Tips to give up alcohol
If you are thinking of cutting back on alcohol or giving up drink all together then you are in good company! Seriously there are more reasons and more people than you could imagine right now.
There is a global trend particularly in alcohol dominated countries where people are fed up with a hangover most weekends, spending too much money or just want to feel better about themselves.
And we are talking fitness here, mental health and our back pocket.
Maybe you are worried you might drink or drive or looking forward to an alcohol free pregnancy.
There are those of course who realize that they have a problem with drink and these tips might be beyond that point but I have also seen people change overnight with as much as one therapy session.
They just decided to make the change.
If you are worried about giving up drinking, always get checked first by your Doctor as the side effects can be very harmful and life threatening.
That’s alcohol for you.
However, many of the people I met were just social drinkers who decided that they had to make a change from liver to blood pressure or maybe even brain fog.
For me it was you will die if you don’t! Yep and I was just a social wine drinker!
For others, it might be the thought of waking up without that banging it your head!
Whatever it is these tips could get you started on cutting back on alcoholic beverages.
After all we all have to start somewhere and the first step is not to feel judged as you are more likely to be judged about giving up than you are about carrying on drinking. Bizarre I know!
5- Recognize your drinking too much
This is the first part of any coaching programme and is a lesson from the book Alice Through the Looking Glass and a conversation with the Big Cheshire Cat.
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where” said Alice.
The fact is if we don’t know where we want to go then we don’t know if we really care where we get to.
The first part of any change is acknowledging that you want to make a change in your world, with your drinking or your life.
The rules are the same.
Now it does not matter if you don’t’t know what to do about it yet. It’s the acknowledgment that counts!
I want you to know why you want to change and be kind to yourself. What will it really mean for you?
Just acknowledging the issue might be enough sometimes to start an “okay let’s change mentality!”
Remember it’s being truthful about yourself.
And before you say but I’m not really a big drinker, well neither was I. But when you realize anything above 14 units per week can have an effect on your health it starts to make you think big time.
I remember a colleague of mine who said she drank 15 units a week and was told she was an alcoholic. Probably not the best approach but it made her think!
Remember just one small standard glass of wine is one unit. Not a large glass so if you get through a bottle after work then you will hit that 14 units very quickly in either a day or certainly a few days.
As one of my readers said to me “everyone thought I was on a park bench with a bottle of vodka all day. In reality, I just opened a bottle of wine after work
The reality is that this is where many people are! They are social drinkers in their head but in reality they are causing themselves harm.
I know that from personal experience! And yet others around me probably drank much more. It’s just their system that dealt with it differently.
Recognition is key that you want change and the reason does not have to be major one either. Think of the butterfly effect, one change in a butterfly flight path on one side of the world can change a weather pattern on the other.
People underestimate incremental change in my view. And the same is true when you are cutting back or giving up alcohol.
4- Make a list of the pro and cons of drinking
This is a bit of an audit of your own drinking habits and don’t underestimate it.
Anything we do we needs to have a purpose and a reason.
It is the one reason we get up in the morning and very often do the thing that we don’t particularly want to do.
For example, I am not the best at doing exercise or losing weight but once I give myself a structure, a reason and a purpose that all changes.
If I have a sunny holiday booked I will do whatever not to scare people in my shorts around the pool. And yet if no holiday is booked and it always feels like hard work.
I give myself a structure with purpose.
My making a pro’s’s and cons’ list you will discover what is going to drive your motivation in cutting back alcohol.
For example the PROs of drinking might be
- Making your feel good
- You like wine and beer
- It makes you relax
- It’s a distraction
- It allows you to “fit in”
- To impress the boss
- You just do it without thinking and its the one thing you do for yourself
Here I would like you to celebrate why you drink, don’t dismiss it as you are not dealing with reality otherwise and you won’t honor what I call the “positive intent” of your drinking.
You are getting something out of it big time!
There is a good reason that you drink and you will be getting something out of it! Remember the brain is always moving toward pleasure and away from pain.
Unfortunately with alcohol it can get a bit confused.
The Cons might be
- The headaches
- The hangover
- Spending too much money
- Behaviour issues
- Risky behaviour
- It may contribute to your death ( just being honest)
- Loss of friends
- Risky sex
- You drive and your job depends on it
You get the idea and you will know what your pros and cons are.
I would like to suggest though that if we are dealing with reality there should be more cons than pros otherwise why give up?
If you have more pro’s then you may need to ask yourself some tough questions or carry on drinking. It’s as simple as that.
You have to want to make a change to make it work!
3 – Tell yourself you’re cutting back and make a public commitment
Once you are public with cutting back your alcohol intake I have seen many people feel the need to join you. I am not an advocate of Dry January as people generally just binge afterwards.
But I do notice lots of people join in for at least 1 month anyway but this is just to give up for the month of January and does not lend itself well to just cutting back.
Remember you are going for incremental change here unless the need is an urgent one.
If so, always get medical advice.
Once you make a goal public you are more likely to achieve it. That means its good to share amongst your closet circle.
One world of caution though.
In my experience from everything from changing your career to cutting back on alcohol, other people around you are not overly keen on change as it makes them feel uncomfortable.
They might try to sabotage you which brings me nicely to tip number two.
By the way, writing an alcoholic drink diary is a great way to start so accountability to yourself.
Just a few lines every day and it can change your thoughts and new neutrons are connections made in the brain.
That is how habits are formed after all.
2 – Change your social circle
Have you ever wondered why we follow the crowd. It has been proven and talked a lot in books like Influence by Robert Clindi that we like to be liked.
In a marketing campaign it’s called social proof and we are more likely to buy something if others are buying it.
It’s like a seal of approval and it’s one of the reasons why testimonials work really well.
Unfortunately the same is true of our social circle and alcohol.
As we like to be liked and want to be seen to be liked by others so we drink like others. It becomes a cycle.
It why a crowd can often get drunk quicker together as they want to be seen to be keeping up until of one of them vomits and we say “you can’t hold you drink”
You know the score.
Social influence in the UK is key especially and I am sure it is the same elsewhere. It plays a real role in people drinking more.
It can also happen in work events and try to impress the boss who also drinks.
Or being seen to go on post work drinking because that is how you get promoted. Many of us have been there.
A great way to change this is to change your triggers that starts the alcohol drinking process and do other stuff.
Having a selection of different leisure activities can really help. I talk about that here
There is a great saying in a business mastermind group that you are who you hang around with. And I do believe there is a lot to be said in that.
And no I am not suggesting you dump all your friends today. That’s just crazy.
Just be aware of people around you, wanting to be liked and keep your eye on the reduced alcohol prize.
1- Go Alcohol Free
The alcohol free drinks industry is changing and changing for the best. In fact the taste and marketing has got far better than when it first started.
The production process of dealcolization in many of the drinks allows the taste and the essence to cut through while taking out most if not all the alcohol.
It has now been proven through University research that people are more likely to go alcohol free if they have some good choices on offer.
The problem was always that the choices were just not there. And in many cases still are not.
Choice of alcohol free wines and beers is still very limited on a night out for example.
Now if alcohol free is going to trigger you going back to heavy drinking well please don’t go there but otherwise it can be an excellent way to deal with social pressure from others and enjoy an alcohol free treat.
Always know your own alcohol triggers!
But there is only so much diet cola and fizzy water you can stand!
Thankfully the choice is yours and you don’t have to deal with always being mocked for not having a drink in your hand.
Going back to your pros and cons by the way if one of your concerns is losing weight and cutting back on alcohol then alcohol free gin with a low calorie good mixer like Fever Tree is the perfect choice.
Bonus Tip – Use hypnotherapy to cut back on your drinking
Hypnotherapy can be a great way to deal with addiction from alcohol to chocolate. Yes it’s not just drugs and alcohol you know.
I have teamed up with one of the best therapists, Mark Tyrrel, to bring a programme that you can use whenever and wherever you like.
All you need is a set of headphones, a tablet, mobile or desktop. Plus a bit of quiet time.
It is one of the best programs out there and I rate it 10/10. Please click the affiliate link below to find out more and if you do but the course you pay the same.
I would also love any feedback on the programme.
What are your thoughts?
I would love to know what your tips to give up alcohol are. By sharing your experience you get to help others. Even if it’s just how you cut back on your own alcohol intake.
Leave a comment below on tips to give up alcohol and I always respond to every comment.