“I need to change the way I’m drinking. Where do I start?”

photo of a woman with a beige headband holding her eyeglasses

“Help! I’m drinking too much. I need to do something about it but don’t know where to start.”

I hear this regularly from people who are frustrated because they can’t seem to change the way that they drink.

They know they need to do something but what? It just feels so overwhelming.

If you are struggling to know where to start, here’s the five steps that I recommend:

1. Stop trying to stop

This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out.

If you’re trying to change the way you drink through deprivation and willpower, you’re unlikely to be successful.

Willpower is a finite resource so eventually – an hour, a day, a month – you will give in and then start blaming yourself.

You can read more about this in a recent blog post.

2. Stop blaming yourself

Trying to change a behaviour or habit using negative self-talk is like trying to make someone laugh by jabbing them with a red hot poker.

It doesn’t work and it makes you feel worse.  

I explain to my coaching clients that compassion and curiosity about why they’re drinking are the keys to breaking free, not shame and blame.

3. Knowledge is power

When you learn more about alcohol and how it works in your brain and body, you’ll realise why it’s so difficult to cut back. 

My free guide: “Four reasons why moderation is so difficult” explains some of these reasons.

I also have a list of six books that I recommend that you may find useful.

Understanding more about how alcohol works may inspire you to tackle this in a different way.

4. Be inspired

You may think that you are the only one struggling with this but, believe me, you are not.

As an alcohol coach I speak to people every day who are in the same boat.

I then help them get that boat out of rough seas and back to shore!

Hearing other people’s stories is very powerful because it not only reassures you that you are not alone, it also provides hope that you can change the way you drink. 

If you’re interested in my story you can listen to the interviews I did on the Last Drinks podcast or Bite-Sized Balance podcast.

5. Get support

Reach out for support whether that’s to your GP, a friend or partner, or an alcohol coach.

I offer a free discussion call for people who want to know what steps they can take to change the way they drink.

If you’re interested, you can book in a suitable time using my online calendar.

And, if you want to know more about coaching you can read the frequently asked questions post.

Or simply email me with any questions you may have.

Whether you do some or all of the things I’ve listed above, the fact that you’re even at the point of questioning the way that you drink is a positive step. 

“The first step towards change is awareness.” (Nathaniel Branden)

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