moderate-drinking-habitsDo you have a drinking plan? Creating a drinking plan helps to give you guidelines and structure to follow, plus it provides you with personal accountability. If you already have one, how’s it going?

You may find that you need to tweak it a bit and break it into smaller, more attainable goals. Taking baby steps in order to make a change can help to improve your success rate. Trying to make too big of a change too quickly can set you up for failure, and ultimately a negative spiral from reduced confidence and self-esteem.

It you don’t have a drinking plan, or if you would like to reconstruct your existing one, follow these guidelines and use the downloadable Drinking Plan worksheet (click on title to download) to help you:

Step 1 – What are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish by changing your drinking behavior? Perhaps your goal is to cut your drinking in half, or perhaps never to have a hangover again when you go to work.

Step 2 – Plan the number of drinks you intend to have based on your goals – break it down into hours, days, weeks.

Step 3 – Determine what tools you’ll use to help you stick to your plan in order to reduce urges and to help you drink less, such as taking MODER8, regular exercise, positive and joyful alternatives to drinking, using the Positive Activity and Drinking Log (click to download) to keep you accountable, etc.

Step 4 – Plan the number of AF (alcohol-free) days you plan to have when you are ready.

Step 5 – Decide ahead of time what you will do to derail the binge on your moderate drinking days. Watch this video – “How to Have a Moderate Drinking Evening” for tips.

Try this plan for a while and see how easy it is to stick to it, or if you need to modify it for a while. Make sure that you are kind to yourself and don’t judge yourself if you don’t adhere to it perfectly. This is a learning experience, so learn from what works and what doesn’t – and do more of what does work and less of what doesn’t. It’s that simple!