You don’t have to have a “dry January” or “give up beer” this year. Here are 15 perfectly viable alternatives to giving up beer. We think these resolution ideas will also help you feel like a better person, or like you’ve grown or something like that.
1. Don’t give up beer. Use a wider variety of adjectives.
Recommended by Aimee
Too many times in a year, hell, a day, we get asked “how are you?” The overwhelmingly obnoxious answer is “good, how are you?” Snooze. Give me the details, your secrets, tell me how you really feel. If I’m asking you how you are, I genuinely care. If I don’t, you won’t be asked. So do me the common courtesy, and tell it how it is.
I have taken the liberty to outline some alternative answers or adjectives to answer this classic greeting.
For when you feel “good”:
- up to snuff
- rad (IHB really likes this word)
For when you feel “eh, not bad”:
- the pits
Now imagine you ask an acquaintance in a coffee shop on a Tuesday afternoon, “hey, how are you?” and they respond, “cursed” with a shrug and walk out with their peppermint mocha. Tell me that won’t make your day just a bit more interesting.
2. Don’t give up beer. Call your grandmother or (insert family member here) more.
Recommended by Aimee
Grandmothers are legendary. Their sole purpose is to feed you, comfort you, and embarrass you all in one moment. Those moments usually fall on a special occasion or holiday. Their immense love overtakes them and they have to vomit it all over you while that time lasts.
My point being, there are 525,600 minutes in a year, take 5 of those minutes a week or even a month to call your grandmother or (insert other family member here). Ask her to tell you a story about when she was your age. Share the dirt on your recent encounter at the grocery store. Catch up on the hot gossip from that twice removed cousin with a porn stache. Not that she could love you any more than she already does, but why not show some love back. Maybe she’ll send you some homemade treats, because you are looking a little thin.
3. Don’t give up beer. See more live music.
Recommended by Alex
I get it. For a lot of people, music is just background noise or a soundtrack; especially in 2017 when it’s everywhere and easy to get. Everyone out there has to have something they like though. Even my cantankerous old grandpa, who used to blare talk radio eventually found a love for opera and the Rolling Stones. However, there’s a way you can enjoy music more. Something changes when you see live music; you get to watch it be pulled out of thin air and brought to life. Gone are the clinical sounds of a recording studio and infused are the sounds of the people and the space surrounding it. You’re a part of the performance no matter how involved or not you choose. It’s truly a rare form of magic in a world bereft of much of it.
Now, I haven’t even finished writing this piece and I’m already hearing the feedback of “Concert tickets are too expensive” and “I don’t travel west of the Cascades for anything except SeaTac.” I hear you on that but not all shows have to be a $250 ticket for Taylor Swift at CLink. In fact, I’d highly recommend against that. She is a great songwriter and cleans up nice in the studio but a fantastic live performer; she is not. However, I will say if there is a performer on your bucket list, make this the year you go. You never know when they might just call it quits or worse. Only you can make the excuses.
This can be as simple as just heading to see free music around town as well. For those in Ellensburg, come out to the St. Paddy’s Day party featuring Iron Horse Bluegrass. Check out Old Skool’s open mic. Check out the many independent artists that will be hitting [the pub] in 2018. At least see one song of the “Hoedown in the Downtown” before swearing it off. For those who live elsewhere, find a local open mic and check it out. Look for free concert series about town. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing but trying to appreciate music and the ability to do so should be at or near the top of your list for the New Year.
4. Don’t give up beer. Visit one new place a month.
Recommended by Alex
As humans, we fear the new and embrace comfort. As a brewery, we see this every time we retire a beer and come up with a new one. *Pours one out for Beer Wolf* For this upcoming year, I’m asking you to embrace the fear. Go somewhere you’ve never been before. Now, I’m sure you’re picturing exotic trips to China or India and that’d be great if you get to travel that much but for most of us, it’s little out of our abilities. This is not what I’m envisioning. It doesn’t have to be that large a scale.
Start small. Check out a new restaurant in town or a new bar that opens up. As like anyone else, I have my food ruts. I’ll go to the same 2 or 3 places for a sandwich as always. But if you just try one new place a month, you might be opening yourself up to a whole world of possibilities. I went to a new Brazilian place here in Ellensburg and it’s probably one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in this town. Never thought about Brazilian food and now it’s a staple.
But I hope you also take this initiative larger. There’s a lot of great stuff just a drive away. Visit a town in your state you’ve never been too. Visit a brewery you enjoy and take the tour. (REMINDER: We give tours every 3rd Saturday of the month except this January, which will be a Friday night tour!) Check out a National Park. Do something terribly touristy you’ve never done in your own town or close by. Push yourself out of the rut and just get in the car and drive. You’ll never know where you end up and it might just change 2018 for the better.
5. Don’t give up beer. Spend more time outside.
Recommended by Nicole
Maybe it means exercising more outside or maybe it means just sitting on the porch drinking more beers outside. You choose. This one seems easy, but it’s also easy to just hit continue watching on Netflix and avoid going outside altogether.
Start slow with a walk through the snow to your mailbox across the street. Then build from there. Grab a friend or a dog or your headphones. Walking is a great time to catch up on the iron horse brewery podcast.
Feeling more motivated? Go hike a mountain, ride a bike or take your yoga to a grassy field. Just get outside. There’s probably lots of studies that show being outside is good for your physical and mental health, so if you want actual proven research you should google it and find some. Or you can just take our advice and get outside to see for yourself.
6. Don’t give up beer. Stop walking by trash on the ground.
Recommended by Nicole
If you’re looking for a resolution to help you “be a better person” or a way to volunteer, how about you pick up that trash you just walked past. We’re not blaming you because we’ve all done it – just walked right by something on the ground, sometimes even thought “huh, I wonder what that is” and carried on our way without stopping to look or pick it up. Other times we might not even notice there’s trash on the ground because our brain is programmed to ignore it.
Why? What is wrong with us that we don’t see a receipt or a bag or a wrapper and just immediately pick it up and throw it into the nearest trash can or recycling receptacle? Are we really just a bunch of dill pickles, sour and unable to take action? Is it really that hard to pick something off the ground? No, it’s not. So let’s change our habits and stop making excuses for why we’re leaving trash on the ground. Who enjoys looking at old gum wrappers anyway?
7. Don’t give up beer. Put your fucking phone down.
Recommended by Adam
This may seem counterintuitive coming from a guy who works in marketing and is semi-concerned with social media metrics, but seriously, put your phone down… after you finish reading this of course.
On average, Americans check their phone 46 times a day- 71 if you’re between the ages of 18 to 24 (source). That’s every 13.5 minutes, assuming you’re awake for 16hrs a day. If you start paying attention to what you’re looking at or consuming every time you check your phone, I’d wager that 95% of the material is garbage. It’s trivial. It’s noise. Its value is gone (if there was any to begin with) the moment you swipe away or hit the lock button. We’ve all been programmed to fill any mundane moment or void with a barrage of content.
We’re trading novelty for real life experiences. Everytime you check your phone, it is at the cost of what is happening around you.
8. Don’t give up beer. Find more indie companies and experiences.
Recommended by Adam
If variety is the spice of life, corporate goods are an investment in eternal blandness. Independent companies are more authentic and connected to its customer. Yes, there’s a time and place for everything, but an effort to seek out indie goods can result in a richer life.
I’ve never thought about tortilla chips for more than 8 seconds in the chip aisle. In my mind, chips are a necessity simply because it’s more publicly appropriate to shovel guacamole into your mouth with them than a spoon… or at least that’s what I thought until a friend introduced me to Siete Tortilla Chips. They blew my mind. I was eating chips without dip like a madman within moments of my first bite.
The best part is Siete Foods is exactly what makes indie goods so great. They are a company that started by solving a dietary problem, and ended up with tortilla chips that are better than anything else out there. A whole family dedicated themselves to a cause and can be proud of a real change they produced. I know that buying their goods goes straight to the people there and not to some suits yelling about the bottom line.
The remainder of these are recommended by Jared.
9. Don’t give up beer, Give up saying the word “Whatever” in certain contexts.
I’m going to attempt to minimize sarcasm for this entry. Bear with me, if I don’t fulfill that.
There are few things I allow to bother me, but for some reason, when I hear coworkers, friends, cousins, my mom say “whatever” immediately after expressing frustration about something at work or a problem at home or asking a question but getting a less than helpful answer, it makes me want to shake them like a polaroid picture.
But first, there are a few cases when saying “whatever” is perfectly fine.
“Hey, Jim, do you want a bag of funyons or these pork rind crumbs?
“Did I tell you the joke about kippers already?”
“Well, these kippers, anchovies, or whatever, walked into a bar…”
“Hi Adam, go ahead and help yourself to whatever you like in the fridge.”
I’m not talking about these uses of the word whatever. I’m talking about the kind of “whatever” we tend to use after a somewhat friction filled discussion about who’s going to do what or how something should go; where we feel strongly about going one way, but for some reason acquiesce to the opposite direction, but then as we retell the encounter to another colleague we end it with “…but whatever”. I’m using the royal we, because maybe this doesn’t apply to you or me, so don’t take it personally.
Stop it. Have more confidence in yourself and the people in your life. Don’t shrug it off because you’re too tired (or timid) to defend your point of view. By saying “whatever” you are basically dismissing your unresolved feelings on the topic. It kinda puts you into a victim state of mind. Whatever is almost never an answer. Saying whatever, in this case, means you have surrendered your choice and voice. In most cases that’s not good. (knowing when to shut up is also a good life skill to be addressed in a future post)
Are you saying “whatever” because you think there is nothing you can do about it? I would challenge you to question that thinking. There is always a choice.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that in any relationship, personal, business or otherwise, that there isn’t the very important give and take on how to do things or how to deal with conflict. As the saying goes, a good compromise is obvious when everyone is unhappy with the outcome. Wait, that doesn’t sound right.
So, why chose this instead of stop drinking beer. Well, here is a relationship spiral I have observed when “whatever” gets applied in this context.
First, you leave the encounter, feeling defeated and frustrated with your coworker or friend.
Then, you retell this situation to another human, end it with “whatever”, which reaffirms that negative encounter, causing more “arms length” types of conversations and creating a sense of distrust.
Third, you find yourself avoiding that jerkface because “you’d just rather not deal”.
Finally, passive aggressive behavior, or worse backchannel conversation, becomes your go-to interaction on how to deal with that stubborn jackhole.
If the world were more like Larry David, I think we’d be better off. I just wanted to mention Larry David. Also, this kind of reads like I’m really trying to talk myself into stop saying whatever. I used to be a whatever-er in my 20’s and early 30’s, but not so much now.
So, what the hell does this have to do with Iron Horse Brewery?
On the surface, probably not a whole lot. Look a little deeper, and you’ll find that we strive to build a culture where “whatever” only gets used in the “let’s party” kind of way. Direct, kind, honest communication is a deliberate focus that is championed by Greg and stretches far and wide within the 56 person company. Do we falter? Absolutely. So the next time you find yourself in a scenario where you are tempted to say “whatever”, stop yourself and say what you really mean.
Don’t cheat the world by watering down your convictions. Or do. I mean who the hell am I to give you advice?
10. Don’t give up beer, Give up the “I’m totally going to start going to the gym everyday” routine.
The moment you don’t go, you have failed, nullifying your entire resolution. Perhaps say, “I’m going to go the gym 9 times this year.” Then every time you DO go to the gym, don’t have a beer that day. Making your workout seem like double! Then on the days you don’t go to the gym, maybe have a beer. This is foolproof.
11. Don’t give up beer. Give up cider or wine. There’s probably no need for further explanation.
12. Don’t give up beer. Give up your dreams. Think about it.
Dreams are designed to keep you at arms length from reality and that thing you really want to do/pursue.. It is dangling a carrot in front of you that can’t ever catch. Instead, do things with purpose and intent facing in a direction that you find tingles your heart and the hearts of 4 others. (that’s vague, but so are dreams)
13. Don’t give up beer. Give up tying your shoelaces. Go velcro, or better yet, only wear Vans, you badass hipster.
14. Don’t give up beer. Give up ignoring that acquaintance you recognize at the grocery store, but always avoid eye contact with by swiftly looking at the one bag of organic almond flour VERY. VERY. INTENTLY.
Until s/he passes by. Instead, engage, say “hey, nice to see you at the store. Do you happen to know where the organic cranberry powder is located?” You’ll feel better about yourself for not ignoring someone and who knows maybe you will have found what you were looking for saving you time so you can go have that beer at the pub.
15. Don’t give up beer. Give up listening to random beer blogs espousing haphazard advice.