Alcohol

5 Steps to Drink Less

Step 1: Do an honest review of how much you are drinking now

The first step is to be honest with yourself about how much you are drinking now, and what that is costing you; not just money but in time and relationships too.

Look back at last week or start now and make a note of everything you drink – leave nothing out.  Chances are you already know it’s too much – but sometimes it takes a proper look to really let it sink in.

Add up all the units of alcohol.

Add up all the money you spend, what is it over the year?

Add up all the hours that you’ve put into drinking or feeling rubbish after drinking.

 

Step 2: Figure out the stories you tell yourself 

I’ve had a good day/bad day/stressful day/Friday and I NEED a drink.

There’s a bottle already open in the fridge, I don’t want to waste it.

I’ll just have one……well, I’ve had one now I might as well have another.

What are the times of day or situations that trigger the action of drinking (or over drinking) to you.

It’s helpful to know this before you start cutting down, but it may be something that you become more aware of once you start and it’s certainly something you’ll need to come back to time and time again.

Don’t skip this step – it’s going to come in handy later.

 

Step 3: Set your rules and commit to them 

Your body, your life, your rules.

I’m willing to bet that up until now you’ve not had any rules around drinking, and if you have you haven’t been sticking to them.

You are responsible for setting your own rules around drinking. The only guidelines are that they MUST have your best interest at their heart, and you MUST stick to them 100% until the set review date.

Don’t have any ambiguity in those rules, they should be set in stone. If you’re going to drink 1-2 days a week you need to allocate the days in advance. If you’re not going to drink in the house, that means ever. If you’re never going to drink, it’s off the table.

It’s much easier to stick to rules 100% of the time than 99% of the time – it gets exhausting wondering if this is the 1%.


Step 4: Make a plan

So, you’ve committed to not drinking – but what are you going to do instead?

Having a drink solves a problem for you, whether that’s relieving stress or boredom, or putting you to sleep, or making you feel confident.

How else are you going to meet that need? That’s where the awareness from step 2 comes in.

If you’re not sure what it is yet, have yourself a plan for alternative ways to spend your time. Meet friends for coffee, do a jigsaw puzzle, have a special movie night with the kids, join a group exercise class.

The key is to do something that’s different to your old routine.

Step 5: Forgive mistakes quickly and get back on it

You’re only human after all. We all make mistakes, but there’s no need to compound them by throwing your arms in the air and admitting defeat.

I know, we’ve all done it! You don’t need to wait until Monday to start again. You don’t even need to wait until tomorrow.

If you’ve had a slip up, acknowledge it, learn from it, and get back on it.

I know this can be the hardest thing. I’m here if you need me, just get in touch.

 

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