When it comes to stopping drinking and staying motivated, one of the best action steps you can take is to figure out your WHY.
Because let’s be real here – sobriety ain’t no walk in the park. There will always be ups and downs, challenges and times when you think ‘I can’t be bothered with this.’
In those moments when you’re close to giving up, knowing your ‘why’ can give you the extra push you need to keep going.
Most people think they’re stopping drinking because they’re fed up of feeling hungover. Or they want to be healthier or save money.
And those are all great reasons for quitting, but they’re probably not the real reason you’re doing this. Your real ‘why’ goes much deeper than that – and this is exactly what you need to tap in to.
Here are 3 steps to help you do just that:
Get a pen and paper.
Write down why you want to stop drinking, so you can see your reasons in black and white. Just thinking about them isn’t the same – your thoughts will come and go, sometimes they get jumbled up and sometimes we just forget. You can write your reasons on your phone or laptop if you like, but experts have found that we’re more engaged when we write things out by hand.
Set a timer for 20 minutes and keep writing.
You want to write down as much as you can, as soon as it comes into your head. Once you’ve written down everything you can think of, go back to each reason and ask ‘but why?’. Keep doing this over and over again, until you get to the heart behind what’s really motivating you.
I want to stop drinking because I hate not being able to recall what happened the night before.
Because I keep having conversations I can’t remember.
Because I hate the way my children sigh when I start telling them something I’ve already said.
Because I want to set a good example for my kids. I want to look after them and protect them.
I want to stop drinking because I hate how hungover I am the next day.
Because when I feel hungover I’m so lethargic, I never seem to get anything done.
Because I’m falling behind at work and I’m scared my boss will notice.
Because I know I’m not living up to my potential – I’m drifting through life.
I want to stop drinking because I keep saying things I regret.
I’m fed up of being that woman – the one who always makes a fool of herself.
Because I want to be in control of myself. I want to be happy and calm.
I want to stop drinking because I’m scared of people finding out how much I really drink.
Because I’m tired of hiding my drinking. All the covering up is exhausting me.
Because I don’t want to have any secrets from my family.
Because I want my loved ones to be proud of me.
Do you see how when you dig deeper, you uncover reasons you hadn’t thought of, or perhaps hadn’t acknowledged?
These reasons are far more powerful than just ‘I want to stop drinking for the sake of my health.’ Of course, health is important, but it’s also quite vague. You should always get specific; what is it about your health that concerns you exactly? Have you put on weight? Is it something your doctor said at your last check up? Drill down to the nitty gritty.
Put this list somewhere you can see it daily.
Tuck it into your purse or diary. You could photograph it and keep a copy on your phone. Just make sure you can come back to it easily. This is going to be your motivation. This is what’s going to power you through those doubts and wobbles. Don’t be scared of looking at this list and don’t forget about it. This is why you’re doing this. This is why you want to change.
So, what’s your why?
I’d love to hear what’s motivating you to stop drinking. Be very, very specific!
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