Kate's Blog

A Lesson In Sobriety From The Movie Groundhog Day

I watched a movie over the weekend that I hadn’t seen for ages: Groundhog Day. Do you remember it?

The basic premise is, the hero (played by Bill Murray) keeps making mistakes that result in some sort of disaster… and so he keeps living the same day over and over again.
It’s a feel-good Hollywood film, so in the end he figures out what he’s doing wrong, gets the girl and breaks the cycle.
Now you may be wondering… what has Groundhog Day got to do with alcohol-free living?!
Well, it got me thinking about habits. When it comes to sobriety, there’s a pretty valuable takeaway from Bill Murray’s struggle that we could all learn from…

Key points


We are creatures of habit!

Most of us live the same day over and over. We go through similar routines, day in, day out, often on autopilot. When it comes to sobriety, your habits and routines throughout the day can set you up for failure or set you up for success.
Now’s the time to get clear on whether your day-to-day habits are helping or hindering your chances of staying alcohol-free.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
John Maxwell


What habits could you programme into your day to make sobriety easier?

Think about the reasons why you drink. What triggers you? What could you do to either a) reduce that trigger in the first place or b) help yourself to deal with it better?
Here are some examples of healthy habits that will help you stay sober:

  • Don’t check your email first thing. If you’re reading work emails whilst lying in bed, you’re going to get stressed out quickly. When you’re feeling overwhelmed before your feet even touch the floor, you’re more likely to ditch your alcohol free goals later on.
  • Take a lunch break. Get some fresh air and go for a walk. Do not eat lunch over your desk.
  • Set a reminder on your phone so you remember to drink plenty of water late afternoon and have a small snack. Don’t let yourself get hungry or thirsty as this makes cravings worse.
  • Rethink your commute. Rather than viewing it as a necessary evil, turn it into something useful. Enjoy the time to yourself and make the most of the headspace. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Keep a gratitude diary. Could you walk part of it? Do something that makes you feel good, so you start to decompress before you get home.


Let me know…

Is there a part of your daily routine that you’ve changed to make sobriety easier or your life better? What are you working on right now? Let us know in the comments 🙂

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


45 Responses

  1. Thanks Kate! Drinking more water has made a big difference for me, I wasn’t drinking enough before. Another habit that i find helps me is to take the dog for a walk!!! I do it as soon as i get home and by the time we get back I don’t fancy a drink anymore (and I’m more relaxed)

    1. Great post. Walking the dog is genuinely relaxing – far more relaxing than taking a drug like ethanol. Well done Lyn, keep going! 🙂

    2. I find when I get in the door from work if I immediately pour myself a glass of LeCroix and change out of my work clothes I am no longer feeling the urge for a glass or two of wine.

    3. Hi Kate, I found your page by chance. Ground hog Day 2018 is my sobriety date!! I broke my bad habits and I feel great! Terrific article. Thank you!

  2. Keep busy during the typical cocktail hour, 5 – 6 pm. Once I have eaten dinner, the cravings are over. Thanks for your blogs – very helpful.

  3. Hi Kate, thank you for that video it is very helpful. I am trying to change the 3 to 6 pm boredom, my mornings and early afternoons are very busy but the late afternoon slump is when I’m tired and want a wine to perk me up. So now instead of walking my dogs in the morning I will do something else like some housework as my energy levels are high and then I’ll go to the gym, after lunch I will now walk the dogs , I never feel like it but once I’m out I actually enjoy it and relax , this should help me combat that trigger I just need something for the making/after dinner urge to drink!!

    1. A nice alcohol-free cocktail can make all the difference in the evening. You could google some recipes and experiment with something new. Don’t forget to ask why you’re craving that drink – what is it you’re really searching for? If you need some more support to stop drinking (and actually feel good about it!) I’d be happy to help – my next course starts in October: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  4. Eating and drinking healthy has sorted the day. Still struggling with late evening. I ve even gotten up after going to bed to have a drink

    1. The question to ask is, “what do I think alcohol can do for me? What am I looking for in that drink?” You have the power to find healthier solutions to your needs. I don’t know what you’re looking for in that drink, but let’s say you’re feeling too stressed to sleep. If that’s the case, then planning ahead and incorporating a better wind down routine into your evening could make all the difference. Think: bath and some time to read (no electronic devices). And make sure you’re having plenty to eat in the evenings too.

  5. I started changing my morning routine where i get up early to work out before work and have a healthy smoothie right after. This motivates me to get to bed early so i can start my days off right. It also helps me gear my evenings to healthier habits so i can be motivated to get up and start my days right. I also take a short walk on my lunch break to take a step back from work and re-group. It is very refreshing and helps me be more productive!

  6. It is a really powerful reality that how your day goes has a lot to do with how your evening goes and how well equipped you are to just say no to the happy hour wine o’clock. I believe at least for me if I even take just a little time to “set my intention” in the morning about how I want my day to go it will help. I want to do more of this because I know for sure when I was in a habit of meditating daily while in college it really made a difference for me. By the way this is a great subject and while I love the movie Groundhog Day I certainly don’t want to live it especially when it comes to booze! Thanks so much Kate for bringing this up.

  7. Reading at night helps me unwind and relax in a healthy way. Your blogs have been so helpful in my journey to stop drinking – thank you!

  8. Hi Kate, I find not sitting mindlessly In front of the tv has helped me, I take an early evening walk with my dogs, and I’ve taken up crochet, something else to do with your hands at wine o’clock .

  9. If coming hom from work is your trigger- try fitting in a short walk in fresh air first; if you’re always really hungry a meal ready in the slow cooker is so welcoming; arrange to use your ar later in the evening- because you CAN. A wind down bedrime riual helps too, I think- haveyou nightcap- flavoured alond milk, decaf, whatever, book, shower/bath ritual and have the last half hour at least free from electronic communications- meditation helps, too

  10. Kate,
    You’re blogs have been extremely helpful to me, as well. This weekend was the first time that I have been questioned by a girlfriend regarding my nondrinking.
    Wow, I was taken aback and I was very uncomfortable !!
    Thank goodness that you have addressed this situation because I was prepared to answer the question and not cave in and have a glass of wine. The next day she texted me to apologize and said how great I looked phew! I’m sure this situation will occur again with different groups of friends, but now I’m prepared!!!

    1. Ahh, people can be so funny sometimes! Well done for handling that ok – that’s another sober first done and dusted!

  11. My issue is association. I go to a place, see a person Xmas, birthdays holidays etc, all bring happiness but all associated with drinking, I need to break this habit and don’t know where to start

    1. It sounds as if quite a few myths and illusions are coming into play for you Julie. I’d be happy to help you reframe this and break the association between alcohol and good times. The best way for us to work together is via my online course – the next class starts on 1st October and there are some more details here: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

    2. I too find myself not holding fast to my goals in social settings.
      Today’s post has many good habits toward change!
      Looking forward to incorporating me time and wind down time.
      Also thinking ahead for being sure to stay focused when I attend a social function Thursday!

    1. Try leaving somewhere else at night. Or in a locked box during meal times! It’s actually very freeing, once you get used to it!

  12. The first thing I do is pour myself a cold seltzer, with or without anything mixed in. Sometimes I use a little kombucha, sometimes a little fruit juice, just depends. I’m aware to stay hydrated during the day so it’s not a physical need, but it sure helps to have that cold, bubbly drink to hold on to. I use a pretty glass for it, and that helps too 🙂

  13. Love these ideas Kate (as I lie in bed with my phone ) I do think that’s a habit that would be good for me to change. My tip is a lovely warm shower and getting into comfy clothing as soon as I get in from work. A fizzy kombucha or sparkling water is good too and tucking into some cheese and crackers. Very simple things but they’ve completely changed as my mindset has changed and I don’t think about alcohol much anymore only when I’m extremely upset about something and then I find distraction or exercise is great. In the early days leaving the house was helpful going shopping either for food or even clothes or just to Kmart (open 24/7) until the cravings were gone. X

    1. I love getting changed into something comfy too – that is genuinely relaxing and a nice way to mark the end of the work day 🙂

  14. I didn’t realize until doing your course how much the hunger/thirst thing actually factored into it. I now know that if I have a healthy snack and a cold non alcoholic drink my cravings are usually gone. Just one of the great pieces of knowledge learned in your course! Thanks Kate.

  15. So great to see this post. The movie Groundhog day is how I describe my life when not sober. Each morning waking up with regrets and guilt and promising myself not to drink and each night drinking again!Day after day after day!!

    1. You nailed it Jeanne – it really is depressing and miserable when you’re stuck in a rut with your drinking. If you need some help to stop repeating Groundhog Day, make sure you check out my online course. Alcohol free living is so much fun compared to what you’re dealing with right now. Here are some more details about the class: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  16. I also used to drink every night. I have managed to get myself down to every 4th night. My goal is to stop completely, but there is something about that 4th night and the craving really is overwhelming. I now make sure to eat something every few hours, hunger was a huge trigger for me. Reading all of your comments about your journey and having Kate as a leader has made a huge difference for me and I thank you.

    1. Well done for cutting down. It would be great to see you go alcohol free completely – moderation is SO much work by comparison! I wrote about that here: https://thesoberschool.com/control-drinking/
      If you’d like some support to stop drinking, bust through those cravings and actually feel good about sobriety, then I’d be happy to walk you through it. The best way for us to work together is via my online course (next class starts 1st October) – it’s six weeks of daily lessons, coaching and support from me. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  17. Kate, I just wanted to thank you SO MUCH! I am currently taking a “break from booze”. I feel fantastic. You have been such a huge inspiration – so much of what you write feels like you are talking to me about me! My only regret is that it took me so long to do this but I try to stay focused on the fact that I am doing it now:).

  18. I am on day 11. my husband. Still drinks so that makes it super hard. I’ve made it clear to him that evenings are tough for me and asked him to please understand my schedule is going to be very different then it was before. I come home, shower, put on comfy clothes, make dinner and clean up and then I’m home free. Not super exciting but neither is getting blackout drunk and waking up sick every morning. Thanks, Kate. Your blog is my support and it helps immensely.

  19. Well 24 hours in and I feel fabulous. Weird – everytime it feels fabulous and then I bend. This time is different – medical wake up call – so my endless stops and starts (more starts) are (I hope) over. I truly do feel fabulous and my morning was organised – ready for work – bed made – 40 walk to the beach and did I mention I feel fabulous. So heres to me and my success and new beginnings and to your Sober School which got me thinking about quitting a lifestyle than actually NO longer fits me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most recent

Love wine main-min
But I Just Really Love Drinking Wine
“How can I get sober when I love drinking wine? And cocktails? And beer?” At the height of my drinking career, I asked myself this question a lot. I knew I needed to stop and I knew cutting down didn’t really work for me. I hated the...
Read More
Tomorrow main-min
How Much Of Tomorrow Do You Want To Borrow?
Did you hear the comedian James Corden talking about trying to drink less recently? He said he’d started to ask himself this question: “How much of tomorrow do I want to borrow?” It’s a great question. Alcohol doesn’t add anything extra into your...
Read More
Kate Middleton main-min
Lessons In Sobriety From Kate Middleton's Cancer News
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the news that Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, has cancer. It brings to an end weeks of wild online speculation about her. But what does all that have to do with alcohol-free living?...
Read More

Enter your name and email below to download your free Wine O’Clock Survival Guide

As well as the guide, we’ll also send you helpful and inspiring weekly emails with free resources, tips & advice, plus details of our awesome products and services. We’ll take care of your data in accordance with our privacy policy and you can unsubscribe at any time.