Quit Drinking: How to Keep Your New Year's Resolution

5 Ways To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution to #GetCleanFor2018

You’ve made a New Year’s Resolution. You are going to quit drinking once and for all. You are committed, and you’re going to do it this time not only for yourself, but for your family.

The only problem is that quitting alcohol is not easy as you thought it would be. You yearn for a drink. You even visualize pouring yourself one. How will you get through it?

You’re not alone. Did you know that U.S. News reported that 80% of resolutions fail before February?

Now, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It’s very possible for you to quit drinking. You just need to follow these 5 tips when times get tough.

1Write Down Your Reasons to Quit Drinking

Why are you giving up alcohol? List every single reason you are doing it. Whenever you feel like giving in, you can take out this list. It’s a great reminder of why you need to keep trudging forward with your sobriety.  If you need some help getting started, consider adding these reasons to stay sober to your list:

  • High blood pressure
  • Nerve damage
  • Ulcers, Gastritis, Digestive Problems
  • Malnutrition & “Beer Belly”
  • Cancer of the mouth & throat
  • Liver disease
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Increased risk of DUI and other injuries
  • Sexual problems (performance issues, inability to orgasm, etc.)
  • Family problems
  • Divorce
  • Job loss

Don’t stop with just these, add more to the list that you personally have experienced over the years. Think about how alcohol has affected you mentally, physically, and in both your personal and professional life.

2Stay Away From Alcohol

If you know there will be alcohol at a party you’ve been invited to, don’t attend it. The temptation will be too great, and you may not have the will power to resist. In the beginning of your recovery, you are building up strength to deal with these temptations later on in your life.

You may need to wait a year or more before you’re able to be around alcohol and not binge on it. Some people may never be able to handle having it nearby, while others can eventually take a few sips and be able to walk away from it. What you will be able to do depends on many factors.

For now, simply don’t go anywhere alcohol is served. It will make it much easier for you to stay true to your Resolution.

3Talk About It

There’s a lot of tension inside of you right now because you’re changing a big part of your life. The more you push it down inside of you, the bigger it will seem to get. This often leads people to give up.

Talk to close friends and family about your struggles and triumphs. If you made it a week without a drink, let them know! Sharing these achievements will give you strength to do another week, and then another week, until you’re up to not drinking for longer and longer periods of time.

For many people, it can be hard to accept recognition when they share their achievements in recovery, especially if they’ve relapsed before. Don’t let your past dictate your future. Be proud of what you’re able to accomplish NOW, and let others help you feel good about it!

4Identify & Avoid Triggers

Besides going to parties and other places where alcohol is served, it’s useful to identify triggers to drinking. An trigger example that most people have is stress. Whenever there is a stressful situation, many people want to turn to alcohol to calm down or forget about it. This is not an option.

Identify stress as a trigger, and then what stresses you out to the point of craving alcohol. When you know this about yourself, find out what else you can do to decrease that anxiety. It may be going out for a walk, talking with a friends, watching a movie, or even taking a nap.

Try This Exercise:

Write down your triggers in detail. Create a plan of how you are going to avoid each trigger.

When you start to crave a drink, pull out your list of triggers to see if anything has set you off, and if so, go ahead and follow your plan.

It might be difficult to stop the mental processes when you’re craving alcohol really badly. Be sure to bring your lists with you everywhere you go. Many people have a journal they use, which can be much easier to carry around.

5Be Good to Yourself and Always Move Forward

Relapse happens. It’s part of recovery.

If you have a drink or more, don’t completely give up on your recovery. A relapse isn’t the end of it. It’s just a bump in the road.

Look at your list of reasons you wanted to quit drinking, and find out why you relapsed. Take this knowledge with you. Get back on track with your recovery.

Little by little, you will achieve complete sobriety IF you don’t give up. Remember, you only fail when you give up. As long as you use your relapses to strengthen your recovery, you will be alcohol-free someday.

Now, get to work on those lists. #SoberStrong

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