Earlier in this self-improvement journey we focused on learning about alcohol, counting drinks, and understanding portions. These help identify your status quo and establish a baseline for how much you’re drinking lately.
Once you’re feeling ready and motivated to change, it’s time to take action.
Set a goal
Start small and set a goal that is easy to reach from where you are today. If you’re drinking moderately every day and want to cut back, try skipping just a single day. Perhaps even today.
Write your goal down, and commit to it.
A common challenge arises when trying to cut back the amount consumed per day. Alcohol is a powerful drug, and even one drink can be enough to derail your evening. If possible, focus on entire days or consecutive days without drinking. Most people have an unwritten limit on the maximum they would drink in a day; over time, try to gradually lower that baseline as you continue to learn about alcohol’s mechanisms and effects.
Drinking is hard on your body. Give yourself a break and take some time off from alcohol at least occasionally.
Goals don’t need to be all about reducing consumption. In fact humans are naturally biased to prefer adding something new vs. taking something away.
So consider goals that add something to your life while leaving less time to drink. Perhaps a fitness target that requires evening activities, or something else that breaks your negative routines.
Without an alternative in place, simply drinking less can leave you with more free time for cravings to build. Try to replace the time spent drinking with something new that’s more pleasurable and fulfilling.
Once you’ve set and achieved your goals, remember to reward yourself. It’s important to replace alcohol’s insidious pleasure and reward cycle with a new and healthier one.