What is Strategic Sobriety – and is it right for me?

Dec 14, 2023

For many people considering stopping drinking for a period of time, it can provoke mixed emotions.


On the one hand, they see it as a positive change with highly-anticipated benefits. 


But on the other, they suspect that others might think that if they have to stop drinking, they must have some kind of problem.


But it helps here to be more precise in the wording: You don’t have to stop drinking; you are choosing to. There’s a big difference. 


Attitudes to alcohol are changing


Attitudes to stopping drinking have significantly changed over the last few years. Now it is much more accepted as a lifestyle choice, rather than an addiction-based necessity.


For people who are electively deciding to stop drinking, there is a way of viewing it and talking about it that I call Strategic Sobriety.


It takes the clear health and lifestyle benefits of not drinking and adds in the professional benefits to be gained by having the clarity and increased productivity that come with being alcohol free. 


It also adds a whole new way of talking about why you’re not drinking.


What is Strategic Sobriety?


It is…


  •  A proactive and positive step towards a healthier lifestyle.
  •  An acknowledgement that an alcohol-free mind has greater clarity for strategic thinking.
  •  A rational understanding of the negative health consequences of drinking.
  •  A temporary, non-binding decision that meets the needs of the times.
  •  A recognition that attitudes to drinking have changed, especially in younger generations.
  •  A new narrative around not drinking that is more about empowerment than deprivation.
  •  It's something to be proud of – a conscious decision to choose personal growth and prioritise mental clarity for professional success.
  •  It allows for open discussion without shame or awkwardness.
  •  It accepts that public displays of inebriation are no longer a professional strength, nor do they inspire the respect of colleagues and employees.


A new perspective


Strategic Sobriety shifts the narrative from a focus on deprivation to an emphasis on empowerment. Instead of viewing the absence of alcohol as a loss, it reframes it as a gain – a valuable tool for achieving greater mental clarity, enhanced creativity and improved overall wellbeing. This mindset is crucial for people who want to operate at their professional best, whether in their career or running a business.


The link between alcohol and productivity


Alcohol diminishes cognitive function, energy levels and emotional stability. For professionals, these effects can translate into reduced productivity, impaired decision-making and slower career advancement. By cutting out alcohol, you will experience increased focus, energy and greater consistency at work.


A positive new identity


As this is a positive, proactive step, there is nothing to be ashamed or guilty about. There is no need to remain anonymous. You’re making this change for entirely positive reasons and will be able to happily tell people this. Who would deny you wanting to have greater clarity and improved productivity at work? 


Proactively stopping drinking alcohol for a period of time is a choice you are free to make, no one is forcing it on you. It’s a strategic decision for personal growth and professional success that colleagues will respect. They will likely envy you for it.


How long to be strategically sober for?


As in business, strategy isn’t set-and-forget. I recommend starting with 100 days – slightly over a fiscal quarter. At the end of the 100 days, you can reassess the strategy to see if it’s still fit for purpose. A hundred days is long enough to see the benefits but not too long to be daunting or intimidating.




Want to work with me?  

The best way to experience the benefits of Strategic Sobriety for yourself is to join my 100 Days to Sober Freedom for High-Functioning Professionals course starting February 4 2024. It’s a bespoke program that will give you the accountability and guidance you need to make a long-lasting change.


Find out more


Start improving your life now. Meditate more, drink less.