January 19, 2007
10 Great Tips to Stop Drinking
1 – Establish Your Goals. What are your personal reasons for wanting to drink less alcohol? Write down your thoughts and let this be a guide for setting some goals. Whether it is to stay away from drinking events, participate in controlled drinking, or stop drinking altogether, make sure you know why you are doing this and make sure the reason is for you, not anyone else, or else you won’t be as successful.
2 – Pick a day in the next week to start cutting down. Go for a day when you are likely to be relaxed and not under pressure. Plan ahead for a day when it is easier to avoid alcohol.
3 – Don’t Give Up. Nowhere in this article did we say it would be easy to stop drinking! Keep your goals in mind along with the reasons you even set these goals in the first place. If you have too many drinks one night, don’t let it spoil the goal you’re reaching for. Just get right back on track the next day. When you fail yourself, just remember this quote by Robert F. Kennedy: "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." You will succeed if you truly want to get your drinking habits under control or stop drinking altogether.
4 – Share your plan with others. Talk with your family members and trusted friends about your plan. Let them know how they can help you to be successful.
5 – Ask for Support from Your Family and Friends. Those who are truly supportive of your recovery will be happy to help you throughout the holidays. Be up front and tell them your concerns.
6 – Take a Break. In the quest to reduce your alcoholic intake, try setting aside one day a week where you won’t be drinking alcohol. Once this single day becomes easy, make it two days, then three days, then a week. Breaking up your larger goal into smaller goals is not any less of a commitment. Instead, it may actually help you to stick with your goal much longer.
7 – Determine when you are most likely to drink and then make up a plan to avoid them. When at home or at parties you should find a substitute drink instead of alcohol to stick with your plan. You can also replace your drinking habits with hobbies that are constructive to you personally such as exercising, reading, painting or other things.
8 – Ward off Temptations. When do you tend to drink? Is it at parties or is it when you’re alone? Make sure you understand what your temptations are and then devise simple plans to avoid them. Try substituting yummy non-alcoholic drinks and do the same at home. Otherwise, replace your drinking habits with other constructive hobbies, such as exercising, reading, painting, or whatever it is that you enjoy.
9 – Reward yourself. Use the money you once spent on drinking to do something fun with your family or friends. Go out to eat, see a movie, or play sports or a game.
10 - If you continue to find it difficult to cut down drinking and need more help to quit, with new strategies, just head over to www.StopDrinkingAdvice.org/Guide