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How to quit drinking in 3 easy steps

Quitting drinking can be less than easy if you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol. But if you follow these three steps, you'll soon be on your way to a new alcohol-free life!

Quit drinking for good by following these simple steps.

1 - Set a date

It can be helpful to set a date and decide when you’re going to quit drinking.

There is no best time to do it. There will always be reasons why now isn’t a good time: you have a birthday coming up; a wedding to go to; a weekend away with some friends; a family event; a works do which involves happy hours and socialising; a holiday next month; a load of booze in your fridge; it’s summer and the sun is shining.

You get the point.

If you have an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, your brain will find all sorts of reasons to keep you drinking.

The truth is, you can stop drinking any time if you recognise these excuses and justifications for what they are, ignore them and go ahead anyway.

Setting a date can help because:

  • it enables you to plan in advance and to make any necessary adjustments to your diary. It might be you need to cancel or rearrange some events that would prove too challenging for you.
  • it enables you to prepare your home environment – get rid of what you need to get rid of, replace the alcohol with other options and stock up on nurturing, healthy foods and distractions that will help you feel good about what you’re doing.
  • it helps you to prepare psychologically. Having a date in mind helps your brain to accept a change is coming and makes life easier for you when it arrives. It gives you the time to plan what you’re going to say to people about why you’re not joining them or why you’re having to leave the party early or why you’re not drinking.
  • It allows you to action-plan and to think about what you need to do to make sure you're ready to quit drinking. Do you need to talk to a doctor first? Do you need to find a support group? Is there anything you need to buy?

2 - Write down your goals

Writing down your goals helps you stay focused and motivated. And it also makes them easier to achieve.

You might already be able to identify some goals but here are some questions you can use as a starting point. Your responses to these will help you to get really clear about what you’d like to achieve:

If you could imagine yourself successfully and happily sober, how would you be different?

How would your life be different?

What would you be doing instead of drinking?

What would you be achieving?

What things have you wanted to do but drinking has stopped you?

Once you have identified some goals for your new sober life, think about the benefits to you of achieving them. Think about all the benefits you’ll gain from living your life alcohol-free. List as many as you can.

Writing down your goals and all the benefits to achieving them helps to bring them to life and helps you feel more motivated to get going and to stick with it when you do!

3 - Create an action plan

Write down what you need to do to quit drinking. Ask yourself:

What needs to happen for me to successfully stop drinking on the date I have planned?

Write down as many answers to this as you can and keep repeating the question to yourself:

Is there anything else that needs to happen for me to succeed?

Write it all down.

When you’ve done that, you can ask yourself:

What needs to happen first?

Then you can arrange each thing that needs to happen in the right order and, hey presto, you have an action plan!

And, remember, you can always get help. If you need help with any of these things, ask for it. You don’t have to go it alone – there is plenty of support out there.


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