There’s no doubt that addiction to alcohol can be one of the most life-ruining habits that you could form. What’s more, it’s also one of the hardest habits to break.
To drink less alcohol, you have to start taking concrete action to curb drinking in your life. Follow the seven steps to start your journey towards a more sober lifestyle.
1. Control Your Environment
The first step to curbing your drinking is to control your environment. Research shows that your environment has a massive impact on your behavior and your actions. For instance, living in an apartment with poor lighting, inadequate furniture, and cramped space will result in you being less productive at home.
Let this phenomenon work for you instead of against you. Your environment is one of the easiest things for you to control. To curb your drinking, simply don’t place yourself in environments where you know that it will be easier to drink. Such environments include the bar or nightclub – if you know that you will be tempted to drink in that environment, simply don’t go.
If you drink at home often, go ahead and remove all of the drinkware from your house alongside all of the alcohol. You don’t need to pour the alcohol down the drain if that makes you feel wasteful – you can give it to a friend. But whatever you do, just make sure that it isn’t in your environment anymore.
2. Replace the Beverage
A great way to get rid of a bad habit like drinking alcohol is to replace it with another habit. For instance, if you tend to eat out every evening, you can replace that habit by signing up for a fitness class during the same time that you’re usually out eating.
In the same way, you can replace the beverage that you drink with a more favorable one. Instead of putting back glasses of wine and cases of beer, you could start juicing. Buy a juicer and start making juices out of the fresh fruits and vegetables you have around your house.
Not only are such beverages incredibly good for your health, but they’ll also help quench your thirst for alcohol.
3. Talk to Your Friends
A wise man once said, “you are the average of your five friends you spend the most time with.” Thus, if you want to change this aspect of your life, it is easiest to do so when your friends are also mindful of this change.
Ask them to curb their drinking when they’re around you and to just talk less about alcohol. If alcohol is a smaller part of their life when they’re around you, you’ll feel less peer pressure to join in whenever they’re having a drink.
4. Join a Support Group
This is typically one of the first things that people do when they are trying to curb their drinking, and for good reason. Simply put, joining support groups are incredibly effective. Being held accountable to a group of people simply does wonders for you as you try to break this bad habit.
The support group doesn’t have to be your stereotypical Alcoholics Anonymous gathering. However, those groups certainly work too. But instead, you can try joining a group at your local church. You may not find an alcohol-specific group, but chances are that you’ll be able to find a group of people trying to kick various bad habits that you can start to open up to and be accountable to.
Remember that radical change requires radical action. Joining a support group may be uncomfortable and foreign to you. But that doesn’t matter – do it anywhere, or you may find yourself looking up tips to get a DWI attorney.
5. Gain Momentum
Remember Newton’s First Law of Motion: objects that are at rest tend to stay at rest. Objects that are in motion tend to stay in motion. If you’re simply at rest with your attempts to kick your drinking habit, then you will tend to stay at that point in your life without making any effectual change.
If, however, you make it a priority in life to quit drinking, and you’re able to string a little momentum together, chances are that you’ll stay at that point rather than revert to drinking.
An easy way to make this mental phenomenon more tangible is to print out a calendar. Every day that you don’t drink to excess, mark an X on the calendar. Make it your life’s goal to have an X on every day of every month. Pretty soon, you’ll refuse to let yourself drink too much simply because you don’t want to not be able to put an X on the calendar. That’s how momentum works.
6. Focus on the Positives
Whenever you find yourself craving a bit of alcohol, focus on the positives that this journey of curbing your drinking will bring you. Maybe you’re trying to reduce your drinking because your spouse asked you to. Think about how if you control your urge, you will be able to make that special person in your life happy.
Or, maybe you’re just curbing the drinking for yourself because you want to save money. Think about the money that you’ve saved and how you’re going to be able to do that trip that you always wanted.
Focus on the positives to get you through the tough times of temptation.
7. Increase Friction
The concept of friction is powerful whenever one is trying to break a bad habit. Simply put, friction is the amount of extra effort you have to put into doing something.
One easy way to increase friction is to never have alcohol in your home. Any time that you want alcohol, you have to go to the store and buy it. Whenever you’re grocery shopping, leave your ID in the car so that when you get in the store, you can’t buy alcohol. This increased friction will stop you from doing the action.
Drink Less Alcohol Using These Seven Steps
There you have it – by absorbing and implementing these seven steps in your life, there’s no doubt that pretty soon you’re going to be able to hit your goal and drink less alcohol.
For more lifestyle advice, be sure to check out the rest of the articles on the website.