NO BOOZE & NO CAFFEINE: 21-Day Challenge

No booze and No caffeine for the Berg from March 2nd to 22nd

I’m taking 21 days off from drinking as well as caffeine to begin developing habits of abstinence and calm, but I’m mostly doing it to record how I feel.  2023 is all about health and growth.

ALCOHOL: I’d prefer to not be fully abstinent, but I think the break after the holidays will be a good idea.  With persistent GERD, poor sleep, and plenty of life/work stress, it’s a good idea to shut things down on a regular basis. The real challenge is whether I can only have a drink a few times per week or once a week.  Not sure that’s how my brain works.

CAFFEINE: I usually do one VERY-strong cupper per day.  Sometimes I’ll have some green tea or another 1/2 cup before 3pm, but it’s rare.  Usually, only when I know I’m going to be up late for a social occasion or if we’re traveling will I indulge in more daily caffeine.  This is one of those challenges I rationalize as not needing, as I don’t drink much, and I absolutely kill it at work when caffeinated.  BUT, it’s all in the name of science.  how will I feel after 21 days off (first time in maybe 28 years?!?!)

coffee cup world

And it begins!

It was an easy start due to my arriving back from boys trip snowboarding Whistler and then an immediate trip to Austin Texas for an SEO conference.  We had a few evenings where we drank too much and didn’t eat enough during the conference, so I was ready.  Plus, the day I get back, I get sick again.  People were hacking all around us during the conference…

Stay tuned as I share insights after my 21-days of no booze or caffeine. Here are some notes.

  1. Not sure if it’s from the sickness, or not having caffeine, but I’ve had headaches for a week straight.
  2. Got my first full night of sleep in almost a month.


Update: March 21st

So, I didn’t quite make it.  We’d just spent the weekend at a friends house in Hana, and I gave in with some beers.  This morning, since I had some black tea.

BOOZE: Again, this is the biggest uphill positive change.  It’s uphill from a bunch of other bad habits.  I sleep better, eat less right before bed, more focus/productivity when working, have less heartburn, a little less anxiety during the day, easier mornings, etc… I don’t want to stop drinking entirely, but if I could pull off long stretches on a regular basis,

CAFFEINE: This was a harder challenge than the booze.  Mornings, I was walking around like a zombie for too long.  At first, the headaches were really bad.  I missed a yummy coffee in the morning.  My buddy stopped and has been off it for 6+ months.  He does decaf each morning, which acts as his placebo.  I could try that, I guess. I may have to do this one again.  My sleep as been better this week compared to last, but there are a lot of factors involved there.  I don’t know.  I think black tea will be my thing for at least another week.

All in all, with each challenge, I learn a little more about myself, and I tend to keep some of them (at least in moderation.)  Ex. I’m trying to sleep for 8 hours and am more conscious of my previous night sleep and bedtime.  I definitely eat less sugar on the daily since that last experiment.

coffee booze

What’s next?

I’m thinking about surfing everyday and more no booze.  That one seems to be the best.

PAST: 2 decades on Maui, 35 years of surfing, 21 countries traveled, and just 1 treehouse built.

PRESENT: Seeking great food, would create art daily if I had endless energy/time, I run 3 businesses, and I put family at #1.  Prepping for the next personal challenge.

FUTURE: I'm most excited catching up and getting ahead with work. We just did 3.5 months of traveling, so no more major travel for a bit.

21 Day Challenges


  • No booze - Cutting out midnight snacking too.
  • No sugar - Nothing processed.  Some fruit is ok.
  • No caffeine - Might add in green tea if headaches occur.
  • No social media - I'll do my best to schedule/delegate work.
  • Heartburn/GERD - Focus on gut repair.
  • EMP Prep - Learn, Prep, Gather for potential EMP attack.
  • No clutter - Each day I'll spend 2 hours culling the cluter, be it on the computer, in closets, the garage, etc...
  • No meat - I might make an exception for fish & eggs...
  • No screentime - TV/movies, phone, social, work?
  • No Dairy - Cut out everything.
  • No Gluten - 100% gluten-free and mostly carb free.
  • Organic - Eat only organic.
  • No Dark Colors - wear only light clothing.
  • Toxic People - Actively delete contacts and remove crap humans.


  • Workout - Daily circuit, swim, surf, or hike.
  • Sleep - Daily bedtime of 9 am with at least 8 hours of sleep.
  • Breath Hold/Work - Daily practice to increase time.
  • Meditate - Daily 20+ minutes of meditation or breath work.
  • Reading - 40+ books read in a year.
  • Videos - Daily editing and publishing.
  • Build - Daily build of a catio.
  • Gratitude Journal - Daily paragraph to page.
  • Surf - Daily surf sessions for 1-hour minimum.
  • Art - Daily artwork of at least 1 hour.
  • Blogging - 1 daily blog post on this site or for work.
  • Ice/Heat - Daily Ice Bath and/or Sauna.
  • Friendship - Daily active time with friends.
  • Water - Only water as liquid intake, 10+ glasses daily.

Please comment below if you’d like to join me on one of these!  


  1. Michele Norberg

    Love your many goals! And admire your determination to achieve them. This is motivating me to work on myself too. I will print your aspirations and try to improve myself in several ways, but of course not as involved as yours.

    For one week (from March 22nd to March 29th) I will start with: NO CAFFEINE, NO SUGAR, NO SOCIAL MEDIA & NO CLUTTER!!!


    • Treehouse Dad

      Fantastic!!!! Just remember not to judge yourself. Note any lapses or “mistakes” and observe how you feel. If you get caffeine, do a little green tea or black tea to wean off. I had horrible headaches and should’ve done that….


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