Kate's Blog

3 Tips For A Successful Sober September

The seasons are changing and that back-to-school feeling is in the air…

If you’ve been drinking more than you planned to over the past few months, now is as good a time as any to turn over a new leaf and get back on track.

But successful sobriety isn’t just about crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. So in today’s video, I share three key tips to help you have a sober September…

Key points

Tip 1: Just have one goal

I know how tempting it is to try to do it all. Maybe you also want to lose weight, get fitter, cook more meals from scratch and meditate every day whilst doing yoga and a juice cleanse! But if you put pressure on yourself to do everything at once, you’ll give up before we’re even halfway through the month. So let’s keep the focus firmly on having a sober September.

I have lots of successful clients who’ve lost weight and run marathons since quitting drinking, but they didn’t try to do it all at the same time. They gave themselves permission to focus on one thing and waited until sobriety felt a bit easier before adding anything else into the mix.

Tip 2: Be patient

Trust that how you feel in the early days of sobriety is not how it’s going to be for the rest of time. Early sobriety does require some effort and commitment – but it gets so much easier with time, I promise.

After a couple of tough days it can be tempting to say, “I’m not cut out for this, I can’t continue with this forever.” But it won’t be hard forever. If your kids or grandkids are starting at a new school this month, I’m sure you’d reassure them that it won’t always feel strange and awkward – they’ll settle in! It’s the same for sober September.

Tip 3: Do your sober homework

Take a piece of paper and write down all the benefits that you think you get from drinking. All the reasons you drink. Write them in a column on one side of the page. Whether you think drinking helps you numb out, put up with your family, be more fun on date night… whatever it is, write it down.

Next, draw a line down the middle of the page and create another column, which we’re going to call “Evidence this belief might not be true”. You have plenty of examples of this belief not always being true. It’s important to notice this and work through your feelings around it, otherwise you’ll always feel a bit deprived in sobriety. One of the reasons that I enjoy my sobriety so much is because I know I’m not missing out on anything. I want to help you see alcohol for what it really is too.

Looking to create a sober life you love? Click here to find out 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. 


14 responses

  1. It really helped me writing down what I think “drinking” does and then what it actually does. Been AF fir for about 15 months. Read blogs and got your book. Keep sending me messages!

    1. I’m glad it helped Cheryl, seeing the truth in black and white somehow makes it more impactful. Keep going, you’re doing great! 🙂

  2. A couple of things I learned from your class that might be helpful for those thinking about it.
    First, acknowledge that your life will be different. By that I mean that you’ve had these habits for years – pick up wine along with food at the grocery store or restaurant, come home, change into comfies and use your wine to “relax after a long day,” “celebrate a win,” or because “it was a rough week.” Kate will teach you ways to incorporate better alternatives that are just as comforting (many times more so).
    Second, have mocktails and other sweets handy during the first few weeks.
    Lastly, jump in and do it!

  3. I liked the parent telling their child that they don’t have to go back to school. In other words, don’t give up. The tough times will eventually go away and sobriety will be a pleasure. Thank you Kate for your insight and all of your help.

  4. Thank You for the three tips.
    I am going to use them. I do believe in the power of prayer and
    Intend to read them each day after
    My morning meditation.

    1. This is one of the many illusions about alcohol that I tackle in my online course called “Getting Unstuck” https://thesoberschool.com/course/ I can show you a better way to unwind that won’t slow down your brain function which is what’s happening when you numb it with alcohol. Alcohol actually puts your body under a lot of stress. It’s hard to argue that alcohol is relaxing when you hear what it does to your insides.

      Jason Vale, the author of Kick The Drink, puts it like this: “Alcohol causes low blood sugar, drains the body of water, overworks the liver, pancreas and kidneys and leaches oxygen from the brain. When you stop putting a poison like alcohol in your body, it literally breathes a sigh of relief.”

  5. I am 8 weeks into my initial 3 month break from alcohol. I can honestly say that at this point I have no reason to go back to drinking alcohol at the end of that 3 months.
    I’ve tried going sober many times over the last decade but this time has been the easiest and I feel more determined to make it last. Doing the mindset work at the start of my AF journey really laid a good foundation for me. Really thinking about why I drink but more importantly honestly assessing if what I thought were the benefits of alcohol was actually based on evidence. This step is so crucial and actually gives you the power in this process. Also Kate’s advice was that once you commit to your first alcohol free period (3months in my case) then the decision is made and you don’t need to keep going back to review that decision. This freed my mind and broke my emotional reliance on alcohol. Every time a thought or feeling popped into my head regarding my alcohol I just told myself out loud that “no, the decision is made. I don’t need to reconsider this decision”. (Even in shops!! ) I said it a lot the first few weeks, but now I rarely think about it at all.
    Don’t be afraid to do this for yourself, to give yourself back the control. Xx

    1. Well said Anna! Doing the mindset work is a key component that’s missing from most attempts at quitting. Keep going, you’re doing great 🙂

  6. I agree with Lisa’s comment: acknowledge that life will be different. At first it’ll feel euphoric; then the novelty of sobriety starts to wear off and the harder work begins. But eventually you settle into a new, wonderful normal. And the one little constant perk of sobriety I find (been sober 3.5 yrs): when I have crappy days, or days when I’ve messed up, or feel inept, I tell myself: Hey, you can get through this — you got sober!!

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