When I was struggling with my drinking, I was always making promises:
“I must try to be good this week.”
“No wine for me thanks, I’m trying to be good!”
When I said “trying to be good,” I meant not drinking, of course. But funnily enough, later in the day I’d convince myself that having one drink (or maybe two) also counted as “being good.”
Do you catch yourself making the same, not-very-clear promises? 🤦♀️ If you do, today’s video will help you. It contains a much better way to handle this…
The problem with “trying to be good”
This promise is too vague and that sets you up for trouble. Being good could mean not drinking at all, just having one, or not drinking enough to get a hangover. This vagueness gives your brain too much wiggle room to work with in the moment. That’s when that voice in your head pops up and says, “Well just a small glass will be fine. Technically that is still being good…”
Why we like to set vague goals
Some people have so much experience of trying and failing – and then hating themselves – that it feels safer to set a vague goal (like trying to “be good”) to save yourself the pain of screwing up later. This can seem to make sense, but unfortunately, what seems protective in the moment creates more difficulty in the long run. A much better approach is to make a commitment to sobriety that is specific and concrete – something that we could all agree has either happened or not happened.
The important bit
When you make a specific and concrete commitment to sobriety, a lot of stuff will come up for you. You’ll have doubts, fears, questions and more doubts. It will feel terrible and that’s ok! This is actually a good thing, because then you can work through this stuff. You get the chance to think about what additional steps you need to take. Ask yourself: how can I prepare for this? How can I plan? Can I figure this out on my own or do I need some support? Doing that work will set you up for success and is the secret to staying sober in the long term.