
Those are some of the big benefits. But sometimes, the little things matter just as much. 
I’m talking about the super specific stuff here – the mini moments that perhaps only you would notice. 
This video is all about the little things that make sobriety awesome:

Key points

The little things are the big things

It was Kurt Vonnegut who said, “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things.” 
Getting up early enough to have a few moments with your partner – or driving to work feeling ready for the day – might sound like little things. But the cumulative effect of these positive, small moments is huge.

Start a list

Put a reminder on your phone to prompt you to write down one thing every day that you love about being alcohol-free. Just one thing. It can be as small or as silly as you like. 
If you take a break from drinking for 6 weeks (which is what I recommend) then by the end, you’ll have 42 things on your list. That is very useful data to have when it comes to deciding what to do next.

If you’re not ready to take a break

Here’s what I suggest: on the days you don’t drink, add something to your list of little things you love about being alcohol-free. But when you do drink, write down – on a separate list – what you love about it.
Sometimes it can feel as if sobriety means giving up so much. But you might be surprised by just how little ends up on your “what I love about alcohol” list. With time, you might see that booze isn’t the only way to get that particular benefit. 
If you joined my stop drinking class with a very specific list of things you love about booze, you’d be way ahead of the game – and we could quickly get to work on tackling those beliefs. My next class starts in July, so you have time to prepare!

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


52 Responses

  1. Thank you Kate. I have been AF since your course in January and so far my favourite thing is still the way my husband looks at me. He seemed so disappointed before – he never used to say much about my drinking, never nagged me (wouldn’t have worked anyway!) but he always looked sad about it. Now he’s so proud of me. I am proud of me too.

    1. Awww – I just love this! You should be proud. You’ve done so well Elise, congratulations 🙂

  2. Heard you at PLF 2020! I have been sober since 11/17/17 and just had to sign up! Changed my life! Way to go, keep going! You are doing amazing work and I am excited by it!

    1. Hi David, lovely to hear from you! I hope you had a good weekend at PLF? I was buzzing afterwards. Congratulations on your sobriety too! 🙂

  3. i just quit drinking a week ago and i am already feeling better I wanted to quit because i am a heart patient.and also on meds.my heart surgeon told me i had a good heart attack because i had no heart muscle damage.so by giving up alcohol a i know things wii turn out for the best.

  4. This may sound silly, but I really like my garbage men and I was always so embarrassed every other Wednesday when I would put out my recyclables. Just the sound of all those wine bottles crashing into the truck. Now that I have not drank any wine or Vodka in 9 days there won’t be any bottles in the bin next week. I will wave and smile proudly. I feel so good, I am sure this is a permanent change for me.

    1. Sorry if this sounds inappropriate, but this just gave me a much-needed giggle because I saw myself there too at the recycling bin, wondering what people were thinking. Hang on in there. I’m on day 5 and one thing that keeps me going is what Kate says on one of her videos – that the beginning is the toughest part and if you give in then you need to go through the toughest part all over again.

  5. Wanting so much to be AF but failing miserably at the moment.
    Not drinking tonight so that’s a start

  6. Hi Kate, awesome video my main reason for wanting to be sober is my 2 daughter’s 28and21 if they ever need me I want to be 100% ready not hungover and all foggy in my head, of course there’s more but I seriously think that’s my biggest reason, thank you again and I can’t wait for your class to begin.

    1. That’s a powerful motivator to change. Being there for your family – fully present and able to support them – is so important. Keep going Brent 🙂

    1. I eat like stink whilst drinking and at least one day’s worth of the subsequent hangover… Alcohol free days are therefore double whammy for head and tummy!!

  7. I’m only 8 days sober but I’m feeling very positive and I love that I can remember what I did the evening before and waking up feeling refreshed and chipper ! I’m finding you and all the comments on here inspirational- thank you

  8. Thanks Kate! I’m new to The Sober School. I was alcohol free 2017-2019, 2019, until September I drank a little (I’m a competitive weight lifter and an injury sent me off the rails), then a little more, then I came back pretty well mid-November 2019 through February 2020, now I really struggling. March and April were bad, May has been 50/50. I need to get back to fully alcohol free, but the demon comes knocking more these days as quarantine persists, and it looks like all I’ve created over the past 5 years maybe 100% gone. Last night I broke down and sobbed for the first time, and I getting emotional now as I type this, but I think I needed to break a little. Everything you have said, “The 6 Signs”, totally me. I love the phrase not a rock bottom drinker, because a lot of us who are not, hold on to that as umm…I know I need to stop but…Anyway thanks. I know where I’m going and have many of the tools in place, I just need someone in my corner this time. That’s YOU!

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your injury Jen. It’s great that you have such long periods of sobriety in your past. I have no doubt you’ll be able to get back there again. If you’re looking for support to make that happen, please do check out my online course – I think it could be a great fit for you: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  9. What I like the most about being AF is not WANTING it!
    Miracle!. After 33 years of wanting little else. Sober 3.5 years now one day at a time.

  10. Today is day 90! I have so many little things I am grateful for living sober. Here’s a couple. I spend 3 whole minutes brushing my teeth, and I properly wash my face at night before bed.
    Haha. Thank you for asking me to consider the little things.

  11. I’m also 8 days sober too! Love the fact I’m nearly getting a proper nights sleep and feeling so much better in the mornings! I can and will do this. Thanks so much Kate for the blog it really helps xx

    1. Fantastic, I’m so pleased to hear that. Wishing you all the best with your alcohol free journey Gilly.

    2. Gilly, well done on your good start. Write this down every morning first thing.
      “I can easily connect with my heart’s desire and the universe manifests it for me”
      then read it out loud to yourself in the mirror
      Then decide that “I don’t want to lift a drink today”
      This has worked for me for the past 3.5 years. Just one day at a time.
      It works. You don’t need luck or willpower.
      Relying on willpower is to wage a personal “CIVIL WAR”
      Best regards.

  12. To add to all these wonderful comments,I would add that being AF means if my husband or family need me to get them somewhere urgently, I can just get in the car and go! No more thinking about how much I’ve had to drink

    1. Yes, that’s a good one. It’s reassuring to know that you are fully present and able to show up for the people you care about – at any time of day or night.

  13. Thanks Kate. I was AF for about a year and then experimented with “oh I can have one, right” of course in a few months I was back to overdoing it. Feeling awful and all that. I had stopped reading your blog. I hadn’t realized how much it was helping me. This post is a huge help as I am a list writer so the idea of journalling what I love about AF and drinking is perfect for me. Thanks so much for this!! Have a great day.

    1. No problem Karen. If you need some support to make sobriety stick this time (and do the mindset work that will stop you being pulled back towards alcohol) I’m happy to help – I think you’d be a great fit for my course. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
      Take care 🙂

  14. Kate I watched your video on Monday with a raging hangover and decided to give ‘one small benefit’ a go yesterday. I woke up and did a yoga session in my living room and had a really productive day working from home. It’s now Wednesday morning at 7am and I woke up today feeling energised and have just finished an hour long yoga and toning session. Writing down the achievements of the past two mornings is spurring me on to eat healthy and stay wine free today. Thank you

    1. I’m so pleased to hear this Siobhan – what a great way to start your day. Well done and keep going!

  15. Hi Kate I love how you are always upbeat and your ideas are so helpful. I am now 8 months AF and usually focus on the bigger things but just today noticed something small that felt great. I have a doctor appointment next week and due to the pandemic, the doctor requested the patient in-take form be filled in online. Many of the questions were just yes/no type and when I came to the question “Do you drink alcohol regularly?” it felt so good to click on no. I used to dread anything that asked “How many drinks do you have daily?” Thanks for all you do Kate!

    1. It’s so satisfying, being able to answer that with a no! Well done Ruth and congratulations on your 8 months 🙂

  16. Fantastic post – thank you! I’ve been sober for a little over 9 weeks now & I’m delighted to find that the benefits just keep on coming! There is so much daily joy in my life as a direct result of not drinking & I’m truly grateful for that. I’ll take hangover free mornings over booze fueled nights any time

  17. Hi Kate, I’ve loved reading al the comments from people in similar situations as me. For years, I’ve used alcohol as a crutch and when my partner left last year, I went to pieces. I’ve stumbled on and off and have recently made the decision to stay alcohol free for a while and see how I manage. So far, day 17, i’ve had one slip but am managing ok. I’d so love to make my children and family proud of me and I know underneath it all, I don’t need drink to be merry, I think I used it as a way of escapism for feeling lonely but realise it has led to so many disasters in my life, onwards and upwards

  18. Two small things, that when you clean your teeth in the morning after no alcohol they feel much cleaner and stay feeling that way! The other that I don’t need to watch programs again or keep rewinding them because I’m not paying attention after drinking or worse can’t remember what happened in it the next day!

  19. 19th day and feeling fab and optimistic. I’m going to sign up for your July course to keep the learning and motivation going. One nice little thing I’ve noticed is how clear my eyes are. Another one is how level my mood is – none of the erratic emotional highs and (mostly) lows that accompanied regular drinking. Oh, and the money in my purse !!!!

  20. I was able to cook dinner while chatting to my adult son, and really enjoying my time with him, rather than thinking about when I could sneak my next drink. I’m only on Day 1, but I fell really positive about this move towards being totally alcohol free.

  21. Thank you for your videos. They are so inspiring! I love waking up with a clear head and a pep in my step. That is the best part of AF living for me.

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