A HABIT = something that happens automatically without thinking… and it comes from doing it over and over. Generally we do them because they enhance our life in some way – often to make things easier or to make us feel better – happier, more content, more euphoric…or even more confident or more in control.
We all know that old habits are hard to break and new habits are hard to form. That’s because the automatic behavioral patterns we repeat most often are engraved in our neural pathways. However, through repetition, it’s possible to form new habits.
For instance, the habit of switching to drinking water after you’ve reached your planned drinking limit (as one of our members of the 7-Day AF Challenge does) may feel strange at first – or even difficult – but eventually it will become a habit.
When I first starting trying to analyze my drinking and understand why I would keep drinking and drinking I realized it was that little “drunky monkey” inner voice was saying “hey! I want to keep feeling better and that means the only thing you can do is keep drinking!” Well, successful moderate drinkers know that’s a lie. The more you drink, the drunker you get, but you don’t really feel “better” or happier. I realized that you have to trust your plan that you’ve created for that moment and just go through with it even though that little inner voice is telling you otherwise. You have to trust your plan to switch to something else – water, decaf coffee, soda…another activity… and lo and behold, you still feel good! You DON’T have to keep drinking in order to feel good! But it takes practice to make it a habit.
- Start by creating your drinking plan (For some helpful guidelines on creating your drinking plan, visit this blog & for moderate drinking tips, watch this video).
- DO IT! Follow your plan and ignore that uncomfortable feeling – every new habit feels awkward – just trust that you will feel fine and this process will work.
- Do it every time you implement your drinking plan – consistently, over & over.
Eventually, you will turn to another beverage (non-alcoholic!) or activity at your planned limit automatically and moderate drinking will become a part of your life. Yes, it will…you just have to want to, believe that you can do it, then do it and practice it!