What do you want? Let me guess. You want to do work that feels meaningful and have a few solid friends with whom you can text inappropriate jokes. When the day is done, you want some time for yourself to relax and feel at peace. When you drift off to sleep, you want to go someplace far, far away—like the kids who walked through the closet and found Narnia.
At first, coffee helped you live that life.
You worked faster. You connected with friends over the phrase “let’s grab coffee.” Sure, you were getting less REM sleep, and no longer having the IMAX Narnia experience in dreamland, but you solved that next-day sluggishness by ratcheting up your daily dose. After a while, though, coffee started feeling like less of a superpower and more like a crutch. You felt like you couldn’t work without caffeine pulsating through your veins and the energy between you and your friends vacillated between lethargic and jittery.
One day you looked in the mirror after another shitty night of sleep and asked that painful question: “Am I addicted to coffee?”
Which brings us here. MUD\WTR worked with Dr. Molly Maloof to develop a Coffee Detox Program that can help you wean off of coffee smoothly. While the program includes a bunch of science about caffeine dependence that’s fun to nerd out on, we also want to offer you the cliff-notes version. It’s like a shot of espresso without the mini-panic attack! This strategy will allow you to own your coffee habit, and not let it own you.
What You’ll Need
- MUD\WTR starter kit
- Coffee (but not for long)
- A journal
- A sense of humor
Take a few minutes to journal about what your life is going to look like post-coffee. Set your intentions like they’ve already happened. Feel free to use these stereotyped phrases to jumpstart your engine:
- I wake up in my comfy bed and am so grateful to feel clear and energized without coffee.
- I am grateful to no longer be a coffee-drinker.
- I am grateful to be sleeping better and feeling more stable energy throughout the day.
This exercise is training your subconscious. Journal one paragraph per day about anything you like as you detox.
Raise the stakes by writing a check to an anti-charity for an amount of money that will sting if you lose it. This is an organization that you hate. Give the check to a friend and tell them to mail it if you’re not off of coffee within a month.
Make it Obvious
We’re going to take a page out of James Clear’s fantastic book Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results. The ability to change habits is due less to willpower, and is due more to reengineering your environment to make good decisions easy and bad decisions hard. This is important so please don’t skip over this step.
Place your MUD\WTR and frother next to the spot where you make your coffee each morning.
Cut your Coffee in Half
OK, now that you have the right mindset in place for success, it’s time to implement our method for weaning carefully. Scale down to half of your normal dose. If you drink two cups of coffee per day, which is the American average, replace your second cup with MUD\WTR.
This is training your brain to form a new, healthier, habit. If you miss a day, don’t be too hard on yourself, just don’t miss two.
When you forgo your second cup of coffee, give yourself a treat. Walk outside or watch a cat skateboarding on YouTube. Whatever will give you a little hit of dopamine. Rewarding yourself helps train the brain into new habits.
Scale to Zero
After a few days of drinking half your dose, scale down to zero. You can drink as much MUD\WTR as you like, but coffee is out. Done. It’s as gone as the mastodon.
To make this transition easy, put your coffee maker in the basement or take it to the local crematorium. Whatever creates a physical barrier to pouring a cup of coffee during a moment of weakness.
If you live with coffee-drinkers be sure to check with them first. Getting rid of a French Press in a house full of addicts may be considered an act of war. If you are unable to get rid of the coffee maker, set up a new spot far away from it where you can make your MUD\WTR each morning.
The shift from some coffee to no coffee can feel daunting, so every day this week move your body as soon as you wake up. Go on a five-minute walk each morning and look at the sky—it’s proven to help wake up the brain.
If you want to scale up with a full-on morning workout, a cold plunge or by summiting Everest in shorts, go for it. We salute you!
Change the Way you Speak
“Want to grab a cup of coffee?”
You may get asked this question daily. Instead of saying, “No thanks, I’m trying not to drink coffee.” Practice saying, “No thanks, I don’t drink coffee.” This might seem small, but the difference is in how you see yourself. It’s your identity. Consider saying it out loud right now: “No thanks, I don’t drink coffee.” Or, “I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll see you there for a cup of tea.” Big thanks again to James Clear for this hack.
Pro tip: Go to a coffee shop with a canister of MUD\WTR, ask the barista for a cup of hot water, then leave a big tip.
Follow this protocol and you will transition to a clearer, brighter, better-rested version of yourself. One who’s ready to take on 2021 from a place of balance and centered awareness, rather than from a place of feeling frantic, frazzled, and freaked out.
Learn more about the Coffee Detox Program, including how to sign up, here.