Kate's Blog

Lost Your Motivation To Stay Sober? Try This.

We’re a month into the New Year. If you set a goal to quit drinking or take a break from booze… how’s it going?

I know many people began 2024 feeling fired up and motivated, but January is a long old month 🥶

If you’re struggling with your motivation now the “New year, new me!” enthusiasm has faded, I can help.

In today’s video, I’m talking all about how to take action when you feel like giving up and the one key question you must ask yourself…

Key points

I used to think motivation was something that just happened to me. I either had it or I didn’t – I thought it came and went like the weather. But here’s the truth: our thoughts create our feelings. If you’re feeling unmotivated it’s probably because you’re having some thoughts like, “This is too hard.” Or, “It’s not worth it. It won’t work. I’m too tired.”

Your first step is to get curious about what you’re thinking. What are the stories you’re telling yourself right now? If we had to pin it down to one or two thoughts that you keep repeating, what would they be? It might be: “I’ve got so much on my plate right now. I don’t have time for this.” Or, “I deserve a drink.” Or, “I just don’t want to limit myself anymore.”

I suspect part of you wants to shout, “Come on! Just get on with it! Stop being such a baby!” But this approach rarely works in the long term. Step two is to acknowledge your feelings and show yourself some compassion instead. For example: “Yeah, of course I don’t want to change. Of course I’m going to think it’s hard to do something different, us humans love our routines and I’m not used to this yet. It makes sense that I’m finding this hard.”

Step three is to answer this key question: “What else is also true?” So if you think that working on your sobriety is tiring, what else is also true? Well – it’s also true that worrying about your drinking all the time is tiring too. Recovering from the side effects of drinking is also tiring. Having to manage your drinking habit, buy your supplies, hide them, dispose of them and deal with the guilt? That’s tiring as well. 

The other side of the story

So often we slip into this black and white, all or nothing thinking, as if the thought that popped into your head is the only version of the truth that exists. But it’s not game over yet! By asking the question, “What else is also true?” you get to practise telling the other side of the story and redirecting your focus to more helpful thoughts.

Looking to create an alcohol-free life you love? Click here to learn more about my Getting Unstuck course.

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. 

Comments

45 Responses

  1. I have been basically dry for over 3.5 years. I have had drinks on some vacations and a few special occasions. I have found that on vacations with just my husband, mostly Florida and Mexico, I can drink and not to excess. I have had very limited drinks on other holidays. I have learned that for most special occasions drinking for me is not the best choice. I do not drink at home. My husband has beer in the house and drinks it whenever he chooses. We are both retired. I wander what your thoughts are on me drinking on holiday with my husband?

    1. It’s personal choice whether to drink on holiday with your husband, but I’d invite you to try an alcohol-free holiday for comparison. Treat it like an experiment, a test drive if you like because you can always go back to drinking on vacation if that’s what you prefer.

      Sober holidays are like a free upgrade! Imagine waking up early, perhaps watching the sunrise. Having a clear head every morning, means you have more energy to go sight seeing or go on trips, try out water sports, watch a beautiful sunset or stay up late dancing. There are so many fun things to do on vacation but if having drinks is your focus, you may lack the motivation to try them out and that would be a shame. Give it a go, I think you’ll love it and the good thing is, you also come home feeling properly rested. 🙂

      1. I go on some vacations with my husband and do not drink. I am an early riser and almost never miss a sunrise. I am not drinking enough that I am not enjoying our Mexican holidays to the fullest. We do lots of day trips on the public transit and see new places. We wander how other people can sit by the pool almost all day and yes for many drinks are copious. I feel the alcohol-free is not an up grade for me in Mexico or Florida. That said, the alcohol-free day to day living is absolutely the premium approach and it is something I do not want to ever change. Reading your blog is very helpful in understanding the negative aspect of drinking. Thank you.

  2. Your blog is so helpful
    Thank you
    However I am as bad as ever
    Binging at home alone 2 to 3 times a week and hating myself
    Am fine when out with friends

    1. You are not alone Susan, I’ve worked with thousands of women who find themselves in a kind of ‘alcohol trap’ and hate the feeling. Perhaps you accept that alcohol doesn’t make you truly happy, but you find yourself drinking at home none the less. Here’s a previous blog of mine that I think will really help you: https://thesoberschool.com/the-alcohol-trap/

    2. I know what you mean I have done that lots of time when drinking at home I felt great listening to music dancing but the next day I felt awful wondering if I texted any one and upset them . The drink is like a big bully taking over your life fight it you be in control X

  3. Hi Kate,

    although I have not signed up to your courses, I have read and listened to your motivational talks and words and they certainly prompted me to do dry January. I have shared a bottle of wine with my husband when we were out for dinner but apart from that, I have managed not to drink. I do feel better, my skin looks better and I feel more positive and have more energy.
    The most important thing for me is that I now know I do not need to have a class of wine or three every evening. So, thank-you for your wise words and guidance.
    Kind Regards

    Kate Matthews

  4. 29 days sober so far Kate. The most astonishing positive is that I no longer feel anxious, in the morning particularly. Who’d of known? I certainly wasn’t aware of my anxiety.
    Secondly, and you are so right, what a lifestyle upgrade it really is! Total freedom x

  5. I quit and did the course Jan 22, tried moderation May 22 and it didn’t work for me and haven’t touched alcohol since. I protect my sobriety and my life is so much better since l quit. I couldn’t have done it aline. Your course changed my life for the better Kate.

  6. Hi Kate, I have been sober since 1st of January, my motivation has started to dwindle, as some days I feel great and some I don’t, but I’m determined to continue, hopefully I will get through the thoughts I have on bad days. Thankyou for your video and enquiring.

    1. Keep going Jenny, the benefits far outweigh any bad days and sobriety gets easier over time whilst drinking is always hard work!

  7. I’ve been sober since last mid October. My husband and I decided to try wine the week of New Year’s. Yep, that just didn’t work for me. At.All.
    I’m learning to give myself compassion regarding this and that drinking absolutely is not my friend. It’s a thief.
    Thank you for your advice about Getting Curious and What else is true? By getting curious, I realized I truly was tired…and bored. So I addressed those two things.
    My what else is true? I’m becoming a morning person again! I’m fixing healthier meals for my husband and me. Not everything throughout the day is a “chore”, “soooo difficult” or “overwhelming”. I’m relearning to enjoy the beginning of my day.
    My most difficult thought is, I guess, to escape my physical pain and, quite frankly, the buzz. I actually struggled with this over the weekend.
    Thank you for your advice and support!

  8. Keep going everyone. I stopped drinking for dry January 2023 and haven’t had a drink since. Its a wonderful change of life, as Kate calls it a lifestyle upgrade. Totally agree, so dry January last year worked for me. Just keep going, say… at end of Jan think I’ll keep going in February and so on.! After 6 or 8 weeks you become a changed person. Its lovely, i don’t miss it, and feel rejuvenated. Thank you Kate. Love Reading your messages , your positivity is
    So good..

  9. Hi Kate,
    I find your videos very interesting.
    For me, I would say, it would be great if you could also reach out to binge drinkers, not just those regularly drinking. Binge drinking is of course extremly dangerous, probably worse than the regular glass of wine, and this is where I have found myself. The shame and hiding evidence, or pretending I’ve not got a killer hangover is all the same, probably the excuses too, I can easily go 3/4 months without drinking but then, once I do, it is to total excess, making excuses like ‘I don’t do it often’ or ‘I haven’t done it in ages’ or ‘everyone gets drunk sometimes’ you know how it goes.
    I just believe there is an audience out there that also could relate more to your discussions, and advice if you were also able to raise this topic.
    Thanks for all your advice so far, it’s been beneficial. Xx

    1. You’re right Jo, binge drinking is dangerous and regular drinking is dangerous too. Alcohol is an addictive drug that is harmful to humans in any quantity and increases the risk of 7 different types of cancer. I offer help to break the pattern, whatever that may be in my stop drinking programme called Getting Unstuck. https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  10. I signed up for getting unstuck Oct 21 and didn’t start. I started the course finally on 2nd Jan 24 and with your help Kate I’m 4 weeks sober today. I’m so happy. I’ve actually not been feeling well the last week and it would have been easy to say “I can’t be bothered with this” but with your lessons there for me every day it’s going really well. Thankyou

  11. Thank you for the blog Kate it’s always great to have that motivation.
    I’m still enjoying the non alcohol days and haven’t looked back since the beginning of this year! I’m feeling better and happier with myself. Thank you

  12. I am on day 69 I have great days and not great days I still suffer anxiety but I am more productive and certainly more present and looking forward to the future sober. Take it a day at a time xx

    1. 69 days is awesome Chelsea! Life still has it’s ups and downs, but with a clear head and healthy body, you can handle things much better. Keep going, one day at a time. 🙂

  13. Good evening Kate, Your blog today has been great for me. I’m so proud to say I’m 28 days AF. Every morning I remind myself and read back my list WHY I am on this course and say my MANTRA ‘No matter what I am going to make this happen’. I found your concept of Think Feel Do the most challenging so far but have unpicked some whys from your talk just now to journal and help myself move on. I will use this challenge as my opportunity to get more understanding and make progress. Feeling positive one month in. Many thanks

    1. Congratulations Veronica, you’re doing great and should be very proud of 28 days! All drinking problems are thinking problems, so it does pay to unpick our thoughts.

  14. 29 days AF , still going strong, thank you Kate for your course, I’m taking right now, and enjoying every day. Tried to stay AF many times, thought can moderate, reality couldn’t, for me has to be Forever.

  15. Dear Kate. I took your unstuck course in April 2022. I initially aimed for 90 days then moved the needle to 250 days. I had my first sober summer in 30 years. I felt joy and amazement for the first time in such a long time. I signed up for a writing course in my spare time. My husband saw the change in my mood and my energy. He joined me Labour Day by quitting drinking too My brother saw the change and joined us November 30. I have not had a drink since march 5 2022. I have stopped thinking about drinking entirely. I got a giant promotion that started on Jan 2 with a huge raise in pay. I feel confident at work like never before and we sleep at night like babies. I will never be able to thank you enough for giving me my life back. You helped me discover just how worth it I am. Thank you.

    1. Wow Jonelle, the ripples of influence have gone far in your family and that’s all credit to you. Congratulations on upgrading your own life and that of others, you deserve all the good things that come your way! ❤️

  16. Hi Kate ….. read all ur mails for a considerable time, and ignored them! However, did unstuck course in Dec and joined your SS school in Jan. I am 29 days AF …. and in tears with happiness. Really thought I was a hopeless case! Thank-you for not giving up on me when I didn’t respond to your mails and thank-you for giving me the knowledge…the encouragement and the belief to do this. Instead of constantly looking at the hill which is too hard to climb…I now see there is no hill impossible to climb. God bless you for giving of your time and your life to help so many others regain theirs!

  17. My motivation is almost nil at the moment. In the evenings I just feel like, what does it matter? The world is going to Hell in a handcart so why not at least get numb to all of it.

    1. Hi Mary, it matters because you matter. Drinking alcohol won’t change what is happening in the world but it will change you. I would really like to help you see how much better life can be if you took a break from alcohol.

  18. Thank you Kate, you are amazing! I just needed to hear your motivation talk.. to give me the opportunity to ‘think’ about the positive side of not drinking, to say to myself ‘I feel good being in control rather than it being in control of me’ such enlightenment on how to think!! Bless you

  19. I’ve been following your blog and watching your inspiring videos for a couple of years now Kate. I finally decided enough was enough and I wanted to try an alcohol free life in November 2023 and I’m now coming up to 10 weeks alcohol free. I’m feeling so much better for it already and waking up with no hangover and more importantly for me no hangxiety is a dream ! Last weekend I went out for the day with a large group of girlfriends, all of whom were drinking, and I was totally happy with my alcohol free drinks. I’d been slightly worried before I went that I’d feel awkward and out of place but I actually had one of the best times and could remember every conversation the next dsy. But for me the most surprising bit was the following day I felt like I had oodles of free time and felt so relaxed and couldn’t understand why. Then it hit me like a bolt ! Usually after a boozy day out I would spend nearly all the next dsy stressing and worrying about what I’d said or done or what people might have thought of me. I literally had none of that ! Just a wonderful peaceful restful next day. Thank you Kate for giving me the inspiration to do this and helping me get in the right mindset. I’m loving it !

    1. Hi Julie, congratulations on your 10 weeks! That is fantastic. I’m so pleased to hear how you are enjoying your AF life. It really is a life style upgrade and your example here just proves that. Well done, keep going!

  20. I took the course in Jan 2020 & it’s made a huge positive change in my life. I still go back and look over my favorite lessons from time to time.

  21. I have tried to stay sober so many times, but have discovered that I use it to self medicate. If I don’t have a drink before bed my mind races with random thoughts so I can’t sleep and I start to drink again and I can’t get out of the cycle. But my slept is not refreshing when I do drink so feel stuck

    1. Alcohol is a wrecking ball when it comes to good sleep habits, so the best thing you can do to get a good nights’ sleep is to ditch it altogether. Natural sleep patterns will resume but can take some time to settle, so don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t happen right away. I promise you, sober sleep is the best! 🙂

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