Thinking of cutting your alcohol intake? Many people are starting to put into place their New Year’s resolution to drink less alcohol.
But around 30% of people who start don’t get through the whole month alcohol-free.
Relying on intention and willpower to stop drinking, even for a short period, is not usually enough. Resisting temptation takes up a lot of brain power and eventually your brain gets tired and gives in.
So what are the best strategies to take a break from drinking?
Monitor your drinking
Before your planned break from alcohol, spend a week or two monitoring the amount you drink and when.
You might be surprised at how much or how often you’re drinking, and in what contexts. There may be certain people, places or emotions that increase or decrease your alcohol consumption.
Understanding this can be a helpful motivator to make changes. It can also help you plan for situations where you’d usually be drinking.
Get clear on your goals and your motivation
Will you cut back or quit? If cutting back, will you drink less frequently or a lower quantity? For how long? What happens afterwards?
It’s easier to stick to your goals if they’re clear and achievable.
Set an Alcohol quit date
Get a support network
Having a friend also take up the challenge can make it a little easier. People trying to quit who have social support are more likely to reduce their drinking.