How to stick to your plans
Complete a plan for changing your drinking.
You must look over your plan every day especially if you find yourself in a tempting situation.
- Think of an activity that you do several times every day (e.g. drinking a cup of coffee).
- Whenever you carry out that activity (e.g. drinking coffee), very quickly go over the plan in your mind. Think about your drinking plan, reasons for cutting down, dangerous situations and ways of coping with them. Also think of your plans for meeting other people and beginning interesting activities.
- If you have someone helping you, talk about your plan and progress every day at first and then several times a week as you have success sticking to it.
- If your plan is clearly in your mind, then it will help you to change. If it is only on paper it will have no effect at all.
- Remember that every time you are tempted to drink too much and are able to resist… you are breaking your habit.
Stay calm and remind yourself
- Why you don’t want the drink.
- Of the consequences of losing control.
- Of the benefits you have gained so far.
- Of how you will feel after.
- You are in control and can choose to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
- Find something to immerse yourself in.
- Find a friend or one of your support network.
- Have something to eat, go for a walk.
- Do something else.
- Whenever you feel very uncomfortable, distressed or miserable, keep telling yourself it will pass. If you crave a drink, pretend that the craving is like a sore throat that you have to put up with until it goes away.
- If you have a helper, tell that person honestly how much you had to drink each day and when you have been successful or have drunk too much.
Finally, it is likely that you will have some bad days on which you drink too much. When that happens, don't give in.
Remember that people who HAVE learned to drink at low-risk levels had many bad days before they were finally successful. It will get easier in time.