No booze and daily workouts for the Berg from January 4th to 24th

I’m taking 21 days off from drinking as well as daily workouts to begin developing habits of abstinence and exercise, 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.

EXERCISE: I’m currently sporadic at best.  I’ll surf for 4 hours or hike into the crater for miles and days, but then sit at my desk for 2-3 weeks afterward.  Not good.  Every day, I’ll be doing one of 2 daily circuits I’ve developed, surfing, hiking, snorkeling, boxing, swimming or some other high-energy activities.  Playing tag for an hour with the kids counts, so long as I don’t twist an ankle.


And it begins!

So, I started a little early on this one (as far as booze goes.) My last drink was on New Year’s Eve, but I was sick, so it wasn’t much.  It was enough to make my cold worse, so I haven’t had any since.  So I guess this is actually a 24-day challenge!  Since my wife is joining me, we’re also considering having our kids keep us accountable.  We’re thinking about giving them a special reward if we do pull each challenge off.  That way, they’re not only routing for us, they’re also bringing down the keiki hammer.

Stay tuned as I share insights after my 24-days of boring (not as boring as I thought.  Getting a ton done.)

  1. 100 pushups, 100 lunges, 100 sit-ups – stretching
  2. 45 min boxing – stretching
  3. 45 min boxing – stretching
  4. 2 hours surfing Middles
  5. 1-hour balance board and dumbbells
  6. 45 min boxing – stretching (injured my shoulder…)
  7. 1-hour balance board – stretching
  8. 1-hour balance board – stretching
  9. 10 pushups (injury…), 100 sit-ups, 100 lunges – stretching
  10. 100 lunges, 100 sit-ups, dumbbells – stretching
  11. Blew it.  Didn’t work out… Gonna go big on Monday.
  12. 60 pushups, 100 lunges, 150 sit-ups, balance board, dumbbells – lots of stretching
  13. lew it.  Didn’t work out… Gonna go big tomorrow
  14.  1-hour balance board – stretching
  15. circuit 2 – stretching
  16. 100 pushups, 130 lunges, 150 sit-ups – stretching (A friend is having a big party tonight.  Good chance I’ll fall off the wagon.  I’m ok with it, so long as the fall isn’t too high.  Absolutely not ok to be hungover…)
  17. A little hungover… Blew it.

I must have miscounted my days here.  Setting up a better system for the next challenge.

Update: Jan 16th

So far, I’m finding that eliminating booze has been an upstream habit from a lot of other downstream habits:

  • I now tend to go to bed much earlier, due to boredom and being tired from exercise.
  • I’m paying more attention to caffeine intake, which I need more of in the afternoon if I didn’t sleep well.
  • I drink way more tea in the evening than I did (decaf).  having some tea is a good replacement for the burn and bite I desire from booze.
  • I’m more productive.  It’s much easier to chill on the couch with a movie if I’ve got a cocktail.  Not sure if this is good or bad, since stress levels are still very high.
  • Antacid use has gone down.  I’ve also ordered healthier antacids.  Been downing Tums for years.  I’m using Genexa, which has purer ingredients and it’s working!  I usually wake up once in the night to take one.  And, when working, I end up taking a few due to stress.

BOOZE: This weekend was the hardest, in that I really wanted a cocktail, but I prevailed.  The real test comes when I go to a costume party this week… The host has a pretty impressive whiskey selection.

EXERCISE: I’m finding it hard to keep a routine going with my shoulder injury.  It’s getting better though.

Final Update: Jan 25th

I achieved what I set out to do, which was to observe how I feel working out daily and without booze.  No, I didn’t pull it off flawlessly, thanks to a big party and missing a few workouts, but I did feel a lot better. The biggest takeaway was all the downstream positive changes that occurred.  Better sleep, less caffeine, less GERD, and more productivity.  Having a better understanding of how I feel and my life is affected from these 21-day changes is going to prove invaluable.

What’s next?

The next challenge will be 21 days of zero processed sugar and better sleep.  See more challenges below.

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. MC

    Love it!!! Keep this rolling.

  2. Michele Norberg

    Bravo! Very impressive, but don’t be too hard on yourself.

  3. Alex

    Wow Chris!! This is inspiring!! Looks hard but I’ll consider joining you on some. Surfing might be a little tough in Virginia! Love you! Keep it up!

  4. Natalie Norberg

    You’re amazing! Let’s do this together! Love you!

    • Treehouse Dad

      Definitely doing this one again. Felt great. Right now trying the sleep/nosugar. Pretty hard to get 8 hours…


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