If you want to stop drinking alcohol, the following tips will help you get started.
1. Work out your current situation with alcohol
Using a drinking diary, or going through the last month work out when you drank, how much, where and with whom. Can you see any patterns when you drank too much? E.g. is it only on Friday evenings you drink too much or is it every night at the diner table.
Doing this will give you a better idea of how serious your drinking problem is and where and when the problems are happening.
2. See your doctor
Take this information to your doctor and get checked out to see if you have a physical addiction to alcohol. It may not be safe to go ‘cold turkey’ in certain situations, so you may need to cut down gradually.
3. Work out your goals for drinking for the next 30 days
Instead of working on your whole life, you can take things one step at a time. You might find that for the next 30 days based on the above two steps, you just decide to have one or two alcohol free days. Otherwise you might decide to cut out drinking altogether. Have a goal which works for you. Something which is challenging but not unrealistic. Small steps are better than large steps which could be better achieved over a longer time period.
4. Get some support
Either friends, non-drinkers or your doctor or other support group. Someone or a group with whom you can share your goals, call if you need their support and also discuss problems and challenges with. Also someone who will hold you to account to a certain extent.
5. Make some alternative plans
Looking at your drinking diary from step 1, work out what could be the alternatives to the situations, locations and companions with whom you drink? E.g. if you drink heavily at the dining room table could you instead go and play squash or badminton with your partner that evening? Or do some other sports away from the familiar location?
Try finding alternatives for every time you heavily drink. The idea is to plan in advance so when the situation occurs again you either are ready for it or better yet have made sure it will not happen again by not being in that situation.
6. Take it one day at a time
Just enjoy each day as it comes and celebrate the days you are able to make progress compared to the previous month. If you have a relapse or two know that you can recover as you have already succeeded.
Bit by bit as you go through the 30 days, you will make changes and get to the point of giving up alcohol.
Finally, please download the Give Up Alcohol Course which I have carefully developed together with many different experts to give you the tools to change your drinking once and for all.