How to be a Non-Drinker with Nigel Jones

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Nigel Jones is the founder of “9 kilometers before 9 am” which is what he’s been doing ever since he decided to quit drinking.

He’s a sobriety coach and has written a book called Walking Back to Happiness which is a lovely title and describes the feeling we get as we begin to thrive in our sobriety.

Nigel’s professional background is in marketing and PR so he has a deep understanding of the power of messaging and the effect it has on our subconscious mind.  As he says, we are in effect being “groomed” by the liquor industry to be loyal and lifelong consumers.

In this Episode

  • Nigel’s first drink was strong cider at an early age – obviously, it tasted disgusting to him and he was very sick – which made us reflect on the craziness of forcing ourselves to drink something we hate just so that we can acquire a test for it!
  • Going to Uni was when the party really got started and daily drinking became his pattern. That mix of affordability, availability and the heady feeling of being away from home means that the party starts for many of us at this stage of our lives.
  • Nigel developed a career in marketing and PR – a profession where alcohol is “baked in” to the job and you wouldn’t climb that career ladder if you didn’t take clients out for drinks or let your hair down with colleagues at the end of the week. A work hard, play hard culture as in every corporate job that I’ve worked in.
  • Nigel drank for 35 years and certainly identified as a “drinker” – but, as he got older he felt his body was not coping with it very well. He was constantly anxious and not sleeping well.
  • He began to worry that he wouldn’t see his 60th birthday if he carried on like this.
  • Like many of us, Nigel had known for years that he was drinking too much but always pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind.
  • He spoke about the Tribalism of being a drinker and how hard it is to step away from the pack. Not only do we feel vulnerable but our drinking buddies feel that we are holding a mirror to their drinking.
  • Leaving the Drinking Tribe is hard – it goes back to our roots when we had to stay with the tribe for protection.
  • The way to cope with this is, of course, to join a Sobriety community and I must have had this in mind when I called our community Tribe Sober!
  • If you think it’s time to transfer from your Drinking Tribe to Tribe Sober then just go to and hit join our tribe!
  • Nigel made the decision to quit one morning in December.
  • He’s had many Day Ones but never got further than 6 days sober.
  • This time he approached it from a completely different angle – rather than seeing himself as a drinker trying to use willpower to become a non-drinker….in marketing speak he re-branded himself as a non-drinker from Day 1!
  • That’s what we’d call a massive reframe here at Tribe Sober!
  • That was a game-changer for Nigel – he realised that his failure to stop for 35 years was simply because he was using the wrong technique!
  • He used the analogy of a mountain – rather than starting at the foot of the mountain on Day One – with a long and intimidating climb ahead of him, he started at the top of the mountain – as a non-drinker – on Day One!
  • Of course, he had to work on his belief system to change his identity from a drinker to non-drinker.
  • He began to identify as a non-drinker who leads a healthy life, gets up early, exercises, meditates, and lives in the moment – so he began to do all the things a non-drinker would do.
  • He used the power of intention – he had the intention to be a non-drinker.
  • Nigel explained to me that the power of intention is when what you intend to do becomes the deed, the deed becomes the habit, the habit becomes the character and the character can becomes the destiny.
  • Nigel is 2 years sober and loves the alcohol-free lifestyle – he’s in his 50s but he feels like he’s in his 20s!
  • We agreed that Sobriety is a Superpower.
  • He has 3 daily goals – up at 5.30 am, walk 9 kilometers before 9 am, meditate for 15 minutes – and don’t  drink alcohol today. So simple but so powerful!
  • Nigel’s top 3 benefits have been living in the present, health benefits, and connecting on a deeper level.
  • We talked about the power of subliminal marketing and Nigel told me about a campaign by Guinness back in the 1950s which was targeting pregnant women – telling them that Guinness was good for the baby!
  • As a marketing professional, Nigel understands the effect it has on the subconscious mind and how we are in fact “groomed” to drink alcohol and be lifelong customer of the liquor industry.
  • We agreed that governments are complicit in this machine which sometimes feels like a gigantic conspiracy.
  • In spite of all the manipulation, Nigel does believe that we can change our beliefs.
  • If we think that we can never stop drinking that’s just a false and limiting belief.
  • All beliefs can be learned and unlearned.
  • Nigel has written a book explaining how he did just that – his book is called Walking Back to Happinessavailable on Amazon.
  • His website is 9kmby9am

More Info

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