Updated: Sep 4, 2021
This is a Marathon and Not a Sprint
If you are a person who has been drinking on a daily basis, you're trying to cut back on your drinking, and your "Drink Plan" is to not drink during everyday of the week, you might have some difficulties with allowing your urges. You could be setting yourself up for some "failures" (which I call learning opportunities). It takes time to retrain your brains neural pathways. You will most likely be fueled by willpower to not drink off your Drink Plan. Remember, willpower is a limited commodity. You could be setting yourself up for giving into an urge. Which can lead to another layer of negative emotions... which can lead to judgement... which can lead to you giving in to more urges and ultimately- you'll drink over the judgement. For example: You have been drinking a bottle of wine everyday for the last five years. To begin the changes in your drinking habits, you would make your Drink Plan to drink half a bottle for about 3-4 days. You will ease into the changes so you can experience the urges. These steps are set up so you will have success in filling out your Drink Plan and Allowed Urges worksheets. These are the beginning steps toward feeling your emotions. **(There are many options on how to create a personalized Drink Plan and I'm just using this one as an example. Every person is unique and will have a different modification as to where to begin depending on what that have been drinking and what their individual goals are.) I can't emphasize enough: YOU MUST WRITE IT DOWN-NOT THINK YOUR DRINK PLAN-WRITE IT!
I know it is hard at first to NOT give into finishing the bottle. You must have a plan on what you will do when your primal brain is on autopilot and filled with high dopamine after finishing the half of a bottle. Your urges will be kicking and screaming for more. You must engage your prefrontal cortex at this time. This will be much easier if you have done your Drink Plan. You will use it as a reference when your experiencing an urge. Then, you MUST fill out the Allowed Urge worksheet. Guaranteed: By the time you have collected 100 Allowed Urges you will have created a new neural pathway. Again, I can't emphasize it enough: YOU MUST WRITE DOWN YOUR ALLOWED URGES, YOU MUST NOT JUST THINK ABOUT IT.
Here are a few strategies to write in addition to your Drink Plan:
Drink a glass of water before pouring each glass of wine.
Have a tea bag or other refreshing drink set out on the counter to be ready to have when you have finished half of the bottle.
Create a reward for yourself because you didn't finish the bottle.
Our brain is designed to have the prefrontal cortex to be slower and creative.
Our primal brain is designed for efficiency and quickness. So, when you've had two glasses of wine your brain is going to kick into efficiency and want the quick fix. But, if you have engaged your prefrontal cortex ahead of time you will slowly be back in charge.
Please don't hesitate to email me any questions. ✅ P.S. Need a simple to follow step-by-step process to drink less? Check out my signature programs HERE.