Tips Quitting Drinking: Setting the Right Goals

Tips Quitting Drinking: Setting the Right Goals

Once you’ve evaluated your situation and firmly decided to learn how to quit drinking alcohol, then of course the next step is to decide upon a plan of action. You need to set very clear goals where stopping drinking is concerned, because drinking and alcoholism are very insidious opponents, and to defeat them you need your strategy and your goals set very clearly in your consciousness.

A good example of a drinking goal could be “I’m going to stop drinking, and I will do so by so-and-so date”. Alternatively, if you don’t want such a clear-cut goal, you could start with something that is a little simpler. For example, you could say that you are going to quit drinking completely on weekdays. And while you’ll still drink on Saturdays and Sundays, you will not touch more than three drinks on each of these days. Or you can put your goal at no more than five drinks for the entire weekend. In this way, you reduce your dependency on alcohol without the powerful effort necessary to quit drinking completely and at once. At the same time, you’ll improve your performance at work and your relationship with your family by not drinking during the week.

Now, whether your goal is stopping drinking completely or reducing drinking a little bit, you need to keep to that goal. Setting a realistic goal and keep to it is more important and more beneficial than setting an unrealistic goal and failing to keep to it again and again. For example, if you have a severe drinking problem, your first goal could be something as simple as not drinking on two particular days of the week.

Two particular days – that is doable. No matter how bad your drinking problem is, you can, if you exert your will, prevent yourself from drinking for just two days in the week. It’s easy. Or just one day in the week.

Let’s say that you’ve decided that every Tuesday you will not drink. Now, once you successfully meet this goal for two consecutive weeks, you can increase the target number of days to two days.

Then you can increase to three days, then four, then five, keeping to each goal for two weeks. Ultimately, you will not drink for the five working days of the week, and then you can slowly extend your control over the weekend. So, in this way your goals can be incremental, they can be gradually increased while you focus simply on keeping to the goals you have at present. If you keep to even the smallest goals and make sure that you do not drink even one day a week, that will build your strength of will, your confidence and reduce your dependency on alcohol to a certain extent. And every successful goal met means that you have a greater chance of meeting the next goal.

I might point out that for a good many people total abstinence is perhaps the safest path - while an incremental set of goals could help you reach complete abstinence more easily, there is a far greater chance that you will relapse into complete alcohol dependency. There are ways to abstain from alcohol, and these will be covered in the other tips in this book. If you can’t abstain completely, however, an incremental approach might be best for you.

Tips Quitting Drinking: Setting the Right Goals